What do you know about BC’s kermode bear? History of Nat Bailey Stadium of BC? Or Canada’s longest canyon? Do you want your students to understand the rich diversity of BC’s peoples and how the natural environment has shaped BC’s history and perceptions? How the BC economy relies on primary resources and global markets? Looking for primary resources on topics on BC’s history? Then check out KnowBC’s rich collection of resources that are specific to our province.
The cornerstone of this local digital collection from KnowBC.com is the Encyclopedia of British Columbia. However, there are many new valuable additions to its online digital collection to supplement this extensive encyclopedia. This useful, and most importantly, local information resource collection would be an excellent addition to any of our Social Studies classrooms across BC.
The Encyclopedia of BC will be familiar to many, as it has been a staple of most school libraries in BC over the last decade. Since becoming digital, and living on the web, the encyclopedia is kept up to date, expanded frequently, and offers much multi-media to browse and enjoy. With over 4000 entries, 1500 photos, maps, charts, tables and hundreds of historical movie clips, this resource will offer something your students will not find anywhere else. The encyclopedia is extensive in its detailed information, from 100 best places in BC, to little known facts and details that would surprise anyone. The digital resource is coupled with curriculum links, model lessons, themes, and even a quiz to test your knowledge about BC. It is written at a level that maintains accessibility from the intermediate grades all the way to senior secondary.
Use this Encyclopedia with your Social Studies classroom to further explore topics like:
- First Nations communities in BC
- Settlement and distribution across BC
- History of BC and its confederation with the rest of Canada
- Early exploration of BC by European Explorers
- All 550 Provincial Parks and their history
- Key facts and figures about British Columbia
- Biographies of some of our most important citizens
- Video footage of key people, places and events around BC
On top of the multi-media, the ongoing addition of new articles, and the easy to search and browse index, the Encyclopedia of BC has many immediately useful additions such as:
- Teacher Resources – This section will help you design and craft engaging and insightful lessons for your students. There are Prescribed Learning Outcomes (PLOs) organized by grade and subject level, and connected to specific topics within the database. Also provided for teachers is a sample model lesson plan, and pre-written essay topics and themes.
- BC Facts – Want to become the quiz-master in your class? This section of the Encyclopedia is packed full of interesting statistics, little known facts, milestones in our history, and even “100 best things about BC”
- KnowBC Quiz – The ultimate way to test your students knowledge! After exploring and using this Encyclopedia, you and your students can test your knowledge to see how well you would do with the people, places and things of BC.
The Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest is a fully searchable and photographic based digital encyclopedia of the marine ecosystems and organisms of BC. Compiled over 28 years, this extensive and definitive guide will help your students who are exploring and learning about marine life and ecosystems. There is much available, from younger early explorations in the intermediate grades to more specific and detailed examinations as part of the senior science and biology curriculum. The hierarchical organization allows your students to easily browse and search through the vast collection to zoom into only the animals or plants that they are interested in. Coupled with amazing photographs and very detailed information, you will find your students going above and beyond their research to browse and learn on their own.
SUGGESTED USAGE:Using this graphical and information rich database of the marine organisms, your students can use this online database to:
- Learn and share what they learned about a specific invertebrates with the rest of the class
- Explore a different ecosystem and map out the many different types of organisms that call it home
- Become and expert on one type of marine animal
- Create a presentation that will expand upon what they’ve learned about the marine life around BC.
- Create their own database entry on a marine animal that is not in this online collection.
The intensive graphical component of this database is its best feature. For every animal, organism, plant or ‘other’ marine life, this resource has fantastic images, maps and descriptions. Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest is a comprehensive collection that does not exist anywhere else and could be a great resource for your future marine biologist.
Have you ever wondered why that town has that name? Or why a bay is named after some little known person? This collection digs deep into the history of our province, examining how things got named what they did. For example, “in 1934, Foul Bay was renamed Gonzales Bay after residents complained the name was ‘disgusting’ and ‘vile.’ The original name, however, referred to the bay’s poor holding qualities as an anchorage, not to its odour (as local homeowners assumed).” The Encyclopedia of Raincoast Place Names offers not just a story behind the place, but a glimpse into the foundations that helped build this province. Students will be able to explore more than 4,000 entries, with pictures, links, maps and wonderful stories that will help them connect with their local region and greater province.
- Have your students research the history of a small town in BC, presenting their learning to the rest of the class.
- Explore a new part of BC’s coast every week, profiling and virtually travelling there through this information resource and the greater Internet
- Have students reach out to a small town and connect with residents there to learn more about their home and history.
Similiar to the Encyclopedia of British Columbia, this online database provides extra sections that would be useful to your students. Offering an opportunity to ‘learn what you didn’t know’, students can take the Quiz, or explore the very interesting “Did you Know” section. There are also ‘featured & selected articles’ that can be used to entice reluctant readers and students who may not be so adventurous in their explorations. This resource would be suitable for intermediate to secondary students.
Lilies and Fireweed is a very specialized and unique resource that will appeal to your students who are looking for more personal stories about Women in British Columbia’s history. Based on the seminal series, the “Raincoast Chronicles”, after 14 re-prints, this collection is now available in digital format for easy searching and browsing. The style of this information rich resource is accessible and story based, re-telling the experiences of frontier women who helped shaped this wild province. There are many inspirational stories of fortitude, courage and bravery that mark the experiences of women in this valuable online database.
- Have your students browse and select one of the founding women of British Columbia, documenting their experiences, sacrifices and challenges that were faced by women of that era.
- Students can select a chapter to explore, looking for unanswered or unknown aspects that they can follow up on, using this resource as a starting point to primary document research.
- Students can review the history of Women’s rights and the suffragist movement in British Columbia, presenting their learning about the development of civil rights in B.C.
By far, the best aspect of this resource is the narrative style of writing that tells us the stories of these amazing women and their incredible experiences across British Columbia. The stories are instantly engaging and very accessible for your secondary humanities students. Each chapter is coupled with unique and rare images documenting life and families from British Columbia’s early history.
Did you know that British Columbia once ran wild with Camels? You could learn a lot more about this and other fascinating aspects about B.C’s history and development. This detailed and comprehensive history of B.C. was written to appeal to younger readers with excellent illustrations, maps, time-lines and extra features that will help any teacher bring the history of B.C. alive. This information rich resource covers the entire history of B.C. from early First Nations civilizations to modern times, weaving a narrative of exploration and survival.
- Using this extensive research tool, explore the history and development of British Columbia, telling a story to the rest of your class about what you’ve learned.
- Research your home town, finding out something that you and your class did not know before. Share your stories online to increase awareness about your local community.
- Plan a road-trip around the province. Highlight where you plan on stopping and why.
Far West offers something that none of these other resources do, a comprehensive look at our shared history, experiences, and province. Far West is a detailed and graphical exploration of where we’ve come from and how far we have travelled. This information rich digital e-book is a glimpse into the way things were, told through the perspective of those that lived it. An engaging and insightful resource that would help any intermediate/secondary social studies classroom.
Where Mountains Meet the Sea is an ongoing glimpse into the crafting of a encyclopedia. Each week, author Daniel Francis, who also wrote the Encyclopedia of BC, will publish another section of this exploration. The focus of this digital project is to create a comprehensive account of the history, people and places around the coastal sections of British Columbia. So far there are four chapters released for our consumption, and more on the way. The inspiration for this digital resource is to not only tell the story of the coast for students today, but to demonstrate a new model of publishing, working in public and sharing the work online.
- Students can use this growing resource to supplement their research on B.C.’s early history, documenting the way of life of the First Nations Communities along the coast.
- Students can research the stories of first contact between First Nations Peoples and the early European explorers, looking for events that formed early relationships or challenges.
- Choose a First Nations community along the Coast and research its way of life, sustance strategies and culture.
- Create a map of the coast of B.C., highlighting early developments, large communities and early explorations of European explorers.
The most interesting aspect of this encyclopedia is its ongoing development with new chapters being released all the time. Students can keep coming back to this resource as it expands, learning about later developments in B.C.’s history. While this resource is primarily text-based, it would be very suitable for secondary students who would like to supplement their learning with narrative based stories and anecdotes from this award winning author.
Where can you find these resources to use at school or at home?
Usually, your district or school will have a Database launch page, with links to all of the online databases that are available through the ERAC Bundle. You can also contact your ERAC District Contract using this page here to ensure your usernames and passwords are up to date!
ERAC is also able to provide further resources to help you and your students. We have: