January 11, 2012
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Create your own party hat

This January 11th, celebrate our country’s founding father by hosting a Sir John A Day birthday bash in your classroom! Check out our party tips for ideas on hosting a great party! Don’t forget to download the party hat template.



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The History of Sir John A.

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Welcome to the blog of the Sir John A Day Project! Check back here for updates on our big event, for tips on throwing a Sir John A Day birthday bash and for tidbits on all other things relating to Sir John A!

Registration and Nation Maker News

The school year is in full swing and fall is well underway! The Sir John A Day team has had a busy school year and we’re eager to tell you all about it! Registration: We are very excited by the number of teachers and other educators who have signed up on the Sir John A Day website for more information. We’ve also received a few early bird emails asking about registration for the contest. Registration will “officially” open in early November, when all of the members on our sign up list will be sent an email, asking them to confirm their participation in the contest. Keep an eye on your inbox for more information! In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns email us at sirjohna@historicacanada.ca ! Nation Maker: “No Macdonald and not one of you would have been a Canadian.” Richard Gwyn. On the evening of Tuesday, September 29th, Random House Canada and Historica Canada joined a group of history lovers and friends to celebrate … Continue reading

Sign up for more information on Sir John A Day HERE

Thank you for signing up at www.sirjohnaday.ca. Stay tuned for further updates about Sir John A Day news, events and teacher resources!
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Historica Canada is the largest charitable organization dedicated to Canadian history, identity and citizenship. Its mandate is to build active and informed citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history, heritage and stories of Canada. Discover the Institute at www.historicacanada.ca.

Advisory Committee:

The Sir John A Macdonald Day Project would like to thank the members of our Advisory Committee for their support in this project:

Special Thanks to:

  • The students of Etienne-Brule Public School, TDSB
  • Julie M. Roberts
  • Mike Ford
  • Francis Chalifour
  • Neysa McLeod, Library and Archives Canada
  • Jean-Pierre Morin, AINC-INAC
  • Random House Canada

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Happy Birthday Sir John A!

Register Your Sir John A. Macdonald Day Celebration

On January 11, 2012, Sir John A. Macdonald turns 197! We’re so excited that you’re interested in celebrating the accomplishments of Canada’s first prime minister and a Father of Confederation by hosting Sir John A Day birthday party with your class.

As a reminder, Sir John A Day is on January 11, 2012. Check out the Sir John A Day website for tips on how to celebrate and start planning with a Sir John A birthday bash with your class! After Sir John A’s big day, share with us how your students marked the birthday and achievements of this critical figure in our nation’s history and your class could win a prize pack including an iPad 2. To enter the contest, submit footage of your event with video* or photographs** to show Canada how your class celebrated Sir John A’s 197th birthday!


Registration is ONGOING and opens on November 17th, 2011. The first 50 teachers to register their classes will receive a special “early bird” registration prize from the Historica-Dominion Institute. To register, send an email SirJohnA@historicacanada.ca with the SIR JOHN A DAY REGISTRATION as the subject, and let us know your name, your school, the grade and number of students in your class.

Submitting Your Entry:

The deadline for contest submissions is February 6, 2012. Details for acceptable submission formats are below. The first 100 teachers to send in their submissions will receive a thank-you gift from our generous Friends of Sir John A at Random House Canada.

After January 11, 2012, hard copy submissions can be sent to:

  • Sir John A Day
  • The Historica-Dominion Institute
  • 43 Front St. E, suite 301
  • Toronto, ON
  • M5E 1B3

Electronic submissions can be sent to SirJohnA@historicacanada.ca.

* We accept video files from most digital cameras and camcorders, and cell phones in the .AVI, .MOV, .WMV, and .MPG file formats.
** We would prefer digital photographs in the .JPG format.

Please contact Sir John A Day staff at SirJohnA@historicacanada.ca if you have any questions!


Wondering how to throw a Sir John A Day Party for your class?

  • Start by asking the big questions: How did Sir John A. fight for confederation? He was Canada’s founding father – but he did so much more! What other ways did Sir John A shape our nation? Did Sir John A have a family? What was the story behind the man?
  • Conduct research about Sir John A. Macdonald. (The Canadian Encyclopedia is a good place to begin with its articles on Sir John A. Macdonald and Confederation.) Your history textbook may also have information on Sir John A. Macdonald. And check out the videos on www.SirJohnADay.ca!
  • Decide how your class will celebrate Sir John A’s big day! Use your imagination and throw John A the party he deserves. The possibilities are limitless! To help you get started, your class could:
    • Research key figures from Sir John A.’s history and attend the party in character
    • Hold a citizenship rededication ceremony
    • Students can make Sir John A. birthday cards, with special thank you messages inside.
    • Throw a movie party! Organize a screening of Canada: A People’s History, Episodes 8 and 9. Don’t forget the popcorn!
    • Create a dramatic timeline: have your class perform skits or short dramatic pieces re-enacting key events from Sir John A.’s life.
    • Challenge your students to think critically: visit the www.SirJohnADay.ca timeline and ask your students to pick the 3 most significant events on the timeline.
    • Ask each student to research and submit a Sir John A. Macdonald quiz question and answer and then play Sir John A. Jeopardy as a class.
    • Hold a historical tea party, with jam tastings to honour J.A.Macdonald!
    • Ask students to write a birthday speech honouring Sir John A. Macdonald. Ask students to identify three significant accomplishments, both person and political, in their speeches.

Students can conduct further research to determine the party details (decorations, food, music) and to decide to how best celebrate our first prime minister in style!

Curriculum Considerations

These activities can be completed as additional elements to your social studies unit on Canadian Confederation or as a summative activity to evaluate your students’ learning. If that is the case, you may consider evaluating the knowledge demonstrated during their role play or performance or ask them to submit a brief report about Sir John A. Macdonald and Confederation. Depending on the nature of your activities, additional links can be made to fulfill curriculum expectations in English/Language Arts, Drama, Music, or Visual Arts.

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