National Day for Truth and Reconciliation or, Orange Shirt Day, September 30th, we pay tribute to the resilience and strength of residential school survivors and honour those who didn’t return home.

This day originated from Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her orange shirt taken away on her first day of residential school.

Feel free to use the following activities and writing prompt ideas in your classroom to aid your students in remembering, learning, and supporting reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day T-Shirt Templates

Download and print the Orange Shirt Day t-shirt templates. Have students create their own unique designs to represent National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

Orange Shirt Day Posters

Writing Prompts

IRS stands for Indian Residential Schools | NCTR stands for National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

  • Research and write about how children were transported to IRS.
  • Read or listen to a “survivor’s story.”
  • Find the distances on a wall map of roads travelled to and from the IRS.
  • Provide books, gallery or bulletin board materials for viewing pictures and illustrations.
  • Look at pictures of children in IRS. Write about who is in the picture, and who is not; Write about what you see and what you know about IRS.
  • Look at pictures of the structures of IRS. Write down questions you have about these structures.
  • Look at pictures of IRS events. Research and write about daily activity and events for children.
  • Arrange students to interview someone who attended IRS. Write a story about what you learned.
  • Select a book about IRS. Who is the author and illustrator? Did they attend IRS and where?
  • Draw a picture and write about your day as a student in school. How would this picture be different for IRS students?
  • Watch a video or movie about IRS. Write a response to why it’s important to share the stories of IRS.
  • Teachers help students navigate the internet and introduce them to the NCTR website. Write a response on what is found on the website. Explore their interactive map and choose an IRS. Write a
  • response on what you learned.
  • Find Canadian newspaper articles about unmarked graves at IRS. Write questions you have about the article.
  • Find the NCTR website. Write a response on what is found on the website.
  • Write about the government and churches role in running the IRS.
  • Read Phyllis Webstad’s story about attending IRS.
  • Design, write, and wear your own orange shirt message.
  • Celebrate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Orange Shirt Day on September 30
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