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Beachcomber Delivers the News


To increase youth awareness of Canadian efforts in the Dieppe Raid during the Second World War.


Youth will:

  • develop a basic understanding of the Canadian efforts in the Dieppe Raid;
  • develop an awareness of how pigeons were helpful during the Dieppe raid; and
  • develop an awareness of the importance of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of those who fought in the Dieppe Raid.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for ages 5 to 7.

Sequence of events and anticipated time

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

  • Discussion [10 minutes]
  • Read aloud [5 minutes]
  • Maze and colouring sheet activity [15 minutes]


Discussion [10 minutes]

Have a brief discussion with your students about what makes a person a friend. Discuss sharing, playing together, helping, etc. Then shift the conversation to what they think a whole country could do to be a friend.

Provide the children with a bit of an understanding about the Second World War. Talk about how the war began long ago in 1939, before their parents or maybe even their grandparents were born! Look at a world map and locate the continent of Europe. Discuss and show them how far away Europe is from Canada and North America. See if they can spot France.

Mention that the war started in Europe when some of the countries there were “bullying” some of the other countries. In places like Dieppe, France, people and families sometimes lost their homes, and many people were cold and hungry. Canada decided to help stop the bullying and sent thousands of Canadians to help.

Some of these brave people were parents. It was hard for them to leave their families in Canada and go so far away to risk their lives. Many of them stayed overseas for four or five years to fight in the war. Their children missed them too. Share with the children the Wait for Me Daddy image—the picture of a five-year-old boy running after his dad as he marches off to war. What would mom and dad be feeling? What would the boy be feeling? Does any child in the class have a parent who has to travel far away for work? If so, how did it make them feel? Or how do they think it would make them feel?

The Canadian soldiers fought in many difficult battles, but eventually they did help to free the French people from the enemy, and helped them to get food and warm clothing. French people were very thankful for the help from Canadians.

Read Aloud [5 minutes]

Read aloud the handout Beachcomber Delivers the News to help students understand how animals, such as pigeons have helped humans in times of war.

Maze and Colouring Sheet Activity [15 minutes]

Provide the children with a Beachcomber Delivers the News maze and a Dickin Medal colouring sheet. Read the information with your students about the Dickin Medal on the colouring sheet and talk about the striped ribbon, and what the three colours represent. Once completed, you may wish to display them on the wall.

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