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The Fur Trade Cafe

  • Political History
  • Intermediate – Middle School

This Learning Tool appears in 2 Collections

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Your group has been transported back though time to the period of the Fur Trade in Canada (prior to Confederation). Your goal will be to create and perform a dramatic presentation to share your perspective of the social and economic impact of the fur trade through the eyes of your assigned role-playing characters. Your dramatic presentation will be the only way your classmates will develop a true understanding of the impact of the fur trade on your group.

Note: this assignment is ideal as a cross-curricular project for Social Studies, Language Arts, Computers, Foods, and Drama.


  • To demonstrate the ability to examine an issue through other perspectives
  • To demonstrate inquiry and decision making skills
  • To demonstrate the ability to research using internet and primary sources
  • To demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively
  • To demonstrate the ability to use oral presentation skills



1. Introduction: Read a story with multiple narrative perspectives. Have students share the various perspectives they notice in the story. Discuss what determines our perspective, introduce the concepts of bias and point of view.

2. Development and Method: Divide students into groups of four and assign a Fur Trade group to each. Explain to student they will be researching the role their group played in the fur trade as well as the social and economic impact of the fur trade on them. Assign roles to group members and give them a research deadline. As a group, students should create focus questions based on the social and economic impact of the fur trade on their group.  

After completing the research portion students will use their information to create a dramatic presentation of the fur trade from the perspective of their group. Allot time for the preparation and writing of their dramatic presentation. Students should be encouraged to look for props, costumes, and music to make the presentation as realistic as possible. Students may be encouraged to bring food (representative of their group) to place on each ‘café’ table for presentation day. On presentation day arrange the desks in groups of four, cover with tablecloths (a large room would be ideal) and arrange the stage area.