Lesson Plan: I Remember Afghanistan Word Search

Aim

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

Objectives

Youth will:

  • develop a basic understanding of the Canadian Armed Forces efforts in Afghanistan; and
  • develop an awareness of the importance of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of Canadian Armed Forces Veterans.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for ages 8 to 11.

Sequence of Events and Anticipated Time Frame [50 minutes]

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

  • Introductory Discussion [10 minutes]
  • Word Search Activity [15 minutes]
  • Follow-up Activities [15 minutes]
  • Wrap-up Discussion [10 minutes]
  • Possible Extension Activity [variable]

Materials

Introductory Discussion [10 minutes]

Brainstorm about the various roles of the Canadian Armed Forces. Are the children aware of any military or humanitarian efforts by the Canadian Armed Forces in Canada or abroad? What do they know about Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan? You may wish to record their responses in a thought web.

Show them where Afghanistan is on a map and how far away it is from Canada. You could discuss things like the geography of the country, the cities near where Canadians served and other basic information to help set the stage for the word search activity. Before beginning this activity, you may wish to read the Canada Remembers the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan information sheet to familiarize yourself with Canada’s efforts there.

Share that March 2014 marked the end of the Afghanistan 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.

Word Search Activity [15 minutes]

Distribute the word search sheet (PDF) and have the children find the words relating to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan. When they are done, you can then segue into the follow-up activity of your choice.

Follow-up Activities [15 minutes]

As time allows, you could extend this lesson with a variety of literacy-related activities to build on the words with which the children have been working. They could write definitions for the words or use them in special sentences to describe Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan. You could have them write a short story about what Canadians in uniform have done there using the words in the activity sheet and illustrate their story with a picture.

Wrap-up Discussion [10 minutes]

Take the opportunity to have the children share their definitions, sentences, creative stories or pictures with one another. Talk about the importance of remembering the courage and sacrifice of Canadian Armed Forces members. You could illustrate this portion of the lesson by showing Our Freedom 2018 Remembrance Vignette video.

You could ask if anyone has family or neighbours who served in Afghanistan. They can also share their personal thoughts on Canada’s military efforts in that troubled land.

Possible Extension Activity [variable]

Inviting a Canadian Armed Forces Veteran who served in Afghanistan to be a guest speaker would be an exceptional opportunity to learn first-hand what it was like to serve in the cause of peace and freedom there. For more information visit the Memory Project Speakers Bureau website.

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