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National Film Board of Canada, 1990. VHS cassette, 24:30 minutes, $39.95. Includes user's guide.
Distributed by McIntyre Media Limited

Grades 4 to 6/Ages 9 to 11
Reviewed by Donna Doyle.

Volume 19 Number 1
1991 January

This video tour of Ottawa is up to date, funny and informative. Carol Coleman of the Lakeshore School Board, Beaconsfield, Quebec, acted as educa­tional consultant for both the video and guide.

While two young TV hosts prepare a program on the nation's capital, their roving reporter, Roger, loses audio contact and sets out on his motor scooter to explore behind the scenes. The camera follows him from Parlia­ment Hill to the Bank of Canada, past embassies and the market area, to the Seismology Centre, along the Rideau Canal and the Gatineau River. The action cuts back to the program in progress with hosts Michael James and Cheryl Wilcox filling in details on each area Roger visits. There is sufficient content here to develop several social studies projects. Material could also be used in science and history.

The film moves along quickly. An upbeat version of "O Canada" plays in the background. Clever use of the camera provides an interesting variety of eye-catching scenes. Ottawa's past is touched on with the insert of a cartoon of a log drive on the Gatineau.

The language and back-drop of a television studio also give students a behind-the-scenes look at how a pro­gram is put together.

The "User's Guide" offers helpful suggestions for preparing the class before viewing the film, such as having them write what they know of Ottawa and having them trace road and rail links from their community. Follow-up activities include questions and further research on the city and its role in the student's life.

I think this video bears viewing several times and could serve as a starting point for a thought-provoking exploration of Canada's capital.

Donna Doyle, D'Escousse, Richmond County, N.S.
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