Language selection


Lesson Plan: Flowers of Friendship


To increase youth awareness of Canadian efforts in the Liberation of the Netherlands during the Second World War.


Youth will:

  • develop a basic understanding of the Canadian efforts in the Liberation of the Netherlands;
  • develop an awareness of the friendly bond that exists between the Netherlands and Canada; and
  • develop an awareness of the importance of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of those who served in the Liberation of the Netherlands.

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 / Art Activity [15 minutes]


  • Flowers of Friendship story
  • Tulip colouring sheet (PDF)
  • Wait for Me Daddy Image (PDF)
  • World map showing Canada and the Netherlands

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 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 the Netherlands, and explain that country is also known as Holland.

Private Jack Bernard saying goodbye to his five-year-old son Warren

Wait for Me Daddy

PDF Version

Mention that the war started in Europe when some of the countries there were “bullying” some of the other countries. In places like the Netherlands, people and families lost their homes, and many people were cold and very hungry. Canada decided to help make this bullying stop 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 Dutch people from the enemy, and helped them to get food and warm clothing. They were very thankful for the help from Canadians and many people became good friends with Canadian soldiers. The Canadian soldiers also appreciated how friendly the Dutch people were to them because they were far away from home and their own families. These warm feelings have never stopped and today Canadians are still remembered in the Netherlands.

Read Aloud [5 minutes]

Read aloud the story Flowers of Friendship to help students understand how Canadian soldiers helped the Netherlands during the Second World War and how the Dutch people have shown their thanks to us.

Colouring Sheet Activity [15 minutes]

Provide the children with a tulip colouring sheet. Once completed, you may wish to display them on the wall. They may wish to colour them in shades of pink and purple (Princess Juliana’s favourite colours!) or their own favourite colours.

Date modified: