Dorothea Mitchell, 1967Lady Lumberjack HomeAbout this siteCredits and Acknowledgements
Dorothea Mitchell Biography Canada's First Amateur Feature-Length Film: A Race for Ties Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society The Fatal Flower Project Educational Resources
Home > Educational Resources > DM Writings >Lessons 2
Educational Resources - Dorothea Mitchell's Writings
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Lesson 5


In pairs, students will present their Webquest findings, using the graphic organizer they have created.
Students will then work in small groups to analyze one of the short stories by Dorothea Mitchell. Students will analyze short story elements evident in the story: i.e. events, chronology, setting and characters. They will then consider Mitchell’s use of language and the context and culture of the time in which she was writing. Mitchell’s cultural biases as well as the attitudes of the 1920’s will be considered.

Students will then create a short written work based on Mitchell’s story, to present to the class. This may be a short radio interview with one of the characters, a brief play, a poem or a newspaper report of a community event, etc.


  • Analyze information, ideas, and elements in texts and synthesize and communicate their findings *
  • communicate orally in group discussions for different purposes, with a focus on identifying explicit and implicit ideas and comparing and contrasting key concepts and supporting details; *
  • communicate in group discussions by assigning tasks fairly and equitably; using verbal and non-verbal cues to signal a change in topic or speaker; contributing ideas, supporting interpretations and viewpoints; *
  • extending and questioning the ideas of others; summarizing the progress of the group’s work; checking for understanding; and negotiating consensus when appropriate; *
  • apply techniques of effective listening and demonstrate an understanding of oral presentations by summarizing presenters’ arguments and explaining how vocabulary, body language, tone, and visual aids *
  • enhance presentations (e.g., make and confirm or revise predictions; identify the purposes and perspective of a presentation;
  • plan and make oral presentations independently, adapting vocabulary and using methods of delivery to suit audience, purpose, and topic (e.g., identify purpose and audience; gather ideas and information;
  • Use relevant, significant and explicit information and ideas from texts to support interpretations *
  • Explain how historical or cultural contexts shape the information and ideas in a text
  • Use knowledge of elements of the novel and cultural and historical context of a novel to understand and interpret examples of the genre
  • Explain how authors use stylistic devices, and design elements to help communicate ideas *
  • Organize ideas and information in written work, revising drafts, editing, proofreading and publishing, apply spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage *
  • produce written work for a variety of purposes, with a focus on interpreting and analysing information, ideas, themes, and issues and supporting opinions with convincing evidence (e.g., state and support an opinion; compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes in two different works; explain how the images or setting in a work of fiction contribute to the overall theme) *
  • revise drafts to ensure that ideas are adequately supported by relevant details and facts and to achieve clarity, unity, and coherence *
  • make constructive suggestions to peers in a writing conference (e.g., identify ways to address problems of control in writing such as redundancies or inappropriate level of language; create checklists based on established criteria and use them when discussing a piece of writing); *
  • consider reactions of teachers, peers, and others in revising and editing written work. *
  • edit and proofread their own and others’ writing, correcting errors according to the requirements for grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation as per the Grade 10 Ontario Curriculum Guidelines. *

    Instructional Methodologies

    Part A: Students report findings from Webquest.

    1. Students report findings from Webquest Part B. Use Rubric to evaluate.

    2. As students present, focus discussion/questions on life in Thunder Bay in the 1920’s. You may ask various students to record, in point form on chart paper or blackboard, specific findings as the groups present. Use these notes to summarize the groups’ work.

    3. Identify any areas for further research. Students may want to pursue this for other writing assignments later in the course.

    4. Discuss credible web resources, and how the groups found their information.

    5. Collect graphic organizers and make copies for the class, or post on a website or bulletin board for students to review for their own notes. Tell the class that they will be responsible for this information on the unit test.

    Part B: Short Story Analysis: Groups

    1. Now that the students have some background, it is time to look at Dorothea Mitchell’s written accounts of life at Silver Mountain. Divide the class into groups of 4-5: all members of the group must participate and contribute. (Note: Teacher may have to review group process, roles, responsibilities and guidelines – see Rubric.) Be prepared to present the following to the class. Your work must include the following:

    a. Story Outline: Provide a brief outline of the events or purpose of the story, including plot, chronology, characters and setting.

    b. Comment on context: What does this story tell you about Dorothea’s life? About pioneer life in Silver Mountain during the 1920’s? What attitudes, biases and prejudices are evident? Are these direct or subtle?

    c. Language: Identify any unfamiliar terms or “old-fashioned” language that Dorothea uses. Identify any literary devices, humour, techniques that she uses within the story.

    d. Referring to Dorothea Mitchell’s stories, the group will create:

    • a short written work:
    • small radio interview,
    • short play,
    • poem
    • newspaper report of a community event
    • poster
    • etc.
    • See Rubric

    2. Preparation for next class: Assign reading of the following items in the Lady Lumberjack text: - Just When Does A Writing Career Start? - A Chronology of the Life of Dorothea Mitchell

    Pacing/Time Management (2 classes required)

    30-40 min – Webquest Summaries and discussion
    30-40 min – begin short story analysis
    75 min – work on short story analysis

    TOTAL: 2 x 75 min.

    Students will present at end of unit.

    Assessment/Evaluation tactics

    Small group assessments / checklist.
    Peer assessments.

    Unit test
    Group Work


    Lady Lumberjack text. Short stories/biography:

    · Dorothea Mitchell: a biographical sketch

    Part One:

    · Just When Does a Writing Career Start?
    · Lady Lumberjack

    Part Two:

    · Pegasus My First Love
    · A Swim to Remember
    · A Race for Ties (Its Inception)
    · Fan Mail Thrills
    · A Chronology of the Life of Dorothea Mitchell

    Specific Expectations
    Possible Adaptation for Special-Needs Pupils
    Resources / Aids

  • Home | About |  Credits
    Dorothea Mitchell Biography
    Canada's First Amateur Feature-Length Film: A Race for Ties
    Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society
    The Fatal Flower Project | Educational Resources