For Teachers

 Lesson Plans and Canadian Military History Resources

Photo: Camp Valcartier, September 1914 (LAC M#3394622)

  Downloadable Resources for Classrooms:


       Monuments: Remembering the Past  (Adaptable for Gr. 4 - 12)

In this activity students will take a closer look at the monuments that we find across Canada in our communities. The historical significance of events and figures will be explored. Students will also reflect on the meaning(s) anchored to monuments and the purpose of memorialization. The lesson finishes with the students designing their own monument (a labeled sketch). (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download the “Monuments” PDF


       On the Homefront: Wartime in the Kitchen  (Adaptable for Gr. 4 - 8)

This lesson introduces students to the impact that war overseas has had on those in Canada, particularly in kitchens across the nation. Rationing, recycling, and “Victory Gardens” will be presented, and the lesson will finish with the students making, baking, and eating jam tarts. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download the “Homefront” PDF


       Peacekeeping: Making a Peacekeeper Doll  (Adaptable for Gr. 4 - 8)

Peacekeeping’s purpose, guiding principles, and possible problems its missions might face will be discussed. Following that, the United Nations’ (and Canada’s) 2018 mission to Mali is introduced before the students are told the captivating and heartwarming story of Mark Isfeld’s “Izzy Dolls”. The lesson finishes with the students designing and creating their own Peacekeeper Doll. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class assuming minimal work with textiles).
Click to download “Peacekeeping” PDF


       Women in War (4 activities)  (Adaptable for Gr. 5 - 9)

This four-part lesson introduces students to the topic of women in the Canadian Forces and the challenges that they face. Students will analyze historical photos, read, and discuss articles that present myths about women in the infantry, explore the life of Nichola Goddard, and listen to the song “Highway of Heroes” by the Canadian band, The Trews. The “Women in War” unit culminates with each student writing a letter, either “To” or “From” a female soldier.
Subjects: History/Social Studies, Visual Arts, English, Media Literacy
Click to download the “Women in War: Introduction" (Overview of the 4 parts below). 

    Part 1: Pictures of Women in War
In this activity students will critically analyze images of Women in War. By assessing a variety of images students will be able to use this visual information to help them formulate a character for their letters. (Part 1 will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download: 1. Teacher's “Pictures” PDF    2. Student "Pictures" PDF   3. "10 Photos" PDF

    Part 2: Women in the Infantry: A Debate
This activity introduces students to differing perspectives on women in the military and the skill of persuasion. By the end of the lesson, students can express their positions, as well as opposing arguments, on a particular issue. (Part 2 will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download: 1. Teacher's “Women in the Infantry” PDF    2. Five Myths PDF    3. Seven Myths PDF    4. She Went PDF

    Part 3: Captain Nichola Goddard: A Case Study
To help students craft letters that are rich with both facts and emotion students will study Nichola Goddard. Hearing Nichola Goddard's story from those who cared most for her will help the students give voice to the characters in their letters. (Part 3 will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download the “Nichola Goddard” PDF

    Part 4: Letters To or From a Female Soldier
In this culminating activity students will compose letters either “to” or “from” a female soldier from an era in history of their choosing. Students are to incorporate information gathered over the course of this unit to bring their characters to life. (Part 4 will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download: 1. Teacher's “Letters” PDF    2. Student "Letters" PDF


       D-Day: Video Analysis (3 Activities)  (Adaptable for Gr. 6 - 12)

After viewing a two minute D-Day video showing Canadian soldiers disembarking from a landing craft onto Juno Beach, students will complete one (or more) of three activities described in the PDF (Think-Pair-Share, KWL, Crossword). Students will also learn about Sgt Bill Grant (the man who took the video) and the context within which the video was filmed. (With all 3 activities this lesson will take at least 75 minutes).
Click to download the “D-Day: Video Analysis” PDF


       MCpl Mitic & Sgt Gilmore: Force Multipliers  (Adaptable for Gr. 7 - 9)

This lesson explores the story of Canadian Forces sniper Jody Mitic and medic Alannah Gilmore who were brought together amid war and disaster during a tour in Afghanistan. Students will have a discussion on "service" to one’s country and "purpose" in life following a YouTube video clip (11m:57). The lesson finishes with a fun KIMS (Keep in Mind) game that develops skills frequently used by police officers, detectives, and snipers, among others. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download the “Force Multipliers” PDF


       D-Day: The Crossword Puzzle Mystery  (Adaptable for Gr. 6 - 12)

This lesson introduces students to D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944. First the students will watch a short documentary (10m:06) describing D-Day. Second, a newspaper article that talks of a suspicious pre-D-Day crossword puzzle is reviewed. Lastly, the students will complete their own crossword puzzle containing clues and words related to the Normandy Invasion. (With all 3 activities this lesson will take at least 75 minutes).
Click to download the “D-Day” PDF


       Captain Nichola Goddard: A Legacy of Service  (Adaptable for Gr. 7 - 12)

This lesson explores the inspired life of Canadian Forces Captain Nichola Goddard and her tragic death in Afghanistan. Students will make “Afghan Chai” tea and participate in a “Shura” (meeting) while watching this YouTube video clip (6m:19). The students will then read a selection of Goddard’s Letters. The lesson finishes with a guided discussion that includes topics such as: Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, equality of opportunity in the Canadian Forces, and life & legacy. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download “A Legacy of Service” PDF


       General Sir Arthur Currie: Interpreting Evidence  (Adaptable for Gr. 9 - 12)

This lesson explores the accomplishments of Sir Arthur Currie, Canada’s top General during the First World War . . . but how effective was he? Students will watch this YouTube video clip (8m:52) and note any narration that discusses reasons for Currie’s success. Then the students will research (online or in the library) for evidence that supports the “top General” label (or suggests otherwise) before formulating their own written personal conclusion. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download “Currie” PDF


       First World War: 20 Questions and Inquiry  (Adaptable for Gr. 10 - 12)

This lesson explores Canada's experience in the First World War. Students will watch two YouTube video clips (Forgotten Fallen 29m:26 and General Sir Arthur Currie 4m:05) and then browse Road to Vimy Ridge: Canada and the First World War. Next, the students will explore each of the 20 questions provided, review the associated research/discussion questions, and then further investigate a FWW topic that interests them. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download “First World War: 20 Questions” PDF


       D-Day Series: RCN and Operation Neptune  (Adaptable for Gr. 10 - 12)

This lesson explores the role of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in Operation Neptune and the events on and surrounding D-Day. Students will watch this YouTube video clip (16m:16) and make written notes about what they see and hear in the video. Next individuals will write a short, 5-7 sentence paragraph about the RCN’s impact on D-Day. Finally, 'narrative' and the difference between ‘the past’ and ‘history’ will be defined, compared, and contrasted. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download “D-Day Series: RCN Operation Neptune” PDF


       D-Day: 20 Questions and Inquiry  (Adaptable for Gr. 10 - 12)

This lesson explores Canada's experience on D-Day. Students will watch three YouTube video clips: D-Day Footage of Juno Beach (2m:08), D-Day Series: RCN and Operation Neptune (16m:16), and Canada on D-Day Operation Overlord (10m:06). Next, the students will explore each of the 20 questions provided, review the associated research/discussion questions, and then further investigate a D-Day/Normandy topic that interests them. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download “D-Day: 20 Questions” PDF


       Battle of Kapyong: 20 Question and Inquiry  (Adaptable for Gr. 10 - 12)

This lesson explores Canada's experience in the Korean War. Students will watch this YouTube video clip (8m:48). Next, the students will explore each of the 20 questions provided, review the associated research/discussion questions, and then further investigate a Korean War topic that interests them. (This lesson will take at least 1 hour in-class).
Click to download “Battle of Kapyong” PDF


       Resolving the Crisis in Syria: The Ottawa Treaty  (Adaptable for Gr. 10 - 12)

Students who experience the “Ottawa Treaty” activity will explore the issues central to the mid-2010’s conflict in Syria and negotiate solutions that will end the fighting, so that aid may be applied, and reconstruction of Syria can begin. The discussions occur within an environment modeled after the United Nations approach, where each student (as individuals or as members of small groups) must research and prepare to represent 1 of 8 nations or political groups that are being affected by the fighting. After their findings have been summarized, the students take turns presenting their perspectives to their peers around the table before the bargaining begins. Finally, an attempt is made to craft a treaty document which will eventually be signed by all representatives who agree to the conditions.

The country/political representation includes: Assad’s Syria, the Syrian Rebels/Free Syria Army, Turkey, Iraq, Kurdistan, Russia, U.S., and the E.U. (We recommend taking at least 1.25 hour in-class for students to prepare and negotiate. In addition, preliminary research and summarizing will take each student at least 1 hour).   [Note: This activity was last updated in May 2017 and given the information now available, the activity and resources are likely dated]
Click to download “The Ottawa Treaty” PDF

If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about any of the material provided here (or any other Valour Canada education-related content, opportunities, etc.), please contact our educator at:


Photo: "D" Brigade at Camp, Petawawa, ON, July 1918 (LAC M#4474420)

The Road to Vimy Ridge                            

This comprehensive website explores Canada’s experience in the Great War with a specific focus on our success at Vimy Ridge in April of 1917. To increase interactivity with the reader, the website includes animated maps, mnemonic tools, short documentary videos, and multiple-choice quizzes, that are situated among rarely seen photographs, labelled diagrams, and interesting cartography. In addition, there are embedded learning tools, such as definitions that 'pop-up' when the user's mouse pointer hovers over challenging terms. Quotations of exceptional people, most of whom are Canadian, are sprinkled throughout to help illustrate the story for the audience and to maintain their attention.

The Road to Vimy site also hosted a scholarship contest in 2016-17 that allowed us to award $500 each to two graduating Ontario high school students. Their winning entries can be viewed on our YouTube page.


The Llandovery Castle: Was Justice Served?

The Llandovery Castle fully-bilingual website links to one of the Forgotten Fallen highlighted in our documentary: Matron Marjory Margaret Fraser. The site employs a case-study approach to the sinking of His Majesty’s Hospital Ship Llandovery Castle and explores the question of whether the German submarine crew was guilty of any offence. Step-by-step, the user is taken through the story of Canada's Llandovery Castle and then through court proceedings that followed the sinking. Finally, on the concluding page of the website, the user is asked to vote Yes or No on the question: Was Justice Served? / La Justice a-t-elle été Rendue ?



Housing all of Valour Canada’s videos, our YouTube channel provides us a media platform with which to highlight our documentaries, winning scholarship entries, and moving maps. We are working towards having a downloadable Lesson Plan for all our videos (they will be posted here as well as on YouTube).

We have also noted that animated visuals are more engaging to elementary or secondary students, whether a map or a concept description as shown in the “Battle of Vimy Ridge” or “The Causes of the Great War” respectively and intend to explore this avenue further.


Valour Canada main site                                           

The website you are currently browsing is our primary webpage. This is the public face of Valour Canada and provides information about our organization, events, education programs, and documentary videos. Perhaps most importantly, our website has begun to offer an article archive to the interested reader: Canadian Military History Library. Over 200 easily-accessible articles will be available before the end of 2018.


Other Considerations  

Militrivia  (Facebook)                            

@ValourCanada  (Twitter)                    

ValourCanada  (Instagram)                   



Lesson Plans and Canadian Military History Resources

 Girl Guides Challenge: Women of Valour


Girl Guides Challenge:
Canadian Women of Valour

Purpose:  The purpose of this challenge is to learn about and appreciate the efforts of Canadian women during WWI and WWII.

To see this page in PDF format, please click: Canadian Women of Valour Challenge

To order crests for this challenge - please email orders

      All branches must complete Section #1 - Remembrance.
      Sparks and Brownies: Complete 3 other sections.
      Guides: Complete 4 other sections.
      Pathfinders and Rangers Complete 5 other sections.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Section #1 – Remembrance
   a. Discuss what Remembrance is – not just remembering, but active Remembrance.
   b. Participate in two examples of active Remembrance. For example,
       - attend a Remembrance Day ceremony;
       - visit a monument;
       - meet with a veteran;
       - talk with family members;
       - write a first-hand history;
       - design a symbol of Remembrance to wear (i.e. the poppy);
       - attend a No Stone Left Alone ceremony.

Girl Guides on parade in Drumheller, AB, on 8 May, 1945 (Victory Europe Day).

Section # 2 – On the Home Front: In the Kitchen and In the Community
  Describe how war affects people on the home front:
   a. In The Kitchen    PDF: On the Homefront - Girl Guides version
       i  - Have girls read the historical information about rationing and the home front (Pages 3 & 4 on the PDF) as a class, in small groups, or individually.
       ii - Make a delicious and authentic 1940s recipe (Pages 1 & 2 on the PDF).
             [Encourage older girls to research and choose their own wartime recipe in groups. Girls can then present the food item to the group along with historical information about the recipe.]
    b. In The Community
       When women weren’t able to participate overseas they often wrote letters, knit socks, made ditty bags, and rolled bandages as a way to lift the spirits of the soldiers on the front. Try your hand at some of these tasks:
            - Valentines for Vets
            - Make a care package for a soldier or veteran
            - Try rolling bandages
            - Try knitting a pair of socks (or mittens, or a hat, or a scarf).

A unit of Girl Guides saluting from the steps of Calgary City Hall in 1914.

Section # 3 – Wartime Service
   a. Using pictures of women in wartime (PDF: 9 Pictures of Women in War), write a letter, story, draw a picture or create a short skit based on information you have gathered about the life of a woman in the time of war.
   b. Find out what women did in your town during the wars.
   c. Learn about what your relatives did during the wars.
   d. Learn about veterans’ services in your area. Incorporate veterans into a service project.
   e. Do another relevant activity of your choosing.

Some of the gatherings from a bottle drive in Bowness (Calgary) in the 1940s.

Section # 4 – Real Canadian Women
  Choose 3 of the women below, click on the link, and read the information about them. Imagine that you have a chance to meet each of them while they are serving. In order to learn more about their experiences write 3 questions that you would like to ask each of the three women.
    Alexina Dussault                (WWI Nurse)
    Margaret Lowe                   (WWI Nurse)
    Charlotte "Andy" Monture  (WWI Aboriginal Nurse)
    Matron Margaret Fraser     (WWI Nurse)
    The C.W.A.A.F.                   (WWII Auxiliary Air Force, aka Women's Division)
    Molly Lamb Bobak             (WWII war artist)
    Wright and Trull                 (WWII code breakers)
    Karen Hermiston                (WWII photographer)
    Cynthia Oakley                  (WWII Canadian Women's Army Corps)
    Kay Christie                       (WWII Nurse and P.O.W.)

Camp cooking (date and location unknown).

Section # 5 – How the Girl Guides Won the War
    a. GGC ran a Canada-wide Wartime Emergency Service Program to prepare girl members, 15-years and older (especially Rangers), to meet the war needs in their community in periods of emergency. Choose one of the four following abilities and think about how you could apply it to the present day. Include at least one new skill (i.e. map and compass skills, household repairs, canning etc.) in your answer.
The Rangers (and some other girls) were trained and tested in the following areas:
        - Home Service  – This included home nursing, first aid, household repairs, mending and thrifty cooking.
        - Child Care  – This included looking after children younger than 10 years of age. It also included learning to assist in the evacuation of small children and helping to make them comfortable and happy in temporary quarters.
        - Transportation  – This included knowing how to act as messengers in their own communities, drive a vehicle, repair motors, transport groups from a danger zone to a safe place and being able to orient themselves in strange surroundings with road maps, a compass, a watch and the position of the sun and stars.
       - Land work  – This included theoretical and practical knowledge of any form of food production with at least one month’s part-time work or three months’ full-time land work.
    b. During the First World War, Girl Guide members worked in munitions factories, made surgical dressings and bandages, knitted socks for soldiers, assisted in the distribution of leaflets for war relief societies, collected waste paper for Red Cross funds, prepared khaki clothes, and made shirts and other articles for soldiers’ clothing in factories. This meant that there was little time and access to machinery to make badges, so they hand embroidered them. Learn how to embroider, and then create a badge. (kits can be purchased at E-Patches and other badge outlets).
    c. Learn about what Girl Guides did during the wars – read sections from “How the Girl Guides Won the War” by Janie Hampton (
    d. Complete another relevant activity of your choosing showing how Girl Guides participated in WWI and WWII.

Guides and Scouts working together to make dolls (1930s, but exact date and location unknown).

Section # 6 – Rallying the Troops
Create a poster to get women to enlist. It should be informative and eye-catching. You could use principles from war posters to make an advertisement to “enlist in Guiding”.  (Note: To see some real posters, note the examples in the PDFs for Karen Hermiston, C.W.A.A.F., and 9 Photos)

Guides of all ages lining up (date and location unknown).

Section # 7 – Valour Canada
Complete 5 of the following Valour Canada items:
    a. Learn about Valour Canada by checking out their website and watching at least one of their documentary videos.
    b. Participate in one of Valour Canada’s educational events. (see the education event listing here)
    c. Browse The Road to Vimy Ridge website and complete at least 3 of the site’s quizzes.
    d. Browse The Case of the Llandovery Castle website and vote in the poll in the ‘Conclusion’ section.
    e. Visit Valour Canada’s Instagram or Facebook page.
    f. Provide feedback about Valour Canada programs to their educator.

Lining up for inspection (date and location unknown).

Program Tie-Ins, All Branches:
    Connect and Question
        - Canadian Connections       - Local Communities        - World Stage
    Guide Together
        - Our Story
    Take Action
        - Your Choice                        - Your Voice                     - Your Action


Other Important Links and Resources:

Wartime Guide Badges (historical):
         Challenge Descriptions                                        Proficiency Challenges
         Brownie Challenges                                             Ranger Challenges

         Valentine's for Vets                                             No Stone Left Alone
         The Nursing Sisters of Canada                            Canadian Nurses Memorial

         Girl Guides of Canada - Guides du Canada        Girl Guides of Alberta
         Challenges Page (Alberta)

Guides cooling off in the lake (date and location unknown).



Girl Guides Challenge: Women of Valour