Rebellion Box

Learn From Home Activity

Background Information

The Rebellion of 1837 was a grassroots movement that called for political reform in Upper Canada. The Village of Hope, now Sharon, had a particularly important role given the social justice interests of a breakaway sect of Quakers known as the Children of Peace. 

Following the leadership and ideals of William Lyon Mackenzie, many residents of Hope took up arms in support of the Rebellion, ultimately leading to their capture and imprisonment following the Battle of Montgomery's Tavern on December 7, 1837. 

The captured rebels were charged with high treason and imprisoned in the Home District (Toronto) Jail. During the spring and summer of 1838 many of those imprisoned carefully and skillfully carved mementos which have since become known as "Rebellion Boxes". Using logs originally provided as firewood, prisoners likely used smuggled chisels and tools to craft the boxes which included short poems and messages for their friends and loved ones.

These boxes, made from a variety of woods including maple, walnut, cherry and butternut, featured poems and messages with political tones, words of encouragement, information about the creator and the recipient, acknowledgement of the efforts of Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews (since regarded as martyrs of the Rebellion) and sometimes, intricately carved images. 

The Sharon Temple National Historic Site and Museum is now home to one of the largest collections of Rebellion Boxes. Want to learn more about the Rebellion and see the boxes in person? Visit the Temple to view our "Road to Rebellion" exhibit this summer!

Curriculum Connections

Mathematics - Grade 3 & 4: Geometry & Spatial Sense

Social Studies - Grade 3: Strand A - Heritage & Identity: Communities in Canada, 1780-1850 (A2)

Language - Grade 3: Writing - Using Knowledge of Form and Style in Writing (2.1 Form, 2.2 Voice)

The Arts - Grade 3: Visual Arts - D2. Reflecting, Responding and Analysing

Activity

Using the rectangular prism net, create your own memento or Rebellion Box. Think about who would receive it - your parent, sibling, grandparent, friend, teacher, etc. - and the message you would want to include. Draw a picture and include your name (or keep your identity a secret!). 

1. Download and print the "net" below.

2. Cut out the net and fold the lighter tabs.

3. Before assembling, create your design, write your poem or message, include your name and who your box is for.

4. Glue or tape together the tabbed edges to create a 3-D rectangle. 

5. Don't forget to show us what you created - follow us on social media (@SharonTemplenhs), tag us and use the hashtag #STLearnFromHome!

© Sharon Temple Museum Society

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18974 Leslie Street, Sharon, ON L0G 1V0