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'...And That's the Rest of the Story!'

The Canada Remembers Times contains a sampling of articles on our country's war and peace support efforts. They are intended to whet the students' appetite for more information and not to be a definitive resource. That being the case, encourage youth to 'find the rest of the story'!

Whether the youth are preparing a formal piece of research, newspaper article or creating a multimedia presentation based on historical facts, the Canada Remembers Times can serve as a catalyst to inspire interest in knowing more of our military history and its relevance to today's society. Here are just some topics that could be explored:

A Veteran Profile

Invite youth to research the life of a local Veteran. Alternately, visit the 'Heroes Remember' Web section to see videotaped interviews with Canadian Veterans sharing first-person reflections on their experiences. Have youth explore the particulars of the Veteran's life and service and build a profile of the individual. This could be done in a poster, a piece of poetry, a photography exhibit, a painting or drawing, or another format that could then be added to a "Wall of Honour."

The Home Front: Women's Perspectives

Canadian women on the home front contributed greatly to the war effort, particularly during the Second World War. Have youth research the types of jobs that women filled. Compile a list including a brief description of the duties of each job. Have the youth share their findings with their peers. Invite a woman who worked on the home front during the war years to come and speak about her experiences. Have the youth consider how the work environment for women during the Second World War differs from what women experience in modern-day workplaces.

Excellence Born of Necessity

Wartime research programs brought about many important developments that gave the Allies an advantage. Challenge youth to discover the myriad of industrial, scientific and technical innovations developed by Canadians. Have them investigate microwave ovens, windshield washer and anti-fog windshield fluids, synthetic rubber, radar, penicillin, blood serum, or the anti-G suit. Once their research is complete, invite youth to share their findings with the group.

Victoria Cross Recipients

A select number of Canadians have received the Victoria Cross, our highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy." Have youth research a Victoria Cross recipient and orally present what they have learned to the rest of the group. Then have them write a brief account of the courageous actions taken by the recipient to include in a “Book of Valour” for display. This special book could be circulated to each youth to take home to share with their families. It could also be posted on the school Web site.

The Home Front Comes Through

During the war years, Canada had a vibrant ship building industry. Canadian farmers produced food for the war effort, while Ontario and Quebec's auto, aircraft and transportation industries produced armoured vehicles, trucks, aircraft and jeeps. The manufacturing sector produced uniforms, clothing, pots and pans and a host of other war materials. Every region of the country contributed in one way or another, from buying war bonds to collecting scrap metal. Have students research how their community supported the war effort and prepare a multimedia presentation or a scrapbook with old photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, posters, etc.

Putting a 'Stamp' on History

Library and Archives Canada maintains an on-line Postal Archives with images of different Canadian stamps released over the years available to be explored. Many of them have had a military theme. This archive has a search function that can be used to find stamps related to conflicts and prominent people from Canada's military history. Youth could explore this on-line collection to find images that could then be used as the basis of a poster or multimedia presentation about how stamps have been used to commemorate our past.

Offer the students' creations to the school library. Post them on your school Web site. Your students could also share their stories through social media.

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