Grades: 5-12

  • British Columbia History
  • Pre-Confederation Canadian History
  • British North American Colonial History
  • Aboriginal History Pacific Northwest
Key Topics
  • The creation of the Colony of British Columbia
  • The Fraser Canyon and Cariboo Gold Rushes
  • Primary and secondary source analysis
  • Historical causation

Author: Lindsay Gibson
Editors: Roland Case, John Lutz and Jenny Clayton
Historical Researcher: Jenny Clayton, PhD, Department of History, University of Victoria
Developed by: The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)

What Were the Real Reasons for Creating the Colony of British Columbia?

Step 7: Determine the relative importance of the causes

Distribute a copy of the activity sheet, #9 Relative Importance of the Causes, to each student (or pair of students). Inform students that their task is to assemble evidence from the different documents to help them determine the relative importance of the causes of the creation of the Colony of British Columbia. Ask students to rank order the importance of the causes from 1 (most important) to 4 (least important). Alternatively, invite students to indicate the relative importance of each cause by assigning percentages. For example, students might decide that one cause likely contributed one-half (50%) of the influence to make the decision, two causes may have contributed equally (20% each) and the last factor may have contributed significantly less (10%). Remind students that they should not simply count the pieces of evidence for each cause—instead they should consider the relative importance of each factor in the decision to create the colony. Direct students to use activity sheet #9 to indicate the rank order or the percentage of importance for each cause and to justify their conclusions with evidence and explanations.

OPTIONAL: Ask student to construct a pie chart illustrating the percentage allocation for each of the four causes using a compass and protractor to draw a pie chart manually or to use an online program to draw the chart electronically. The following pie chart was created on

Before embarking on the activity, review the criteria for the task found on rubric, #10 Assessing the Importance of the Causes. If desired, after completion of the activity, arrange for students to assess their own or each others’ ability to offer plausible rankings or assigned percentages of the causes supported by important and relevant evidence.

horizontal divider

Suggested Activities