Lesson Plan: Learning from Indigenous Peoples (This Place: 150 Years Retold)

By: Charlene Camillo

Charlene Camillo

Education Collaborator

Charlene Camillo is from the Moose Cree First Nation and of Italian heritage.  She is a teacher and coach in the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB).  

From 2016-2022, Charlene was the Learning Coordinator in TVDSB for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education.  In this role, she led professional learning for staff and helped to develop various opportunities for Indigenous students.  She also created lesson plans and resources for use in classrooms, and shared best practices in bringing Indigenous content into schools.  

Charlene taught multiple subjects from 2010-2016 at Saunders Secondary School in London, ON.  In 2022, she returned to Saunders and has been teaching History and Indigenous Studies while coaching Girls Basketball and Girls Hockey, and supporting the Indigenous Student Association.

Charlene has been fortunate to work with multiple First Nations as a teacher and a coach.  She continues to take feedback and learning from Indigenous students and families to provide opportunities for staff and students to enhance their knowledge of Indigenous experiences. 

Teacher note: this lesson introduces the book This Place: 150 Years Retold. Some other lessons in this series (“Indigenous Resistance and Resilience“) draw on excerpts from the book. We strongly encourage teachers to use this as an introductory lesson before moving on to those other lessons that reference excerpts from This Place.

Recommended Grade Level

9-12/Sec V

This lesson and activity can take 60-75 minutes, though might take less. Consider having additional plans prepared in case the lesson does not require an entire period/class to complete.

Learning Goals

Lesson Outline 

Lesson Materials

Learning from Indigenous Peoples Slideshow

Note: A Google Slides version of the slideshow is available here with all speaker notes.

Learning from Indigenous Peoples Handout

Lesson Steps

  1. Welcome students and complete any opening routines you usually do as a class.

  2. Use the “thinking question” on slide 1 as an opener and allow time for students to prepare their responses. Have students share their responses aloud and/or write their responses on a small piece of paper (or both—writing then sharing). Ask students what impacted their choices of selected time periods. 

  3. Introduce This Place: 150 Years Retold by asking the students to think about the title and the images on the cover of the book (on slide 2). Invite students to predict what the book may be about based on the title and cover.

  4. Use slides 3-5 to share more with the students about the book, including the content, key terms, and the author of the foreword.

  5. Share with students the importance of this resource: allowing Indigenous voices to share about Indigenous experiences, which has not always been accessible in schools, but is through a text such as this graphic novel.

  6. Give a copy of the printed handout to each student.

  7. Read the foreword (handout) to the students.

  8. Have the students read the handout again on their own and complete the tasks on slide 7 as they read it.

  9. Circulate to ensure students complete the task and to support with any questions they might have.

  10. Identify common responses such as words they were unsure of, and provide the definitions to the class.

  11. As a closing task, have students independently complete the two questions from slide 8 on a piece of paper. This could be a reflection that is kept private to the student or that the teacher collects to read privately for additional context—if doing the latter, ensure students know this ahead of time.