Lesson Plan: Terminology

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. 

Recommended Grade Level

9-12/Sec II-V

This lesson will likely take 60-75 minutes.

Learning Goals
Note for teachers about cultural safety

Avoid asking open-ended questions that require students to share back their responses to the entire class when completing introductory learning about Indigenous Peoples.  This will help to avoid any incorrect and/harmful responses entering the classroom environment.  Use multiple days and individual activities to get to know more about each student’s prior knowledge and learning about Indigenous Peoples before engaging in whole class discussions about topics related to Indigenous Peoples.  Activities such as the terminology chart and terminology reflections within this lesson are examples of ways to get to know more about student prior knowledge.  Providing students with opportunities to individually respond on paper is a safer way to get to know student understanding and correct any misinformed and/or harmful information they may have.

Lesson Outline 

Lesson Materials

Terminology Slideshow

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

Terminology SlideshowDownload
Terminology Chart Handout
Terminology Chart HandoutDownload
Terminology Reflection Handout
Terminology Reflection HandoutDownload

Lesson Steps

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

  2. Use slide 1 to remind/inform students about the groups included in the term “Indigenous.”

  3. Handout a copy of the terminology chart to each student and have them read page 1 and follow the instructions on slide 2.  Walk around the classroom and view and/or support student work.

  4. Share common questions with the class and provide information to support their understanding.  Or the video on slide 3 may have answers to their questions as well.

  5. Show video on slide 3.

  6. Remind students that terminology will vary, but that some terms are no longer used or only used in specific circumstances.  Use slides 4-5 to help reinforce these messages and that many Indigenous Nations are using their names for themselves in their own language. Ensure that you include that not every Indigenous person will be aware of the name of their Nation in their language as the impacts of assimilation in Canada have resulted in many Indigenous Peoples without access to learning their languages.

  7. Have students read page 2 of the terminology chart handout and follow the instructions on slide 6.

  8. Circulate the classroom and review student work, then share further information to questions from students.

  9. Lead students through slides 7 to 11 to share more about Indigenous populations, including the video on slide 8.

  10. Have students use their terminology charts to complete the questions on the terminology reflection handout.
Optional Extension Activity

Have students read the following website and write and/or share their reflections on their learning from the information:

The Daily — Indigenous population continues to grow and is much younger than the non-Indigenous population, although the pace of growth has slowed

Additional Resources