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The recent terrorist events in France have provoked many reactions all over the world and we unfortunately see that legitimate fear sometimes gives way to racism and xenophobia.

"Quebec is not immune from these" demons "that are racism, xenophobia and withdrawing into oneself observes Philippe Couillard convinced that his party is more open than the PQ or the CAQ to the reception of migrants Syrians. "

Source: La Presse

The following activities will allow students to understand different concepts that are constantly discussed these days in the media while developing their critical thinking.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Search for information concerning violent events towards foreigners;
- Cite your sources and analyze the quality of the latter;
- Define several concepts tackled since the Paris attacks;
- Observe a modified image and identify elements revealing the deception.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: Violence against minorities

To start, ask students to name recent violent events in Canada in which minorities were targeted.

This Radio-Canada article could help them identify certain events.

Then invite students to choose one of these events and do a web search to find out what happened and where the situation is (police investigation, charge, etc.). Ask them to find a newspaper article, note the source, and think about the quality of the source.

Then invite the student volunteers to summarize the event they have chosen in front of the class, mentioning the source on which they were based and also locating the place on a map of Canada.

Finally, as a whole class, have students explain the difference between racism and xenophobia. Use a dictionary and / or an encyclopedia to help you with this task.

ACTIVITY 2: Lexicon to understand the conflict

Now that students understand the difference between racism and xenophobia, invite them to define the terms presented in the following diagram and relate some of these concepts to each other:

Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)
Download the file offering possible answers (.pdf)

Tell them to consult the articles in the “For more information” section.

ACTIVITY 3: Person error

The recent xenophobic incidents demonstrate how uninformed some people are. Sometimes even the media get fooled.

Present the case of Veerender Jubbal, this Sikh Canadian who was presented as a terrorist during the Paris attacks.

As a whole class, observe carefully the image of mister Jubbal which has been modified to target elements that indicate that this is in fact a hoax.

If you have an interactive digital whiteboard in the classroom, use it to circle these elements directly on the picture.

Possible answers:

  • Mirror: photograph taken with a camera in it, possibly with an electronic tablet (here the Koran).
  • American outlet: the individual is not in Europe
  • Traditional Sikh turban: the individual is not a Muslim

More about the magazine

Why do 25,000 Syrian refugees scare Canadians?
Radio-Canada, November 17, 2015

Arabs, Muslims, Islamists: a lexicon to navigate
Radio-Canada, November 17, 2015

Our lexicon of terrorism website

Wikipedia article

Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.