For Teachers - Activities - History

This section shows the origins, beliefs, and history of the people known as Mennonites. From their beginnings in northern Europe in the 1500s, Mennonites have spread across the world. Today, there are Mennonites in sixty-five countries, including large numbers in Africa and India. Their pacifism is one of the things that sets them apart from other Christian groups. The Mennonites formed the majority of the Canadian conscientious objectors.

Activities

  • Contact a Mennonite church and ask a leader or qualified member to speak to the class on pacifism, non-violence, and Mennonite history. Prepare questions to ask.  
  • Write and perform a drama focusing on
    • a CO asking his parents about their family history to find examples of pacifism
    • Canada's immigration minister explaining why he wants more Mennonites in Canada
  • Pretend you are a Mennonite who has recently arrived in Canada, either in the late 1700s, the 1870s, or the 1920s. Write a letter to your friends back home   telling them about your trip and what you like and do not like about Canada.
  • Find out about your family background. Make a family tree with the names of your ancestors and from where they came. When did they come to Canada?
  • Make a chart in your classroom of the origins of the family of each student.
  • Research the country where your parents or great-grandparents came from, then draw a picture of them in their original country.
  • Find a world map and put a pin in every place where a family member has travelled or lived.

The “History” section can help students:

  •  understand and value how different communities have contributed to Canadian life
  • learn lessons of diversity and cultural tolerance
  • explore Canada 's changing character and role of immigration, and through that learn about issues of citizenship, identity, and diversity
  • see that all groups have certain views and that religion is one of the characteristics that makes communities and individuals unique
  • relate the unique pattern of local histories to national and international events
  • realize that every family in Canada has its own interesting history of immigration and travelling