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Educational Resources - Dorothea Mitchell's Writings
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Lesson 4
Lesson 5

Students interview an older adult or senior citizen about events in their life, new inventions etc. changing viewpoints, opportunities, etc.  Students will then prepare a written biography of the person’s life, working in groups to revise and edit written work, but completing research and writing individually.


Writing (see pages 30-31 in Ontario English Curriculum, 1999)

  • Organize ideas and information in written work, revising drafts, editing, proofreading and publishing, apply spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage *
  • Locate and summarize information and ideas from print and electronic sources, including interviews.
  • produce written work for a variety of purposes, with a focus on interpreting and analyzing 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. *
  • Grammar and Usage

  • use parts of speech correctly, including the infinitive and the gerund *
  • construct a variety of complete and correct sentences (including compound-complex sentences), using prepositional, adjective, and adverb phrases; infinitive, participial, and gerund phrases; and noun, adjective, and adverb clauses; *
  • use verb voice (i.e., active and passive) to suit purpose and audience; *


  • use knowledge of a wide range of spelling patterns, rules, and strategies to analyses and correct spelling errors; *
  • spell specific historical, academic, and technical terms correctly; *
  • use a variety of resources to correct errors in spelling (e.g., dictionaries, spell checkers); *


  • use punctuation correctly, including the semicolon (e.g., use the semicolon to join principal clauses and to separate elements in a list that contains commas); *
  • use the comma, dash, and parentheses correctly to set off non-restrictive elements in a sentence; *
  • use punctuation correctly when quoting short passages from texts. *
  • Instructional Methodologies

    1.In small groups, have students discuss the following:

    a. In what way was Dorothea Mitchell a pioneer?
    b. What personality traits did she possess that helped her overcome difficulty? (i.e. as a woman lumberboss, as the first woman homesteader, during the Depression, as a filmmaker).   Invite students to choose passages from the stories or her biography to support their ideas.
    c. Students should list their examples in point form.

    2. Have students report their ideas and summarize their discussions to the class.

    3. Describe the assignment, as follows:

    • Students will interview an older adult: grandparent, neighbour.  They will prepare a written biography of the person’s life, approximately 500 words long, following a short essay format.  Details should include:

    -how times have changed
    -old and new technologies
    -significant events in the person’s life
    -any terms or expressions that were common in their youth

    • If the students do not have an older person in their life, they may interview a parent who can relate details of a grandparent or grand-aunt or uncle.
    • Rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling are to be evident.
    • Students will prepare their written interview and then have it reviewed by a group member before completing revisions. 
    • Final copies must be computer-generated or typed.
    • See rubric.

    Pacing/Time Management

    30 min – reports from Silent Film Elements groups and summary
    20 min - Small group discussion of Mitchell as a pioneer
    20 min – report to class
    5 min – discussion of Community Interview assignment

    Assessment/Evaluation tactics

    See rubric.

    Unit Test.


    Usual writing guidelines used in course i.e. style guide, dictionary, online dictionary, editing checklists.

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

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    Dorothea Mitchell Biography
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    The Fatal Flower Project | Educational Resources