Lesson Plan: Heroes Remember the Italian Campaign

Aim

To increase youth’s awareness of Canadian efforts in the Italian Campaign during the Second World War.

Objectives

Youth will:

  • demonstrate a basic understanding of the events surrounding the Italian Campaign;
  • gain an appreciation of the challenges faced by the Canadians who served in the Italian Campaign; and
  • develop an awareness of the importance of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of Canadian Veterans.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for ages 12 to 14.

Sequence of Events and Anticipated Time Frame [45 minutes]

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

  • Introductory Discussion [10 minutes]
  • War at the Boot Reading Activity [10 minutes]
  • Viewing of the Heroes Remember the Italian Campaign Part 3 Video [7:14 minutes]
  • Follow-up Discussion [15 minutes]
  • Possible Extension Activity [variable]

Materials

Introductory Discussion [10 minutes]

Begin a discussion about the Second World War. More than one million Canadians served in uniform during the Second World War—that is more than the entire population of some provinces. Look at a map and have youth locate Italy.

Explain that the Sicily Campaign was the first phase of the larger Italian Campaign. In a timeline of Canadian events in the Second World War, it would fall after the Dieppe Raid (August 1942) and before the landings on Juno Beach “D-Day” and the subsequent Battle of Normandy (June 1944).

War at the Boot Reading Activity [10 minutes]

Provide each person with the handout War at the Boot. This handout will provide them with an understanding of the Italian Campaign.

Once youth have a general understanding of the history of the Italian Campaign, they are ready to watch the Heroes Remember the Italian Campaign video.

Viewing of the Heroes Remember the Italian Campaign Video
[10 minutes]

Explain to youth that they will be watching the Heroes Remember the Italian Campaign video. This video aims to honour Veterans by giving them the opportunity to recount their Italian Campaign experiences from a personal viewpoint, rather than a historical one.

Their first-hand accounts will take youth into the private and never-forgotten memories of Veterans. They will learn about some of the events in the Italian Campaign that helped to shape Canada as a nation and contributed to the formation of Canadian values, and they will hear the personal encounters of Canada’s brave young men and women with fate. Listening and watching will provide youth an understanding of what it was like to have been there. Distribute the question sheet to students. After the video, review the answers.

Follow-up Discussion [15 minutes]

Follow up with a discussion. It could be an open group discussion or a facilitated discussion. You may wish to ask youth, from all of their learning throughout this activity, what stands out for them?

These young men and women left behind their families and the safety of their homes because of their sense of duty and patriotism. Ask youth if they think that the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform in the Italian Campaign to help the Allies triumph in the Second World War were worth it; and what do they imagine the Italians think about the Canadians who fought so hard and sacrificed so greatly to help liberate their country?

Is it important to remember the Canadians who served in the Second World War?

Possible Extension Activity [variable]

Inviting a Veteran 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 during the Second World War. For more information visit the Memory Project Speakers Bureau website.

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