Symbolized Oh Canada in Widgit Online

Symbolized Oh Canada in Widgit Online

As with symbolizing, In Flanders Fields,  Oh Canada's abstract language created some interesting challenges and conversations around the office when we set out to symbolize it in Widgit Online.

[CLICK HERE to download the pdf]

Specifically "native," "command" and "guard," made us think.


"Native" generates a symbol of a first nations person (see the slideshow below for the images mentioned here).  However, in the context of "our home and native land," that's not really the meaning that fits.  The two words "native land" here mean something like "motherland" or "fatherland"or "birthplace."  Using the symbols for parent or birth made the meaning too literal and a distraction from the concept trying to be communicated.

Widgit symbol for "own", we used for native as in "native land"

Widgit symbol for "own", we used for native as in "native land"


Widgit symbol for “native.”


Widgit symbol for “protect” we used for “guard” in O Canada

Widgit symbol for “guard,” following the schema for occupations.


So we settled on the symbol for "own," and just used the cat/sam button to substitute the text.  It might not get across the meaning without discussion, but the "own" symbol better evokes the idea that is in these lines.

The symbol for "guard," followed the Widgit schema to show an occupation:  a person with the tools of their trade (cctv camera and padlock).

So we substituted the symbol for "protect." As we talked about in our post about symbolizing In Flander's Fields, deciding which symbol best represents an idea, is a great teaching opportunity and discussion generator for a class.  It's a way to get kids to dig into the multiple and abstract meanings of words in a poetic context.

For our accompanying vocab sheet, we symbolized a few famous landmarks, both built and natural, from right across the country.  In some cases we used photographs rather than symbols, which for concrete objects is often a better way to go.  But Widgit has symbols ready for places like the Rockies, Great Lakes and Laurentians, which are so big, they are hard to show in a single image.

To make your own symbolized materials subscribe or try out the new Widgit Online. Only $9/month and you'll get two months free when you sign-up for a year (that works out to just $7.50/month).  You get symbolizing in French and English and you can create on a Chromebook, Windows, Mac computer, share materials like this to an iPad and other portable devices or computers at home and — with a broader class, school or other group subscription — to other educators or team members. It’s an ideal solution for a Chromebook or GAFE ecosystem where there aren’t as many symbolizing options but works just as well in a Windows environment.

Sign up for a trial or check out one of our webinars to learn more about Widgit Online.

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  • Bogdan Pospielovsky
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