The Quebec Centenaries
Silent Cinema in Quebec, 1896-1930
The Quebec Centenaries
This activity invites students to compare the media coverage of Quebec City’s three hundredth anniversary in 1908 and the four hundredth anniversary in 2008 by using a Power Point presentation.
This activity is oriented towards students in secondary 3 and 4 for classes in History and French.
Introduction and Objectives
In 1608, Champlain founded Quebec City. In 2008, the 400th anniversary of its founding was commemorated with festivities. As they did in 1908 celebrating the 300th anniversary, the 400th anniversary festivities gave rise to a number of debates on the meaning of this celebration and its content. Some even spoke of political exploitation.
In this activity students are expected to study and analyse the content of the two celebrations and identify which elements have changed and which have remained the same.
Length: 2 sessions, 60 minutes each.
Sources: The newspapers La Patrie, The Quebec Chronicle and Le Canard.
To start, screen a clip from the opening of the 400th anniversary ceremony, followed by images of the 300th. You could also show them press clippings that you selected beforehand.
Students should break off into groups of 2 or 3.
Instruct students to find information on the 300th and 400th anniversary celebrations and photos to illustrate their PowerPoint presentations. There are many sources for the 400th anniversary events. For the 300th, students can search the section “News Events on Film” for film stills of the celebration.
Students can also browse the on‐line media database in PDF format on the “Silent Cinema in Quebec” website. Time permitting, students can also do more research by using the search engine available on the site, as well as browsing newspapers and periodicals published during the 300th anniversary celebrations, found on‐line in PDF format at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec website.
To facilitate the task of contrasting and comparing the two celebrations, students need to classify the information they gather according to the lines of inquiry proposed below.
Ensure students have access to the necessary resources for producing a Power Point presentation. If these are unavailable, a second option is to create a poster (once the information is collected), which can be easily done in class.
Students will do the same kind of research for the 400th anniversary, but directly on the Internet. When students classify the information, ensure that both events are done in the same manner to make comparison easier.
The PowerPoint presentations (or poster) can be done in parallel or in succession. In parallel has the advantage of making the differences and similarities of these celebrations (which have taken place one century apart) more evident.
Group Review of the Activity
Once the presentations are completed, review the content of the 300th and 400th anniversary celebrations. If you want to push the students’ thinking a little further, the following questions could be considered: