Bamboo Shoots: Chinese Canadian Legacies in B.C.

Overview: Bamboo Shoots was born out of a provincial apology for historical wrongs against Chinese Canadians. It’s a set of learning resources designed to present a more complete history of Chinese Canadians in B.C. which will help students understand how Chinese Canadians in B.C.:

  • Persevered through harsh conditions
  • Contributed to the development of the province
  • Built legacies that live on today

The Challenge: To provide teachers of Grades 5 and 10 students with educational materials that would help them feel comfortable teaching about the issue of historical wrongs in their classes. The resource needed to be distributed online – yet remain tangible to engage students’ historical thinking ability.

The Approach: This was no typical lesson plan development – a more creative process was required so that the lessons could evolve as historical evidence and artifacts were uncovered.

Early on, the OSBC team of instructional designers, writers, web developers and desktop publishers partnered with:

  • The Legacy Initiatives Advisory Council (members of the Chinese Canadian community who volunteered to advise on all of the legacy initiatives)
  • B.C. teachers specializing in historical thinking
  • B.C. historians
  • Staff at the Royal BC Museum including curators, archivists and learning specialists

The Outcome: After 10 months of development, Bamboo Shoots was launched – it includes:

  • Printable lesson plans
  • A timeline game template
  • An archive of photographs, artifacts from daily life, excerpts from legislation, and news articles
  • Video and audio interviews / stories
  • Posters for the classroom
  • Assessment tools
  • An outreach kit of physical objects available on loan through the Royal BC Museum

The resource effectively puts the events of Chinese Canadian history in the hands of students, who will use historical thinking skills to actively build their understanding from primary source materials – online, but touchable.