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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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


       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]
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  

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@ValourCanada  (Twitter)                    

ValourCanada  (Instagram)                   



Lesson Plans and Canadian Military History Resources