Let’s Get Started


Canada has a long history of people working hard to achieve their goals. Early in Canada’s history this work was done without the help of elaborate machines. This lesson gives the students an opportunity to think about Canada’s past, and look at the history of its development.

In a pastel drawing, students will create a New Brunswick scene, and how they think it would have looked in Canada’s past. Like Cullen’s man and ox, think about the relationship between the machines and the people portrayed in the image.


Take some time to talk about what types of animals and equipment would have been used early in Canada’s history. Depending on the grade level this discussion will vary greatly. Allow students to have an open discussion about what they think Canada may have been like when the first settlers arrived.  Depending on resources, having a few photographs or paintings (aside from Logging at Beaupre) of early life in Canada can be helpful to students when it comes time for them to create their own image.


Note: Have the example image of Maurice Galbraith Cullen’s, Logging at Beaupré on display for the class to refer to if needed.

  1. This lesson will begin with a general conversation about animals and equipment used in Canada’s past  as a refresher of the previous conversation.
  2. Students will be told that they are going to create their own drawing using oil pastels to representation what they think/interpret a day in the life of a Canadian would have been like earlier in Canada’s history.
  3. Students will be given some time to brainstorm and then will be instructed to begin their drawing. This part of the lesson will be done in pencil so that students can erase any mistakes that are made.
  4. Once the pencil drawing has been completed, the drawing can be coloured in with the oil pastels. Tell students that oil pastels are similar to chalk or crayons, only softer and a bit messier!
  5. After the image has been completed students will have an opportunity to discuss their image with the class. A possible cross-curricular lesson that can be tied in would be to have students create a short story about the scene that is being displayed in their image using what they know about Canada’s history.

Tips and Tricks

Oil pastels can be a bit messy at times and because of this baby wipes can be your best friend. Great for removing marks on tables, and they also work great on fingers!