Curatorial Thinking Webinar

Defining Moments Canada was thrilled to lead a webinar, hosted by OHASSTA, for teachers across Canada.

Our team is grateful for the participation of all of our fantastic collaborators who shared their insights, experiences, and expertise with all the attendees:

You can watch the webinar recording below and access all the free and bilingual resources mentioned below.

Links and Resources

Application and Assessment Examples

Esri Canada

Esri Canada

There are many resources on creating storymaps here:

If you are looking to get right into making your first one, visit:

If you have some more time, work through this learning path – this is a series of resources geared for first time storymappers:

ArcGIS Tips & Tricks: This resource will help you to get started with searching for storymaps in ArcGIS Online and how to save and share ones you bookmark (favourite).

There are some amazing resources in here to inspire the imagination:

Defining Moments Canada Resources


  1. At the beginning…
  2. A day in the life…
  3. And then one day…
  4. Because of this…
  5. Not only, but also…
  6. Moment of truth…
  7. And ever since that day…


The educational resources created for the Spanish Flu commemoration are a diverse selection of lessons focusing on differing subject disciplines written by Canadian teachers and lessons created in support of the Recovering Canada contest created by the Critical Thinking Consortium. 

Lesson Plans

Storytelling Resources

TEACHING ABOUT JUNO75               

Four lessons were created by the Critical Thinking Consortium to support the Juno75 historical commemoration and employ the 7 Sentence Story Structure. 

  • The first lesson introduces students to the concept of commemorations and begins their thinking about what makes an effective and meaningful commemoration.
  • The second lesson, with multiple entry points, helps students to select the individual for whom they will develop a commemoration and to begin the process of gathering information about their life and contributions.
  • The third lesson provides an (optional) opportunity to take students into greater depth as they learn to do more nuanced analysis of the evidence they have gathered.
  • The fourth and final lesson encourages students to consider how they can best leverage digital resources to create a highly effective commemoration.


The VEDay75 project originally consisted of 4 lessons designed by Craig Brumwell (Kitsilano Secondary School). The lessons require teachers and students to use an inquiry approach to learning, guided by historical thinking concepts and to research, create, and share story maps that address the question, “How did the contributions of Canadians help secure victory in Northwest Europe and Liberation of Holland in 1944-45?” The lessons use the digital resources of Project 44.

  • Lesson 1  introduces students to the concepts of contribution, sacrifice and commemoration and explores the resources and tools of the Project 44 site.
  • Lesson 2  guides students to analyze story maps from the Project 44 site by connecting individual actions to collective accomplishments using the 7 sentence structure and historical thinking concepts.
  • Lesson 3  provides the opportunity for students to design, create and share a story map based on background information on a Canadian servicemen and women who contributed to operations in one of the 6 key cities of this project.
  • Lesson 4  is a creation and curation activity where students build and share their commemorative story maps featuring 6 focus individuals connected to 6 cities in the Netherlands liberated by the First Canadian Army.

fifth lesson was added in Spring 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to create a connection between the resilience shown during the Second World War and the resilience that would be exhibited  during the pandemic (Big idea: Resilience emerges as a critical human quality during globally challenging times). 


This suite of 5 lessons emphasizes transdisciplinary learning, curatorial thinking, and the importance of scientific literacy. Created by Garfield and Laura Gini-Newman, they are centred around the over-arching question “What are the most essential attributes for ground-breaking scientists who impact the future in positive ways?” 

LESSON 1 – The Story of Insulin’s Discovery

Critical Inquiry Question: Which details are most important in re-telling the events leading to the discovery of insulin in order to highlight the key attributes of groundbreaking scientists who make a positive difference for the future?

Critical Inquiry Task: Begin to design the story-board, using Defining Moments Canada’s Seven-Sentence Story Structure, for an inspiring story about the discovery of insulin and the search for a cure to diabetes.

LESSON 2 – Introduction to Curatorial Thinking

Critical Inquiry Question: Can curatorial thinking help to make sense of information and to more effectively create a meaningful story?

Critical Inquiry Task: Organize artifacts so that they tell the story of Fredrick Banting’s life in a way that provides insights into the experiences and influences that helped to make him a ground breaking scientist.

LESSON 3 – Finding a Cure to Diabetes

Critical Inquiry Question: What are the most compelling arguments for prioritizing a cure for diabetes over other medical research objectives? 

Critical Inquiry Task: Construct a compelling argument for a specific audience as to why they should support research into a cure for diabetes.

LESSON 4 – Impact of Diabetes

Critical Inquiry Question: Does diabetes impact the lives of all people in an equitable way?

Critical Inquiry Task: Create a social media post using a platform of your choice to share the 3 most powerful actions that should be taken to equitably improve the health of people diagnosed with diabetes. 

LESSON 5 – Scientific Literacy for All

Critical Inquiry Question: What makes scientific literacy of vital importance to living a healthy life?

Critical Inquiry Task: Using scientific literacy, develop an infographic that highlights the best ways to help someone with diabetes lead the healthiest life achievable.