________________ CM . . . . Volume V Number 12 . . . . February 12, 1999

cover Making History: Louis Riel and the North-West Rebellion of 1885.

Janes Monro Productions, Inc. (in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada), 1997.
CD-ROM, Mac and Windows version, $69.95.
ISBN 1-896785-00-X (NFB Product No. 133C 0196 044).

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.
Review by Gary Evans.

*** /4

To run Making History you need:

  • Macintosh 68030 [LC 111] or better
  • PC 486 DX 33 Windows 3.1 or better
  • 13" or larger SVGA Monitor displaying 256 colours
  • Sound card
  • 2X or faster CD ROM drive
  • Minimum 8 MB RAM
To begin the program, the appropriate size for the screen has to be found in the Multiple Scan display. 800 x 600 60 Hz was found to be good.

      This is a valuable, user-friendly CD about the North-West Rebellion of 1885. Information is presented in an exciting, creative and historically sound manner. The interactive nature of the CD allows for critical thinking, interpretation and evaluation of the historical events by the student. The print is easily readable, and the reading level is certainly Senior High. The program is exceedingly comprehensive and History students at the Senior or Post-Secondary levels should be able to interact with the CD either individually or within a lab setting.

      The "Teacher's Guide" has four parts: Background; Learning History; Applications; and The Journal. The program allows the student to explore original material from newspaper articles, photographs and interviews with historical characters. The Guide offers excellent suggestions for group work and how to set up discussions. You are able to print only what you need for your purposes. Background information is given for the cartoons, and answers are supplied for the crossword puzzles. There is a guide for the use of The Journal. The student can save and print collected files in which information can be used as quotations or used to create the student's own multimedia research paper.

      Once you have traveled by train to "The North-West Pavilion of 1885," you can gain access to the seven rooms of information. I would recommend starting in "The Pavilion Theatre" where a four act play presents background information to The Rebellion using actual pictures, drawings and photographs plus better music relevant to the topic. Two historians, G. Woodcock and P. Chartrand, express their perspectives about the era described. Another room, "The Newspaper Room," contains four Bulletin Boards dealing with Policy, The Rebellion, the Railway and the Hanging of Riel. For any cartoons used, the cursor becomes a magnifying glass to enhance details. The Newspaper Index is chronological, and it is easy to use. The Map of the 1885 Pavilion is present throughout various areas so that you can move from area to area easily.

      In "The Map Room," you are able to choose rolls of maps that can be placed on a table in the centre of the room. The maps can be stacked, and each one can be saved easily for the student's own document. Only the maps from one collection at a time can be kept on the table. The maps are clear and appropriate to the information provided.

      "The Documents Library" contains actual letters, documents, trial transcripts, telegraph messages, Hansard/Laws and Reports, Treaty #6 and Hudson's Bay Company advertisements for new products. One realistic note is that you hear the sound of pages turning as you look through the various documents.

      "The Trading Post" contains Albums of original photographs and animated postcards that deal with such issues as the demise of the bison.

      In "The Kinetoscope Arcade," nine principal characters of the Rebellion such as Louis Riel and Poundmaker, can be interviewed. Questions are given, and answers from different points of view are discussed by the two historians, Woodcock and Chartrand. The reference feature can be utilized here to explore related sources further.

      Throughout the "Hallways and Verandah" segment, pictures of the prairie landscape, characters and artifacts relevant to The Rebellion offer further interactive information. It is important to see the types of evidence, whether primary or secondary sources of information used by the historians to support their point of view.

      "The Reference Room" offers information on the following topics: Timeline of 1867-1906, Bibliography, Glossary of useful terms and Acknowledgments/Credits for the CD.

      All History teachers should be informed of this CD's existence as it makes this period of history come alive.

Highly recommended.

Gary Evans is a Winnipeg Social Studies teacher who also instructs in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364