CBC Through the Years: Radio: The Early Days

What impact has radio had on the CBC and the development of culture or identity in Canada?


Grade, level

Grade 12, University Preparation

Subject(s)

Canadian and World Studies, History, CHI4U

Time

75 minutes


Ontario curriculum expectations  
Canadian and World Studies: Grade 12: Canada: History, Identity, and Culture, University Preparation: Specific expectation(s)
A. Historical Inquiry and Skill Development
A1. Historical Inquiry — use the historical inquiry process and the concepts of historical thinking when investigating aspects of Canadian history, with a focus on the development of identity and culture
A1.1 formulate different types of questions to guide investigations into issues, events, and/or developments in Canadian history, with a focus on the development of identity and culture
A1.2 select and organize relevant evidence and information on aspects of Canadian history from a variety of primary and secondary sources, ensuring that their sources reflect a range of perspectives
A1.3 assess the credibility of sources and information relevant to their investigations
A1.4 interpret and analyse evidence and information relevant to their investigations, using various tools, strategies, and approaches appropriate for historical inquiry
A1.7 evaluate and synthesize their findings to formulate conclusions and/or make informed judgements or predictions about the issues, events, and/or developments they are investigating
A1.9 use accepted forms of documentation
D. Canada, 1867-1945
D1. Setting the Context — analyse various social/cultural, economic, and political events, trends, and/or developments in Canada since 1945 and their impact on the development of the country
D1.2 analyse ways in which technological and/or scientific developments during this period contributed to the development of identity in Canada
D1.3 describe a variety of developments in the arts and popular culture in Canada during this period, and explain how arts and popular culture contributed to the development of heritage and identity in Canada
D1.5 analyse how key political developments during this period contributed to the development of Canada, including the development of identity in Canada
D1.6 analyse a variety of government policies during this period, with a focus on how they expanded the role of government in the lives of people in Canada

Lesson overview

Essential question

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.

Instructional goals

Learning intentions

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.

Success criteria

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

Students have…

  • 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.

Classroom organization

Classroom setup

Standard classroom setup for direct instruction and reading and writing activities.

Classroom supplies

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).

Accommodation-differentiation

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)

  1. Before class, set up class for stations activity and prepare to present a short radio broadcast clip from 1927.
  2. Introduce the lesson’s essential question.
  3. 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?).
  4. 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.
  5. 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?”
  6. 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)

The Canadian Radio League (9m46s)

CBC Digital Archives, October 25, 1961

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”:

A short history of CBC Radio (8m27s)

CBC Digital Archives, July 1, 1967

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.

Assessment

As learning

Writing assignment.

For learning

Think-pair-share discussion activity.

Resources and handouts

Resources

1900: Canadian makes first wireless radio transmission (6m57s)

CBC Digital Archives, October 16, 1979

CBC/Radio-Canada

The Canadian Encyclopedia, April 9, 2012

Founding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

The Canadian Encyclopedia, May 25, 2013

The Canadian Radio League (9m46s)

CBC Digital Archives, October 25, 1961

A short history of CBC Radio (8m27s)

CBC Digital Archives, July 1, 1967

Additional resources

75 Years of CBC Radio

YouTube/CBC: Former CBC audio technician Alf Spence believes CBC Radio is what has held Canada together for the past 75 years.

Radio in Canada – Statistics & Facts

Statista, November 28, 2019

Handouts

  • Through the Years timeline (if not enough technology is available for students to view it together in pairs).

References

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/