Classroom Resources

Downloadable Resources and Activity Ideas for Classrooms

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Activities for Grades 4 and up

Mewata Armoury

Mewata Armoury, date unknown (Credit: RetroActive/Provincial Archives of Alberta, P.4017).

Monuments: Remembering the Past  (Adaptable for Gr. 4 and up)

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

The Royal Canadian Legion  (Adaptable for Gr. 4 and up)

This lesson explores the history and significance of the Royal Canadian Legion. Students will watch a 17-minute video about the Legion and then they can plan to participate in remembrance activities such as attending a Remembrance Day ceremony, visiting a monument, and/or meeting with a veteran.
Click to download the “Legion” PDF

On the Homefront: Wartime in the Kitchen  (Adaptable for Gr. 4 and up)

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 and up)

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

Activities for Grades 6 and up

Nursing sisters of No.10 Canadian General Hospital (R.C.A.M.C.), France, 23July1944 (Credit: LAC M#3194289).

Women in War (4 activities)  (Adaptable for Gr. 6 and up)

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

Lance Corporal John Shiwak (Adaptable for Gr. 6 and up)

This lesson explores Lance Corporal John Shiwak, a skilled sniper and Inuk member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who died in France during the First World War. Students will watch a YouTube video clip about the Lance Corporal and then engage in a creative exercise and create a work of art based on Shiwak’s time in the trenches.
Click to download the “Shiwak” PDF

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

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

Flying Officer Daryl “Doc” Seaman (Adaptable for Gr. 6 and up)

This lesson explores Flying Officer Daryl “Doc” Seaman, an inspirational Canadian who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Students will watch a short YouTube video about “Doc” and then discuss questions related to his life and his legacy.
Click to download the “Seaman” PDF

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

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

Commander Charles “Chuck” Mawer  (Adaptable for Gr. 6 and up)

This lesson explores Commander Charles “Chuck” Mawer, commander of the HMCS Haida during the Second World War. Students will watch a short YouTube video about Commander Mawer and his time aboard Haida and then discuss traits and qualities of a heroic person. This activity will also familiarize students with different military commendations and orders and encourage them to think about different ways in which people act with valour and bravery.
Click to download the “Mawer” PDF

MCpl Mitic & Sgt Gilmore: Force Multipliers  (Adaptable for Gr. 6 and up)

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

Activities for Grades 8 and up

HMHS Llandovery Castle (Credit: Nova Scotia Archives).

Forgotten Fallen: Monumental Canadians Video Assignment  (Adaptable for Gr. 8 and up)

This lesson explores four individuals, each from a different segment of the Canadian population, who made the ultimate sacrifice during the First World War, and whose bodies were never found. Students will watch Valour Canada’s Forgotten Fallen video about Thomas Riley, Talbot Papineau, Margaret Fraser, and John Shiwak. Students will reflect on the material they watched by completing questions based on these Canadians and consider the important role that history plays in peoples day-to-day lives.
Click to download the “Forgotten Fallen” PDF.

Matron Margaret Marjory Fraser  (Adaptable for Gr. 8 and up)

This lesson explores the career and life of Matron Margaret Fraser, a Canadian Nursing Sister who perished in 1917 after the hospital ship she was aboard, the HMHS Llandovery Castle, was struck by a German submarine. Students will watch a segment of Valour Canada’s Forgotten Fallen video and consider the role of women in the war, the occurrences of atrocities, as well as explore the concept of justice and make a judgement based on evidence about whether justice was served in the case of theLlandovery Castle.
Click to download the “Matron Fraser” PDF.

Private Thomas Riley  (Adaptable for Gr. 8 and up)

This lesson explores Private Thomas Riley and trench warfare. Private Thomas Riley was a Lewis machine gunner in the 1st Battalion Canadian Mounted Rifles (1CMR) who died on 26 October 1917. A short YouTube video clip  of Private Riley’s story will provide context for activities based around trench warfare. Students will work as a class to decide which questions about trench warfare and World War One are most important and then share their answers with their class.
Click to download the “Riley” PDF

General Sir Arthur Currie: Interpreting Evidence  (Adaptable for Gr. 8 and up)

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

Captain Nichola Goddard: A Legacy of Service  (Adaptable for Gr. 8 and up)

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

Activities for Grades 10 and up

Canadians landing at Juno Beach on D-Day, 6Jun1944. (Credit: CWM 20020045-1453 via CBC).

Major Talbot Papineau  (Adaptable for Gr. 10 and up)

This lesson explores Major Talbot Papineau, a French-Canadian Major who fought with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry during the First World War. Papineau was killed on 30 October 1917 and is remembered on Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium. Students will watch a short segement of Valour Canada’s Forgotten Fallen video, then discuss questions about Talbot’s life and military service, and conclude the activity by complete an R.A.F.T assignment.
Click to download the “Papineau” PDF.

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

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 and up)

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 and up)

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 and up)

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

Write to the Troops  (Adaptable for all ages)

In this activity students will write a letter or short message and send it to a currently serving Canadian soldier. Students will practice and further develop their writing skills while boosting the morale of a soldier who is currently away from their family and loved ones. (This activity can take as little as 10 minutes, the length being dependent upon the writing ability of the writer).
Click to visit the Government of Canada’s (GoC) “Write to the Troops” page and follow the directions.

Note that there are two writing options to choose from:
(1) a short message (1,500 character max.) posted onto the GoC webpage, or
(2) a longer letter using the postal system (see GoC’s directions).

Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge in May 1917 (Credit: LAC M#3521926).

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

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: educator@valourcanada.ca