Chapter 5: The Canol Project

Lesson #5 (~ 21Kb pdf file)


A Warm-Up activity asks students to complete a "K-W-L" chart that outlines what they already know about the Canol project and what they wonder about. Students then review the text and photos, while completing some Key Notes. In small groups students then design and complete a Mind Map that highlights key ideas from this section. Each group then presents their Mind Maps to the class. Finally, students complete the third column of their K-W-L chart, which asks them to list what new things they have learned about the Canol project.


Flip Chart paper and markers
B.L.M. 5.1 "K-W-L Chart" (~ 10Kb pdf file)
B.L.M. 5.2 "Mind Map" (~ 10Kb pdf file)


1 ½ - 2 hours


K-W-L Chart

  1. Begin with a class K-W-L exercise. This involves first finding out what the students already know (K-Knowledge) about the Canol project. Distribute B.L.M. 5.1 "K-W-L Chart" and ask students to fill their charts in as you discover what the class already knows. Some questions to elicit their previous knowledge should include:
    • Does anyone know what Canol stands for?
    • What do they know about the Canol project?
    • Where was it?
    • Has anyone been up there? (or traveled along the South or North Canol road?
  2. Once students have shared as much as they know about the Canol project (this may be quite a lot or very little depending on the class) ask students to list any questions they may have about it in the "W" (What I Wonder About) section of their charts. Students can then share what they’ve written with the class.
  3. The final section of the chart "L"-(What I’ve Learned) will be completed in the Wrap-Up section of this lesson.


Mind Map

  1. Begin by reviewing the text and photos for this section. Students should be encouraged to write some "Key Notes" from this section as they review it. Possible subtitles for the Key Notes might be:
    • What was the purpose of the Canol project?
    • Why did it seem to be a good idea initially?
    • What were some of the challenges?
    • Why was it considered "highly controversial"? (in Canada? In the USA?)
    • What eventually happened with the project?
    • What can be learned from the challenges of this project?
  2. Divide the class into small groups, and distribute flip chart paper and markers to each group. Using their Key Notes as well as the actual text and photos from the site, ask students to complete a Mind Map (on the flip chart paper) that portrays key elements of the Canol project.
  3. The B.L.M. 5.2 can be distributed as an example of how they could design their maps. (numerous variations are possible and groups should be encouraged to use the B.L.M. as an "example" only).
  4. Ask each group to present their maps to the class. Teachers should encourage questions from the class for each group following each presentation.


What I’ve Learned and Final Discussion

  1. Ask students to return to their K-W-L charts and complete the final column "What I’ve Learned".
  2. Once they have completed this section encourage students to share with the class one new thing they have each learned.
  3. As a final discussion point, ask students to share what thoughts they might have if a second similar Canol project were to be considered again.


  1. Assign a research project for students on the current proposed oil pipeline projects here in the north. Students should consider what similarities and differences there are between the current projects proposed and those of the Canol project.
  2. Invite an expert in to share with the class what the current state of affairs is in terms of oil development in the North. Students should prepare questions for the guest ahead of time. (suggestions of guests to invite might also include the Yukon’s Member of Parliament, a First Nations Elder, a member of the Mackenzie Valley Hearings, etc.)


  1. Students’ K-W-L charts could be collected for marking.
  2. The Mind Mapping exercise could also be assessed based on such things as: how well the groups worked together, quality of the actual Mind Map, quality of the presentation to the class.
  3. Students’ Key Notes could also be collected for marking.