Unit: World War I This unit will teach students about World War I and the role that Canada and Canadians played. Students will learn about the causes of the war and the nature of trench warfare. They will study battles that Canada participated in, and observe how the war affected the home front. The unit will culminate looking at how the war ended and the development of the Treaty of Versailles. Students will demonstrate these themes in a final performance assessment task where they creatively write a sample trench letter. Each lesson is designed with differentiated instruction to meet the needs of different types of learners. Environments are created for both individual and collaborative learning activities. Also, intertwined in each lesson there are opportunities for students to practice literacy skills.
Ontario Ministry of Education Curricular Expectations Communities: Local, National, and Global
assess the influence of Great Britain and Europe on Canada’s participation in war and peacekeeping
explain how and why the Canadian government restricted certain rights and freedoms in wartime, and describe the impact, both short- and long-term, of these restrictions on the general population and on various groups within Canada
Lesson Topic: Causes of World War I Course: CHC2D Unit: World War I Lesson Duration: 75 min
Chart Paper and Markers
Teacher Setting the Stage
introduce the topic of WWI
brief discussion: what do we know about the global situation at this point in time? when did WWI start? does anyone know what caused WWI?
break students into groups: each group is given one cause of WWI (militarism, alliances, imperialism, nationalism) and using their textbooks they write down some key points from their topic on chart paper
each group presents their answers and class is given time to write information in their notebooks
put up PowerPoint note and lead brief lecture to fill in any points that were missed in student presentations, as well as introduce assassination
complete self assessment
have a brief discussion on what they think is the most important cause and whether the assassination can be seen as a cause or whether it should only be categorized as a trigger
assignment: students are to write 1-2 paragraphs on what cause they believe was the most important and why
homework: if students do not finish assignment in class, they are to complete it for homework
*teacher to use as diagnostic assessment only to determine level of writing and thinking skills*
students participate in opening discussion
students work in groups, using their textbooks to find key points to write on chart paper
student groups share these answers to the class and take notes on others’ presentations
students add any missing information to their charts
break students into groups to share the chart they created with each other
ask each group to decide on their top three best answers for each side of the chart (in case their best answer is taken from a previous group) so that they can share at least one with the class
as a class have each group share one answer for each side of the chart
facilitate completion of the rest of the package independently
discuss as a class surprising or interesting things they have been reading from the package
ask students questions such as “what surprised you the most?”, “what was most disturbing for you?”, “how would you be feeling if you were in the trenches?”
homework: students are to create a new chart about what soldiers would have liked and disliked about the trenches including the new information that they have learned from reading the rest of the package
students complete independently the first page “trench warfare”
students work in groups sharing what they came up with in their chart about what soldiers may have thought about the trenches
student groups share these answers as a class
students complete the rest of the package independently
students actively participate in discussion and complete homework assignment
TRENCH WARFARE When the Germans attacked in Belgium they quickly beat the armies defending the borders and managed to get into France very quickly. The British and French generals, uncertain about how to stop the German advance decided to ‘dig in’ and ordered the construction of Trenches to act as a barrier against the attack.
The soldiers dug a hole about a metre wide at the bottom and two metres deep. Boards were placed on the ground to act as drainage. On the side of the trench facing the enemy a ‘fire step’ was cut into the wall. This was for soldiers to shoot from. Sandbags were placed at the top of the trench. This would stop the trench caving in if a bomb went off nearby. It also provided more protection from bullets. In front of the trench Barbed wire was rolled out. This was to stop soldiers being able to charge at the trench. The diagram below shows you what a trench might have looked like:
The trench would be equipped with men armed with rifles and bayonets. At regular intervals along the trench there were machine gun posts.
• Copy the diagram of the trench into your exercise book. Label it clearly using the second paragraph to help you.
• Write a brief paragraph explaining why the generals ordered the construction of trenches.
• Using the diagram and important points, create a chart to compare what soldiers may have thought about the trenches. Brainstorm 5 things that soldiers may have liked and 5 things soldiers may not have liked about the trenches.
Lesson Topic: Main Canadian Battles (Somme, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele) Course: CHC2D Unit: World War I Lesson Duration: 75 min
discuss, in greater detail, what the experiences of Canadian soldiers was like in these battles, as well as how these battles impacted WWI as a whole.
ask students questions such as “what battle do you believe is most significant for Canadians?”, “how do you feel Canadian involvement influenced WWI and its battles?”, “who do you believe held the advantage in each of the battles?”
students complete their fill in the blank note
students work in groups answering questions for Primary Document Analysis
student groups share these answers as a class
students actively participate in discussion and complete peer assessment