Sister Cities

Aim

To increase youth awareness of the 75th anniversary of the Dieppe Raid during the Second World War and to engage youth in active commemoration by remembering the sacrifices and achivements made by Canadians.

Objectives

Youth will be expected to:

  • develop a basic understanding of the Canadian efforts during the Dieppe Raid on August 19, 1942;
  • develop an awareness of the importance of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of those who served and those who died in service;
  • develop an awareness of various ways of remembering the fallen and how human relationships play an important role in healing; and
  • develop an appreciation for the effects that the Second World War had on the relationship between Canada and France.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for ages 8 to 12.

Sequence of events and anticipated time [variable]

(This activity is intended to follow the lesson plan "A Deadly Day".)

  • Introduction [15 minutes]
  • Reading activity – Sister Cities handout [20 minutes]
  • Symbols of hope concluding activities [variable]

Materials

Symbols of hope concluding activities:

  • Option 1: Remembrance kites art activity
    • Remembrance popsicle stick kites handout
    • Standard or long popsicle sticks
    • Colourful construction paper/cardstock
    • Party streamers or tissue paper
    • Glue
    • A roll of string or ribbon
  • Option 2: Design my own memorial activity

Introductory Discussion [15 minutes]

Review with your students what they already know about the Dieppe Raid (completing the lesson “A Deadly Day” would provide a good background). You may wish to discuss their feelings on what they have learned about this dark chapter in Canada’s military history. What can we all learn from an event which saw the loss of so many lives?

Remind the students that the French people had been under occupation for over two years by August 1942 when the Dieppe Raid took place. In addition to food shortages, the loss of French culture and way of life was a serious threat. Discuss how they think the people of Dieppe, France, felt after witnessing or hearing of the Canadian landing. Compare this to how they may have felt after the Canadians returned to Dieppe in September 1944 to liberate the town for good. Ask them why it is important to remember and commemorate the setbacks in war as well as the victories. You may wish to note their answers.

Refer to the map showing Canada and France. Ask the class if any of them or someone they know has ever visited France. Did they notice any tributes to Canada during their visit? Have they heard any stories of Canadians visiting France and receiving a warm welcome? If so, why might this be?

Ask your students if they have heard of the city of Dieppe in southeastern New Brunswick. Has anyone ever visited there? Does anyone know how this city came to be called “Dieppe?”

Reading Activity [20 minutes]

Share the handout Sister Cities to explore the importance of human relationships after a tragedy and in paying tribute to the fallen through the experience of the two cities of Dieppe, New Brunswick, and Dieppe, France. Depending on reading levels in the class, you may wish to read the handout aloud with the students and pause periodically to allow time for questions or sharings.

After reading, discuss with your students the different ways of remembering those who have sacrificed so that we may live in peace and freedom. How do human relationships factor into remembrance? Do they believe it is important to include an element of hope for the future when we commemorate tragedies such as the Dieppe Raid? Ask the class if they can think of symbols often used in remembrance and how they can sometimes incorporate a positive message (e.g. a beautiful field of poppies, doves flying in the sky, tulips in the National Capital Region). 

“Symbols of hope” concluding activities [variable]

The following options offer an opportunity for students to create their own symbols of hope in honour of those who served and those who died during the Dieppe Raid.

Option 1: Remembrance kites group activity challenge

Conclude the lesson by having the students create small popsicle stick kites with a special remembrance symbol or message of hope for a classroom display (not meant for flying outdoors) in honour of the Canadians who were on the beaches of Dieppe 75 years ago. Refer to the Remembrance popsicle stick kites handout for instructions on making the small kites.

They could develop their own messages or you could offer some ideas:

  • Remember a Canadian who lost his life at Dieppe (visit the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and search with the keywords “Dieppe” or “August 19, 1942”)
  • Thank a Veteran
  • Write a personal thought or poem of remembrance or of hope
  • Draw a poppy or other symbol of remembrance

Once complete, hang the kites from the ceiling or on a mural in the classroom. What a colourful way to remember! Take a picture of your kites and share it on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter or Facebook #Dieppe75.

Option 2: Design my own memorial activity

Tell the students that they will design and draw their own memorials to the Canadians who fought during the Dieppe Raid. You may want to give the students some ideas by discussing the following:

  • How will people feel when they look at the memorial? What will they think about?
  • What types of symbols do they want to put on the memorial? Why did they choose these symbols?
  • From what is the memorial made? Why did they choose this material?
  • What is around the memorial? (e.g. gardens, trees, beach, park)
  • Is there writing on the memorial, such as a poem? What does it say?
Have the students fill in their answers on the My memorial design handout first. Once they have chosen what will be on their memorial, they can draw and colour it on the white space above. Another option is to have the students create their memorial using play dough or silly putty and place it on the sheet of paper. They can colour the surroundings of the memorial on the handout and display their works on a table in the class or in the hallway to share them with the other students in your school!
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