What impact has radio had on the CBC and the development of culture or identity in Canada?
The lesson and its essential question and success criteria directly follow curriculum expectations within strand D of the university preparation course “Canada: History, Identity, and Culture” (CHI4U). The specific expectations followed are D1.1, D.1.3, D.1.5, and D1.6.
Today I will…
- review the impact of radio broadcasting technology in Canada;
- examine the motivations for why the CBC was founded;
- consider how radio has shaped the development of culture or identity in Canada.
After the lesson, students can…
- describe the impact of radio broadcasting technology on the development of culture in Canada;
- understand the motivations for why the CBC was founded;
- judge the value of the efforts by the Canadian government to promote and protect Canadian culture during this period.
Prior knowledge activation
- a significant understanding of historical events in Canada from 1867-1945;
- an understanding of the broadcast industry, including how mass communications technologies like radio, television and the internet distribute content;
- significant ability to identify media forms and to explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning;
- significant ability to reflect on a variety of media texts created for different purposes and audiences, and the ability to use appropriate forms, conventions and techniques to analyze them.
Standard classroom setup for direct instruction and reading and writing activities.
Projector, slideshow with multimedia elements (including audio/video), paper, pencils/pens.
Student technology integration
Internet connection, smartphone, Chromebook or laptop with access to a word processing program for note-taking (shared among students if necessary, and as required for those with Individual Education Plans).
Assistive technology, computer options (audio/video), multi-sensory presentation, extended time for processing, oral responses, predictable environment, ability grouping, strategic seating.
Three-act lesson plan
Act I (5 minutes)
Introductory Hook (10 minutes)
- Before class, set up class for stations activity and prepare to present a short radio broadcast clip from 1927.
- Introduce the lesson’s essential question.
- As a classroom discussion prompt, conduct an informal survey and ask, “How many of you listen to the radio?” You may want to follow up with individual students or conduct another informal survey by asking how students listen to the radio (traditionally, via satellite, via internet, or by downloadable podcasts?).
- Continue with the classroom discussion: ask students, “What kind of audio or talk shows do you listen to? And why?” Once a variety of opinions have been shared, along move on to the next question.
- If no one has yet mentioned CBC Radio, ask students, “How many of you listen to CBC Radio? What kind of CBC audio or talk shows do you listen to? And why?”
- Close the discussion and tease the upcoming lesson content by explaining that Canada played a major role in the development of radio as we know it, and that the CBC was created to protect Canadians from American influence. Set up and then play the 1927 Diamond Jubilee broadcast, the oldest surviving audio in the CBC archives, and one of the first significant Canadian national broadcasts:
Act II: Activities (35 minutes)
Direct Instruction (10 minutes)
Think-Pair-Share (25 minutes)
Act III: Closure (30 minutes)
Explain the writing task ahead tied to a video screening. Students will be using their notes from the video and the lesson content to answer one of three questions in writing, individually:
- How did CBC Radio change the social attitudes and values and the development of Canada before the advent of television?
- When listening to the highlights of CBC Radio’s early history, whose voices and stories were present, and whose voices were missing?
- What should the role of government be in promoting and protecting culture?
Ask students to now watch “A short history of CBC Radio”:
At the end of the video, students will have until the end of class to write a response to one of three questions posed. Around one to two pages, up to 500 words is expected. This can be submitted digitally or by hand to the instructor by the end of class.
Think-pair-share discussion activity.
Resources and handouts
CBC Digital Archives, October 16, 1979
RCI, December 1, 2015
The Canadian Encyclopedia, April 9, 2012
The Canadian Encyclopedia, May 25, 2013
YouTube/CBC: Former CBC audio technician Alf Spence believes CBC Radio is what has held Canada together for the past 75 years.
Statista, November 28, 2019
- Through the Years timeline (if not enough technology is available for students to view it together in pairs).
Bonikowsky, L.N. (2013). Founding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). The Canadian Encylcopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/founding-of-the-cbc-feature
CBC. (2011, November 1). 75 Years of CBC Radio | CBC [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHEOmhq37U4
CBC Digital Archives. (1927). 1927: Diamond Jubilee broadcast links Canadians. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/1927-diamond-jubilee-broadcast-links-canadians
CBC Digital Archives. (1961). The Canadian Radio League. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/the-canadian-radio-league
CBC Digital Archives. (1967). A short history of CBC Radio. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/a-short-history-of-cbc-radio
CBC Digital Archives. (1979). 1900: Canadian makes first wireless radio transmission. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/1900-canadian-makes-first-wireless-radio-transmission
Eaman, R.A. (2012). CBC/Radio-Canada. The Canadian Encylcopedia. Retrieved from https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-broadcasting-corporation
Montgomery, M. (2015). History, December 1, 1919 -The first official radio station. RCInet.ca. Retrieved from https://www.rcinet.ca/en/2015/12/01/history-december-1-1919-the-first-official-radio-station/
Parks Canada. (n.d.). Early Commercial Radio Broadcasting in Canada, 1918-1932. Retrieved from https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/culture/clmhc-hsmbc/res/doc/information-backgrounder/diffusion-radio-broadcasting
Watson, A. (2019, November 28). Radio in Canada – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/topics/2978/radio-in-canada/