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Historica Canada Education Portal


  • Sports
  • Secondary – Junior

This lesson plan was created by members of Historica Canada’s teacher community. Historica Canada does not take responsibility for the accuracy or availability of any links herein, and the views reflected in these learning tools may not necessary reflect those of Historica Canada. We welcome feedback regarding the content that may be linked to or included in these learning tools; email us at


Students will research important sporting events in Canadian history and assess their historical significance. The real value of this lesson comes from having students assess the historical value of each sporting event, team, or athlete based on Historical Significance.


To have the students assess sporting events, teams and athletes on the basis of the historical significance.


Sports are an integral part of our culture and are becoming more so each year. Canada has a rich sporting history. Some of the events included in BC’s sesquicentennial, while a significant part of our history, have farther reaching significance than within our provincial borders. Use this lesson to teach students about historical significance and get their attention through their interest in sport.


Time Allowance:
Three 50-minute classes


Part I: Historical Significance Rubric

The first part of this lesson is dedicated to helping students understand the concept and develop the skill of assessing historical significance. Adherence to this part of the lesson depends on how much exposure students have had to this concept.

1. Using the rubric in the worksheet Assessing Historical Significance, work with students in a class discussion format to review or create a shared understanding of the concepts in the rubric.

2. Help students come up with two other ways to determine the value of the historical significance. NOTE: The Historical Significance Handout is not intended to be a definitive rubric to define historical significance; it is merely a tool to be used by students to introduce the concept of historical significance.

Part II: Create Sports Trading Cards – Formative Assessment

1. Allow students to selection Canadian history sporting references (events, athletes, and teams). Provide the attached list of events if necessary, but be advised that this list is BC focused.

2. Using the guidelines on the Trading Card Information handout each student must complete their own research on their particular team, event, or athlete using the links above or their own research.

3. Using their research students should complete the Assessing Historical Significance Rubric for their event, team, or athlete. This will assign a monetary value to the historical significance of the subject of the students event/team/athlete.

4. Create a trading card to represent their sports event, team or athlete using information on the Trading Card Information handout.

Part III: Follow-up Historical Significance Discussion – Summative Assessment

1. Hang the trading cards on the wall or from the ceiling using string so students can peruse both sides of the card. Order the cards according to their historical significance.

2. Follow the activity with a discussion about whether or not students feel that the order of historical significance is correct. Ask why or why not. Have students consider if there are patterns that help determine the order such as context, culture, finances etc. Guide the discussion to considerations of what this exercise teaches us about historical significance. Ask students if they feel that using a dollar value is an appropriate way to assess the significance of a historical figure, team, or event. This assignment can incorporate a more detailed historical research component with a visit to a library or archive.

Trading Card Evaluation Rubric


Supporting documents for this Learning Tool

File type File size Action
Assess Historical Significance Worksheet Word 83 KB Download
List of Events Word 77.5 KB Download
Trading Cards Rubric Word 84.5 KB Download