This unit has been developed to accompany the Mountaineering Section of the Mount Logan site on the Virtual Museum of Canada, specifically involving the Evolution of Climbing Equipment and the 1925 Climb subsections.. It may be used as part of the overall educational program developed for the Mount Logan site, as an independent unit, or as part of a Social Studies/History unit focusing on climbing history. The curriculum links provided are from the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education (WNCP), and Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework, and are one way of using the unit. However, you may adapt the unit to your grade level or your class’s focus and abilities.

Studying changes in our society over the past hundred years is often best done by finding a single activity and then following the changes in that activity over a specific time period. Studying the history of climbing Mount Logan and the development of climbing equipment is one such activity, which touches on changes in social structures, aircraft and technology, communication, and more. It is an excellent means of developing understanding in students of how a myriad of small social and technological changes leads to very different lifestyles and social structures over decades. And more than that, it's interesting and it's fun!

Lesson plans offered:

Lesson One: Evolution of Climbing Equipment One
Lesson Two: Planning your own Climb
Lesson Three: Meeting the Mountain
Lesson Four: The Story of the 1925 Climb
Lesson Five: Meet the Climbers
Lesson Six: Personalizing the Climb and Storytelling

Suggested extensions:

Find out if there is a climbing wall operating in your community. Plan a field trip in which students will be able to try out some of the harnesses, ropes, etc. in an introductory climb. Or, plan a PE unit on bouldering led by an expert in your community. Many people are interested in working with youth to get them interested in a new sport or activity. Build community connections and use the expertise that’s out there.

Curricular Links:

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education – Aboriginal Language and Culture Project.

This unit may be used to partially or completely satisfy the following areas:

Grade 7

Discover and Explore
  • Express Ideas: use exploratory language to discuss and record a variety of opinions and conclusions
  • Consider Others Ideas: compare own and others insights and viewpoints
  • Experiment with Language and Forms: expand self-expression in oral, written, and visual forms
  • Express Preferences: explore oral, print, and other media texts recommended by peers
  • Set Goals: use appropriate terminology to discuss developing abilities in personal language learning and use

Clarify and Extend
  • Develop Understanding: recognize the value of connecting prior and new knowledge and experiences to shape and extend understanding
  • Explain Opinions: summarize and represent personal viewpoints in clear and meaningful ways
  • Combine Ideas: identify or invent personally meaningful ways of organizing ideas and information to clarify and extend understanding
  • Extend Understanding: ask specific and focused questions for elaboration and clarification; engage in dialogue about experiences and understanding

Understanding Forms and Techniques
  • Techniques and Elements: examine techniques of plot development [such as narrative hooks, conflict, resolution, surprise endings] and of persuasion [such as testimonials, emotional appeals, bandwagon effects] in oral, print, and other media texts
  • Vocabulary :recognize uses and abuses of slang, colloquialism, and jargon
  • Experiment with Language: identify surprising and playful uses of language in oral, literary, and media texts; explain ways in which figures of speech convey meaning
  • Create Original Texts: create original texts (such as cartoon sequences, dialogues, short stories, letters, video presentations) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques

Enhance and Improve
  • Appraise Own and Others Work: appraise own and others work using appropriate criteria and suggest revisions to own and others work using a variety of strategies (such as peer editing, checklists)
  • Revise Content: revise to create effective sentences that convey content clearly and generate reader interest

Present and Share
  • Share Ideas and Information: facilitate small-group activities and short, whole-class sessions to share information on a topic using established active learning strategies (such as role-plays, language games, simulations)
  • Effective Oral and Visual Communication: present short oral presentations and reports using verbal and non-verbal cues (such as diction, pacing, presence, facial expression, gestures) to focus audience attention; project emotion appropriate to the subject and point of view
  • Attentive Listening and Viewing: demonstrate critical listening and viewing behaviours (such as evaluating content, quality, presentation delivery) and show respect for the presenter (such as showing attentiveness, participating in audience activities)

Encourage, Support, and Work with Others
  • Cooperate with Others: contribute to group efforts to reach consensus or conclusions
  • Work in Groups: present group conclusions or findings to classmates

Grade 8

Discover and Explore
  • explore diverse ideas to develop conclusions, opinions, and understanding
  • integrate new understanding with previous viewpoints and interpretations
  • experiment with memorable language to convey personal perceptions, feelings, experiences, thoughts, and ideas in various forms
  • self-monitor growth in language learning and use, using predetermined criteria

Clarify and Extend
  • discuss the importance of reflecting on prior experiences and knowledge to revise conclusions and understanding
  • articulate, represent, and explain personal viewpoints clearly

Understanding Forms and Techniques
  • demonstrate appreciation for the appropriate use of various genres of oral, print, and other media texts according to content, audience, and purpose
  • identify a variety of techniques [such as characterization, word choice, framing, angle...] used to create particular effects or to portray various cultures in oral, print, and other media texts
  • create original texts [such as descriptions, panel discussions, impersonations, collages, time lines, documentary videos, journals or diaries] to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques

Enhance and Improve
  • share own work in a variety of ways; appraise particular aspects [such as word choice, description, language usage, organization, audience appeal] of own and others work using established criteria
  • revise to enhance meaning and effect according to audience and purpose

Present and Share
  • explain, share, and present orally using conventions of public speaking in a variety of settings (such as small-group and whole-class presentations); use visual aids to enhance the effectiveness of oral presentations
  • demonstrate critical listening and viewing behaviours (such as activating prior knowledge, integrating new information, evaluating the effectiveness of the introduction and conclusion) and show respect for the presenter

Encourage, Support, and Work with Others
  • engage in dialogue to understand the feelings and viewpoints of others and contribute to group harmony
  • organize and complete tasks cooperatively

Grade 9

Discover and Explore
  • question and reflect on personal responses and interpretations; apply personal viewpoints to diverse situations or circumstances
  • acknowledge the value of others ideas and opinions in exploring and extending personal interpretations and viewpoints
  • use memorable language effectively and experiment with different personas for dynamic self-expression
  • reflect on attainment of personal goals for effective language learning and use

Clarify and Extend
  • reflect on new understanding in relation to prior knowledge and identify gaps in personal knowledge
  • review and refine personal viewpoints through reflection, feedback, and self-assessment
  • structure and restructure ideas and information to extend current understanding and to broaden personal perspectives of the world

Understanding Forms and Techniques
  • examine the use of a variety of techniques [such as establishing setting, character portrayal, stereotyping] to portray gender, cultures, and socio-economic groups in oral, print, and other media texts
  • create original texts (such as readers theatre, video scripts, debates, editorials, audiotapes with voice and music,advertisements) to communicate and demonstrate understanding of forms and techniques

Present and Share
  • choose vocabulary, voice production factors, and nonverbal cues to communicate effectively to a variety of audiences; use a variety of media and display techniques
  • to enhance the effectiveness of oral presentations
  • demonstrate critical listening and viewing behaviours (such as following the train of thought, noting main points and details, evaluating presentation techniques...) and show respect for the presenter

Encourage, Support, and Work with Others
  • recognize the importance of effective communication in working with others
  • plan, organize, and participate in presentations of group findings

Grade 10

Discover and Explore
  • Express Ideas: consider the potential of emerging ideas through a variety of means (such as talking, mapping, writing journals, rehearsing, drafting, role-playing, brainstorming, sketching) to develop tentative positions
  • Consider Others Ideas: seek and consider others ideas through a variety of means (such as interviews, Internet discussion groups, dialogue) to expand understanding
  • Experiment with Language and Forms: demonstrate a willingness to take risks in language use and experiment with language and forms of expression (such as word choice, dramatic presentations, media interviews)

Clarify and Extend
  • Develop Understanding: clarify and shape understanding by assessing connections between new and prior knowledge, ideas, and experiences
  • Explain Opinions: explain opinions, providing support or reasons; anticipate other viewpoints
  • Combine Ideas connect ideas and experiences through a variety of means to gain understanding when generating and responding to texts
  • Extend Understanding:explore ways in which real and vicarious experiences and various perspectives affect understanding when generating and responding to texts

Understanding Forms and Techniques
  • Forms and Genres recognize the appropriateness of various forms and genres (such as oral presentations, pamphlets, posters) for various audiences and purposes
  • Techniques and Elements explain how various techniques and elements (such as sentence variety, sentence order, point of view, anecdotes, fade or dissolve) are used in oral, print, and other media texts to create particular effects
  • Vocabulary recognize that vocabulary and idiom are influenced by various factors (such as cultures, languages, science, media, technology) select and use register appropriate for context
  • Experiment with Language experiment with language, visuals, and sounds to create effects for particular audiences, purposes, and contexts
  • Create Original Texts create original texts (such as editorials, compact disc covers, displays, essays, photographs, multimedia presentations) to communicate ideas and enhance understanding of forms and techniques

Enhance and Improve
  • Appraise Own and Others Work: appraise drafts of own work and respond to others drafts with constructive suggestions on content, language use, and form
  • Revise Content: analyze and revise drafts to ensure appropriate content, accuracy, clarity, and completeness

Present and Share
  • Share Ideas and Information: present ideas and information using a variety of print and other resources and interactive approaches [such as dramatizations, multimedia presentations, photographs and slides, audiotapes]
  • Effective Oral and Visual Communication: use appropriate voice production factors (such as pitch, tone, pauses) and non-verbal cues (such as gestures, stance, eye contact) to clarify intent in personal and public communication
  • Attentive Listening and Viewing: demonstrate active listening and viewing behaviours (such as observing gender portrayals, inclusion and exclusion, stereotyping, respectful and disrespectful portrayals) to understand and respond to presentations using a variety of means (such as small-group discussion, personal writing)

Encourage, Support, and Work with Others

  • Cooperate with Others: make and encourage contributions (such as making accurate notes, exploring others viewpoints, listening attentively) to assist in developing group ideas; take responsibility for developing and expressing viewpoints
  • Work in Groups demonstrate effective group interaction skills and strategies

Western and Northern Canadian Protocol on Education – Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework

This unit may be used to satisfy or contribute to the following curricular links from the WNCP Social Studies Common Curriculum Framework:

Grade 7

Canada, a Country of the North

Grade 7 students will explore Canada’s northern character. They will consider contemporary and historical issues related to land and resource use, survival, and adaptation to the environment. This consideration will include an exploration of diverse cultural and artistic expressions of Canada’s northernness. Students will examine intercultural contact, the movement of indigenous peoples and immigrants, and the settlement of western and northern Canada. They will explore the settlement of diverse groups and will consider how people changed and were changed by their environments over time. Students will also discover Canada’s connections to other circumpolar regions, including Alaska, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Greenland. Through this inquiry into Canada’s historical influences and northern connections, students will develop an understanding of the complex nature of Canada’s evolving identity. (WNCP 31)

At the Grade 7 Level, this unit satisfies many of the specific learning outcomes regarding an appreciation of northernness through examining our historical approach to one of the most extreme northern environments within our country. They will learn about some of the challenges of existence within a remote environment of extreme cold, storms, wind and high altitude. They will learn why Canada’s north, and specifically the St. Elias Mountains and Mount Logan, have long been of international interest. They will also understand the necessity of neighbourly relationships between the Yukon and Alaska, as access to many backcountry areas necessitates travel in both jurisdictions. They will learn how the evolution of technology allows us to live in more effective ways in the harshness of the northern environment.

Grade 8

Exploring World Views of the Past

Grade 8 students will explore world views of past societies and connections between the past and the present. Students will consider how world views are shaped and how they are expressed by people living in particular times and places. They will examine issues related to contact between societies with differing world views. Students will explore diverse sources of historical information, including oral histories, images, literature, and the arts. Through this inquiry into past societies, students will reflect upon their own world views, assess the influences of the past on the present, and further develop their historical consciousness. Students will explore a historical indigenous society of North America, as well as Mesopotamia or Ancient Egypt; Ancient Greece or Rome; Aztec, Inca, or Maya civilizations; Medieval Europe or Renaissance Europe; Ancient China or Japan. (WNCP 31)

At the Grade 8 level, this unit allows for comparison and contrast of world views between modern Canadian culture and that of 1925. Students gain a perspective and understanding of the motivations and needs of a group of climbers, within the environment of their 1925 society and the dictates thereof. They also become aware of how storytelling in the form of journals, photographs, and historical accounts allows us access to world views of the past. They must put themselves into the position of a 1925 climber to create a fictitious first-hand account of the climb. This unit also allows students to learn about change over time, and realize that minor technological or social changes have far-reaching results and influences, especially cumulatively. They will be able to track the influence of technological changes on social changes.