Social Studies 20-4: Nationalism in Canada and the World
Print Download DOC Download PDF

Contending Nationalist Loyalties

Activity: To Reconcile – Or Not?

Formative Assessment

Throughout this suggested activity, you will support students in achieving the following skill that is the focus for assessment:

The following formative assessment opportunity is provided to help students unpack and develop the focus skill for assessment. Feedback prompts are also provided to help students enhance their demonstration of the focus skill for this activity. Formative assessment support is not intended to generate a grade or score.

Formative Assessment: Assessment for Learning Opportunity

State and Support Position

Engage students in a self-reflection about the persuasiveness of the arguments they used to support their position. Use the feedback prompts below to provide structure in guiding students through this formative assessment opportunity.

Feedback Prompts:

  • Is my evidence focused on the topic?
  • Did I provide enough evidence?
  • Did I provide convincing evidence?

These feedback prompts have been incorporated into the State and Support Position: Student Self-reflection Tool Word, which can be copied or adapted for student use. Samples of tools created for a similar skill within a different formative assessment context may be found in the Social Studies 20-4 Formative Assessment Summary PDF.

Linking to the Summative Assessment Task

  • As students state and support a position as described in the suggested activity To Reconcile – Or Not?, they will have completed the Summative Assessment Task: Contending Nationalist Loyalties Word.
  • Students should consult the assessment task and the assessment task rubric Word to ensure that they have provided the information required.
  • Encourage students to use the feedback received during the formative assessment opportunity to make enhancements to their work in progress.
  • If necessary, continue to use the feedback prompts from the formative assessment opportunity to coach students toward completion of a quality product.
  • If student performance does not yet fall within the three levels described in the summative assessment task rubric, work with the student to formulate a plan to address the student's learning needs.

Students use their selected example of contending nationalist loyalties to provide a context for stating and supporting a position on the extent to which contending nationalist loyalties need to be reconciled.

Instructional Support

A number of possible tasks are provided in this suggested activity. It is not intended that you work through all of the tasks, but rather select those tasks and resources that will best meet the learning needs of your students. The focus should be on ensuring that students have the background and support to be successful with the skill that is the focus for assessment (state and support position).

Setting the Context for Learning

  • Ask students to reflect on how many times a day they use the phrase "I think … because …" in conversation. Point out to students that these are instances in their everyday lives where they are stating and supporting a position.
  • Prompt students to consider instances where someone else says to them "I think ... because …" in conversation. Encourage students to consider what makes them accept or reject the opinions or positions of others. Facilitate students' understanding by making the connection between arriving at a position and having strong (logical, factual, unemotional) evidence to support that position.

State and Support Position

  • Using an example from current events, pose the following question to students: Do contending nationalist loyalties need to be reconciled?
  • Share with students the idea of a continuum for plotting their position. For example, this issue does not lend itself to a yes or no response; students may customize their position to the evidence they choose to use (e.g., provide students with a "To what extent ..." question with examples on the continuum, such as "to a small extent," "to a limited extent," "to a moderate extent," "to a large extent"). There may be specific situations where contending nationalist loyalties need to be reconciled (violence, hate), but other contending nationalist loyalties may provide richness to the social fabric.
  • Working in groups, have students decide on a position and provide reasons to support their position.
  • As a class, discuss the positions and reasons. Encourage students to consider the evidence presented by their classmates and to determine whether or not they would like to modify their position on the issue.
  • As students begin to work on the second part of the summative assessment task, state and support position, remind them that they worked with this skill in the first part of this related issue, What Makes Canada "Canada"? As a class, revisit the strategies and expectations for supporting a position with strong evidence.
  • Post, in the classroom, the list of brainstormed criteria for strong support of a position. Remind students to refer to this list as they develop and support their position.

Suggested Supporting Resources

Textbook References

Student Basic Resource—McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Understanding Nationalism:

  • Pages 62–63 Reconciling Nationalist Loyalties
  • Pages 64–72 How Do Nationalist Loyalties Shape People's Choices?
  • Pages 74–75 Québécois Nationalism Show more
  • Page 75, Figure 3-16: Percentage of Population Speaking French at Home, 1971 and 2001
  • Pages 77–80 How Have People Reconciled Contending Nationalist Loyalties?
  • Pages 84–85 Reconciling Nationalist and Non-Nationalist Loyalties
  • Pages 86–88 What Are Non-Nationalist Loyalties?
  • Pages 96–100 How Have People Reconciled Nationalist and Non-Nationalist Loyalties?
  • Page 344, Figure 15-19: English–French Bilingualism in Canada, 1996–2006 

Teaching Resource—McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Understanding Nationalism:

  • Reproducible 1.3.1 Choosing among Loyalties
  • Reproducible 1.3.2 Affirming Nationalist Loyalties
  • Reproducible 1.3.3 Protecting Language and Culture in Québec Show more
  • Reproducible 1.3.4 Voices
  • Reproducible 1.4.1 My Nationalist and Non-Nationalist Loyalties
  • Reproducible 1.4.3 Reconciling Nationalist and Non-Nationalist Loyalties

Web Resources

Web Links for Online Sources:


Critical Challenges: