Language selection


Lesson Plan: Hughes the Donkey Helps


To increase youth awareness of Canadian Armed Forces efforts in Afghanistan.


Youth will:

  • learn about the ways Canadians helped the people of Afghanistan;
  • get the message that our own communities are also a place to help each other; and
  • learn about animals in war helping humans.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for ages 5 to 7.

Sequence of Events and Anticipated Time Frame [30 minutes]

(This activity can be modified to fit available time.)

  • Discussion [10 minutes]
  • Read Aloud [5 minutes]
  • Colouring Sheet Activity [15 minutes]


Discussion [10 minutes]

Provide the children with a bit of an understanding about the Afghanistan mission. Talk about how the war in Afghanistan began in 2001. Mention to them that this was a long time ago—before they were even born!

You may wish to show them where Afghanistan is on a map and how far away it is from Canada. You can talk about why Canadians went to Afghanistan. Explain that the soldiers went to Afghanistan to help stop the people that were bullying others in their own country.

You can explain that Canadians risked their lives to help the people of Afghanistan. Talk about how when people we know are hurt, like family members or friends, we do what we can to help them. That is what the Canadian Armed Forces do, too. They respond with acts of kindness and provide help around the world in faraway places.

Share that March 2014 marked the end of the mission and the return of the last Canadian troops. Talk about why it is important to recognize, remember and say thank you to those Canadians who bravely served in Afghanistan.

As an introduction to the story Hughes the Donkey Helps, explain that even animals can help! Sometimes they are used to help soldiers by carrying heavy supplies or by finding things with their special sense of smell.

Read Aloud [5 minutes]

Read aloud the Hughes the Donkey Helps story (PDF).

Colouring Sheet Activity [15 minutes]

Provide the children with a Hughes the Donkey Helps colouring sheet (PDF).

Date modified: