In this activity, students will explore a personal or family narrative that spans the First or Second World War via a series of primary sources. They will then use this information to assess the experiences of their chosen subject and revisit the concept of how identity is shaped.
Primary Source Evidence
Cause and Consequence
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Students will be able to:
Describe the personal experiences of one Canadian or Canadian family from the pre-First World War era to the post-Second World War era (Evidence);
Assess the personal experiences of one Canadian or Canadian family from the pre-First World War era to the post-Second World War era for positive and negative personal impact;
Evaluate how peacetime vs. wartime shaped the identity of one Canadian or Canadian family (Historical Perspectives).
SUGGESTED TIME FRAME
In this activity, students will explore a personal or family narrative of their choice from the From Vimy to Juno virtual exhibit. They will use the overview of the person’s or family’s story to gain a basic understanding of their activities from the
pre-First World War to post- Second World War eras. Once they have that basic understanding they will explore a range of primary sources to understand and assess the associated experiences. Finally, they will revisit the concept of how identity is shaped.
1. Introduction (Day 1 - 25 minutes)
- Explain to students that in this lesson they will get to know the journey of one Canadian or Canadian family who had links to both the First and Second World Wars. More specifically, they will explore the role or roles this person or family had in both
peace and wartime and draw conclusions as to the impact these experiences might have had on identity – personal and national.
- Give students a little bit of time to look through some of the stories and choose their person or family of focus.
- Once students have chosen their person or family of focus, come back together for a short debrief. Mention each person or family and ask which students chose to study them. Choose a few students to explain why they made that particular choice. Ask them
if they can make a link between their personal identities and their choice.
2. Exploring an Individual Journey (Day 1 - 55 minutes + Day 2 - 40 minutes)
- Handout a copy of "BLM #3.1 - Exploring an Individual Journey"* and "Rubric #3.1 - Exploring at Individual Journey" to each student.
- Ask them to read the introductory narrative for their chosen person or family and fill in the “Locations” and “Activities” columns of their graphic organizer.
- Encourage students to be as specific as possible regarding location (e.g. city rather than province or country) although this will not be possible for all locations.
- Encourage students to google any activities or occupations they may not be familiar with.
- Once students have completed the “Locations” and “Activities” columns have them explore the primary sources within their chosen narrative. Ask them to analyze each source to find out what their person or family might have seen, heard, felt, smelled or
tasted as they carried out their particular job, fought in battle, etc. Students should record their findings in the “Senses” column of their graphic organizer.
- Remind students that some sensory experiences will be easier than others to infer. For example, it might be difficult for students to determine what someone may have smelled.
- Next, once students have explored all the primary sources within their narrative they should return to the grand narrative timeline and explore the primary sources related to any event that had a direct impact on the individual journey they are investigating.
Ask them to analyze these new sources in order to add to the “Senses” column.
- Finally, students should reexamine their findings to determine whether each era (pre-First World War, interwar years, Second World War and post-Second World War) was negative, neutral or positive for their chosen individual or family. For each assessment
ask students to give reasons for their assessment.
*BLM #3.1 helps students understand the journey of the person they have chosen. Each row represents an era (Pre-First World War, First World War, Interwar Years, Second World War, Post- Second World War). For each era, students include details of Locations, Activities, and Senses. Finally, students make and justify an assessment about whether the era was positive, negative, or neutral. The BLM is available in the downloaded material.
3. Exploring personal and national identity more deeply (Day 2 - 40 minutes)
- Ask students to create an identity map for their chosen individual or family. (See Lesson #1 for identity map instructions.)
- Once they have done so, ask students to reflect on the following questions. Reflections can be completed via: class discussions, written compositions, blog posts, digital discussion boards, vlogs, etc:
- How were your individual’s or family’s experiences shaped by their identities
- What aspect of identity had the most impact on their negative experiences? Positive experiences?
- Revisit the Canadian identity that was identified in Lesson #2. To what extent is that identity similar to the identity of your chosen individual? What do you think accounted for these similarities or differences?
Back to Lesson Plans
||Listed all locations mentioned in the narrative and associated sources.
||Listed most locations mentioned in the narrative and associated sources.
||Listed some locations mentioned in the narrative and associated sources.
||Listed all the activities mentioned in the narrative and associated sources.
||Listed most of the activities mentioned in the narrative and associated sources.
||Listed some of the activities mentioned in the narrative and associated sources.
||Accurately analysed a variety of primary sources to infer the detailed sensory experiences of the chosen person or family.
||Accurately analysed some sources to infer the basic sensory experiences of the chosen person or family.
|Analysed some sources with support to infer the basic sensory experiences of the chosen person or family.
||Assessed the era and supported it with a detailed and logical explanation.
||Assessed the era and supported it with a brief and logical explanation.
||Assessed the era with support.