Information for Teachers

The New Brunswick Literature Curriculum in English (NBLCE) provides teachers with resources to bring New Brunswick literature into the classroom. First, each Author Page has a “Strategies for Teachers” section where educators will find multimedia resources, topics for classroom discussion, teaching strategies, and suggestions for comparative analyses and perspectives.

The material in the “Strategies for Teachers” section of each Author Page is aligned with curriculum outcomes in the Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum: High School (ACELA) and, more broadly, in the Foundations for the Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum. Each teaching suggestion is linked to one or more “Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes.” In the ACELA High School curriculum, Key Stage Curriculum Outcomes represent “what students are expected to know and be able to do” by the end of Grade 12. The teaching suggestions in the New Brunswick Literature Curriculum in English are linked to cumulative key stage outcomes, rather than grade-specific outcomes, to ensure that high school teachers from various grade levels can find suggestions suitable for their classrooms.

Secondary school teachers in New Brunswick and the Atlantic region should also be aware that the ways in which the literary content of the NBLCE has been configured contributes to the Essential Graduation Learnings (EGLs) that underpin all provincial curricula. To fulfill the “Citizenship” EGL, for example, students are expected to assess “cultural . . . interdependence in a local and global context.” Reading and thinking about local and regional literatures, and comparing those with national and international literatures, is a fundamental part of that process. The “Strategies for Teachers” sections of Author Pages have thus been developed with particular attention to the range of EGLs, including reflective, critical, and creative activities.

In addition to the “Strategies for Teachers” section of each Author Page, teachers will find pages that can aid in making the literature both accessible and practical for use in the classroom. Under Resources, teachers will find units of meaning pages – author listing (alphabetical), module listing (chronological), thumbnail sketches, theme listing, unit plans, bibliography, and links – that offer multiple ways to organize, think about, and expand upon the literary and critical content in the NBLCE. Those are described briefly below.

Author Listing provides an alphabetical overview of the writers featured in the NBLCE. The list is intended for teachers, students, or readers who want to quickly locate a specific author or want to foreground authorship rather than literary period or theme.

Module Listing provides a chronological overview of the literary periods and clusters in the NBLCE. The list is intended for teachers, students, or readers who want to survey the periodicity of New Brunswick literature or want to foreground historical period or cluster rather than author or theme.

Thumbnail Sketches provide brief summaries of what to expect in the literature of each literary period or cluster in the NBLCE. The summaries are intended for teachers, students, or readers who want very brief background and contextual information about particular eras or clusters of New Brunswick literature.

Theme Listing provides a list of the significant themes and motifs in New Brunswick literature throughout history. Each theme is accompanied by a corresponding list of works, authors, and modules where that theme is evident. The theme listing is intended for teachers who want to convey to students an understanding of how texts from different periods – including the distant past – have confronted many of the same issues that are affecting New Brunswick today.

Unit Plans provide three sample options for how to organize curricular content to teach an Issues Unit (“Economic Hardship in New Brunswick”), an Author Study Unit (“Alden Nowlan”), and a Concept Unit (“Characterization”). Following the unit plans is a list of suggestions for Culminating Projects should teachers choose to teach a longer unit or an entire course based on the material in this curriculum.

More generally, the NBLCE is designed to support several of the approaches to teaching English that are discussed in the Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum: High School. Specifically, the NBLCE’s Module structure supports “Historical Geographic/Cultural Exploration”; its Author Pages support “Author Study”; and its Theme & Motifs Units support the “Theme” and “Issue” approaches. In addition, the NBLCE’s Modules are already self-contained units if teachers want to organize a whole course or parts of a course around this curriculum. For a full class on New Brunswick literature, teachers can start with the First Nations Story unit and end with Current and Contemporary Voices unit. Alternatively, teachers can cover a particular period of New Brunswick literature in a more general class (for example, they may want to spend four weeks on the Confederation Poets in a class on Canadian literature). Similarly, teachers can also construct “author study” units from individual Author Pages or “Theme” units from the Themes & Motifs section. In other words, everything teachers will need is in the NBLCE, from background materials that establish historical context, to the primary literature, to interpretative frameworks, to classroom strategies.

As well, we encourage teachers to develop their own lesson and unit plans using the content of this curriculum. We have created space for the addition of teacher-created plans in this web resource. Teachers who are interested should contact us (see Credits & Contact). We will work with teachers to shape and publish their plan(s) for the benefit of other users of this resource.

The Bibliography provides a summary of the leading critics of New Brunswick literature in the last three decades (“Key Literary Critics”) and the essential works of literary criticism about New Brunswick (“Key Works of New Brunswick Literary Criticism”). The bibliography is intended for teachers, students, or readers who want an overview of the essential secondary source material of New Brunswick literature.

Links will take readers to supplementary resources that have a direct application to New Brunswick literature and curriculum. Those include critical, curricular, archival, research, and professional resources. The links are intended for teachers, students, or readers who want to range out from the NBLCE to explore proximate sources of information about New Brunswick literature, literary criticism, pedagogy, or public policy.