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Canadian peacekeepers anthology lesson plan


To increase youth awareness about Canadians who have served in peacekeeping missions.


Through this activity, youth will:

  • learn about the contributions and sacrifices of Canadians who served in peacekeeping missions; and
  • present their findings to the class.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for grades 7-12.

Activity sequence and expected duration [approximately 75 minutes]

You can modify the activity to fit the amount of time available.

  • introductory discussion [15 minutes]
  • research and preparation [15 minutes]
  • presentations [30 minutes]
  • wrap-up discussion [15 minutes]
  • possible extension activity [variable]


Introductory discussion [15 minutes]

The first United Nations peacekeeping mission was established in 1948. Canada has long been a leader in international peacekeeping. The pioneering vision of Lester B. Pearson, a Canadian diplomat, helped pave the way for many large-scale peacekeeping missions that have taken place around the globe over the decades.

Prior to the student research activity, you may wish to refer to the historical sheet The Faces of Peace – Canadian peacekeepers for some context.

Canada as a country, and thousands of Canadians, have made amazing contributions to world peace.

Tell your students the Canadian Peacekeeping Veterans Association collected personal stories of peacekeeping. The association has collected more than 100 stories of peacekeepers from all over Canada.

Have your students read a profile and prepare a presentation. They will learn about the personal point of view of a Canadian who served in peacekeeping. Then have each student share their story with their classmates. Working on one individual’s story will help students better understand the experiences of the more than 125,000 Canadians who have served in peacekeeping missions.

Research and preparation [15 minutes]

Assign one peacekeeper story from An Anthology of Personal Peacekeeping Experiences (PDF) to each student or group.

The anthology includes information on some 100 individuals from all across the country who served in peacekeeping missions over the past seven decades. Most of them were Canadian Armed Forces members. You will also find stories of police officers and civilians who took part in international peace missions.

  • have students research the individuals using An Anthology of Personal Peacekeeping Experiences.
  • ask students to highlight key information about their peacekeeper, such as their hometown, the place they served and their years of service.
  • the students can search the Internet to find more personal information about the individual, to enrich the presentations. They can also look for more information about the peacekeeping mission, to better understand the general context.

Presentations [30 minutes]

Ask each student to present information on their peacekeeper.

Use a world map to locate and mark the places where each peacekeeper served. Create a timeline to mark when they served. Use this visual to show where and when each peacekeeper served. The students will gain an appreciation for the scope Canadian peacekeeper’s service.

Wrap-up discussion [15 minutes]

Lead a discussion on the peacekeeper anthology research activity, by asking questions like:

  • “Peacekeeping is no job for a soldier, but only a soldier can do it.” Ask your students what they think this phrase means.
  • What activities did the peacekeepers we learned about do while on a mission? How did their efforts help the people in the countries where they worked?
  • Why is it important to remember and recognize Canadians who served in peacekeeping missions?
  • How might the actions of peacekeepers who served many decades ago shape the world we live in today?
  • Do we recognize peacekeepers and other Veterans in the same way? For example, do peacekeepers get the same public recognition as Canadians who served in the First World War, the Second World War or the Korean War?

Possible extension activities [variable]

Students could research

Students are also encouraged to find veterans in their community or in their family. The class could then write and distribute Peace cards to them, to show appreciation and recognition.

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