Canadian Pacific Railroad Historical Analysis


Explore the development of Western Canada by analyzing the song The Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot, who is an icon of Canadian pride and historical reference. This assignment can be used as a History, Media Literacy or Art mark depending on your curriculum.

Follow up activity includes a reference to the picture book “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” by Gordon Lightfoot (Author), Ian Wallace (Illustrator). This activity is not mandatory and the book is found in most public libraries.

This assignment asks students to deconstruct the song lyrics and then create a summative task that represents their understanding.

Students are provided with three summative task options:

-Photo Essay

-Hand Drawn Illustration

-Tableaux Creation

***Lyrics and song file NOT included due to copyright. Teacher will have to find the song and lyrics . A hyperlink to the lyrics are included.***


-Detailed lesson plan

-Background information

-Discussion questions

-Exit Pass

-CPR Summative Task

-Assessment Success Criteria

This Assignment Is Also Found In This Unit

Canadian History Bundle 1850-1914

Complete Canadian History Teaching Units

New France, British North America, War of 1812 and The Rebellions 1713-1850

Confederation, Western Canada and Changing Society 1850-1914

***********Teacher Feedback******************

1. “This is exactly what I needed! I love the variety of options for showing their learning. I never knew there was a picture book version of this song. So excited to share this with my class. The teacher notes and student criteria are all very well laid out. Thank you!”

2. “This has always been one of my favourite songs and this activity helped make it come alive for my students! Thank you :)”

3. “This was a fun project for my students as they learned Canadian history. Like the deconstruction of the lyrics. The students enjoyed the music.”


Customer Tips

Sign up now for our monthly teaching newsletter and get exclusive free teaching resources delivered to your inbox each month. Click Here To Sign Up