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"Exploring the Newspaper" Activity

Integrate Remembrance Day with literacy, through the use of the Tales of Animals in War newspaper. The newspaper will both engage your students in understanding the importance of Remembrance through articles about the role of animals during war and symbols of remembrance, as well as learning about the purpose, structure, and features of newspapers and stories.


Share the front page of the newspaper with the students. Read aloud some of the articles’ titles and perhaps the front page. Ask the students to predict what some of the stories inside the newspaper may be about, given the title. Point out other elements of the newspaper (i.e. photos, activities, etc.).

Features of an Article

Discuss how reporters tell people about important events and interesting information in their articles. You may wish to discuss the features of an article:

  • a headline – a title that makes people want to read the article;
  • use of the "5 Ws and H" of journalism: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?;
  • illustrations to give more information (map, graph, photograph, etc.).

Exploring the Newspaper

Hand out a copy (paper or electronic) of the newspaper Tales of Animals in War to each student and allow them time to explore their copy. After your students have had sufficient time to explore the paper, you may wish to spend some time discussing what they have seen and read. Get them to tell you what the paper is about and what each of the animals discovered in their travels and visits. What was their favourite part?

A story map can help your students identify the different stories that make up the Tales of Animals in War publication, and to remember who the characters are, what they plan to do, and what happened in the newspaper.

What is Tales of Animals in War about? Print off a story map for each student to help them organize their findings.

  • Characters: Who or what is the story about?
  • Setting: Where and when does the story take place?
  • Issue: What is (are) the issue(s) or topic(s) of the newspaper?
  • Events: What happens in the story?
  • Conclusion: How does the story end?

Story Map

This publication is available upon request in alternate formats.
PDF Version

  • Main Characters
  • Title
  • Setting
  • Issue
  • Events – what did they do?
  • Conclusion

Extension Activities

Remembrance Clubhouse Members Biographies (Grade 5-6)

A biography is a non-fiction story. It is a story about someone else’s life (an autobiography is the story of your own life). It’s impossible to include every detail about someone’s life in a biography. However, most biographies include these things:

  • The person’s name
  • When and where the person was born
  • Something about the person’s family
  • Important events in the person’s life
  • Things that are special about the person
  • Information about what the person likes to do.

A good biography should include information that is INTERESTING to readers. As well, information should be correct, or accurate. To get accurate information, you need to read about it, or watch videos or conduct your own interviews. Write a biography about one of the Remembrance Clubhouse Ancestors using their family tree, or the Tales of Animals in War poster, and also the articles in the 2006 edition of Tales of Animals in War.

Use the biography organizer:

This publication is available upon request in alternate formats.
PDF Version

  1. Name
  2. Birth Information (Date, Parents, Location)
  3. Which Conflict / War Did They Serve In?
  4. Important Events or Experiences in War
  5. Roles or Responsibilities
  6. More Interesting Information

Remembrance Day Reporters (Grade 5 – 6)

  1. Tell your students that they will be covering the Remembrance Day Ceremony in your school, or the National Remembrance Day Ceremony broadcast on T.V. from Ottawa on November 11 at 11:00 am.
  2. Ask them to bring a notepad, pencil and Who What When Where Why Chart to the event.
  3. Ask them to take jot notes of what’s going on. What is the event? Who is participating, and what are they doing? Where is the event taking place? Why is the event happening (purpose of the ceremony)?
  4. Look and listen for details. How is the event happening? What is the order of events: What are some of the sights and sounds? (was there two minutes of silence, what music was played, was there a video or multimedia presentation, photographs or images seen?) Take jot notes so you don’t forget.
  5. Organize your jot notes.
  6. Use the information you’ve collected to write an article about the event (a paragraph).
  7. Display the articles in the hallway at your school, or publish them in your school’s online newsletter or website.

Community Announcements

Remembrance Day is the best time to either introduce or deepen the understanding of remembrance and its relevance in today's society. Encourage youth to spread the word about Remembrance Day. Consider asking your students to write about your Remembrance Day assembly in the school's newsletter or website or in notices to parents.

Create an Honour Roll of names of those who may have served and died who once attended your school, or lived in your community. Students could research names on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. Ask them to find a soldier’s name, the date they died, the age they were when they died, and where they died. The names could then be read out as part of an honour roll for use during Remembrance Day.

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