Teacher Guide

In the Skin of a Lion Lesson Plan

Introduction to In the Skin of a Lion

In the Skin of a Lion is a novel written by Michael Ondaatje and set in Canada from 1913 to 1938. Most of the novel takes place in Toronto and the surrounding rural areas. One of the focuses of the novel is the change and industrialization in Canada during that time. This era of progress would not be possible without the hard work of immigrants.

Through some select characters, including Patrick (a shy young man), Caravaggio (a thief), and Nicholas (a daredevil and baker), Ondaatje raises awareness about the invisibility of the immigrant work that was crucial to the fundamental structures of Toronto. He uses real historic structures, including the Bloor Street Bridge and the tunnel under...

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