Creative Writing (Ages 12-18)

Photographs and stories are powerful tools for bringing the events of long ago to the present. The images on the poster provide a snapshot of those who served. Encourage youth to write a story to go along with the images and share their work with one another.

Possible story lines:

  • Imagine you are one of the soldiers on the back of the truck in the poster, coming back from the great victory at Vimy Ridge. Write a letter home or a diary entry. Describe your feelings—both the positive ones for having accomplished so much and the difficult emotions surrounding having had friends seriously hurt or killed in the fighting. Include some details on the fighting you have seen and the conditions you have suffered.
  • During the First World War, most Canadian soldiers who saw action in Europe lived and fought in trenches along the Western Front. Trench warfare was dirty and dangerous. Imagine you are one of the soldiers digging a trench in the picture to the left. How would you describe your days in a letter back home to give your family snapshot of life in the trenches? Would you miss your home and family if you had to spend your days in such a setting?
  • Imagine you are a war correspondent, side-by-side with the soldiers in one of the settings shown in the poster images. What would you write about the victory at Vimy Ridge for the people back home? What might you write about life in the trenches? How would you describe the victory and contrast it with the harsh conditions and the constant threat of death that was part of being a soldier in the First World War?
  • Life on the home front in Canada during the First World War also saw a great deal of service and sacrifice. All of Canadian society had to make an extra effort and contribute to the war effort, whether in factories, on the farm or through rationing in the home. Imagine that you are the mother, father, girlfriend, wife, or younger brother or sister of one of the soldiers in the poster. Write a letter to him about how things are going on the home front and your worries about his safety on the front line.
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