CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: A Call to Arms

History, English Language Arts, Social Studies
1 to 2 lessons
To analyze Canada’s level of commitment to an alliance during the First World War; to support an opinion
Students analyze Canada’s level of commitment to an alliance during the First World War and support their opinion in a discussion.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Write the word "alliance" on the board. Ensure that students understand the meaning of the word and ask them to give examples of alliances to which they belong (for example, a student council working with school administration), or examples of alliances within their community.

Pose and discuss the following questions:

How are alliances usually formed?

What actions or practices might be expected of a member of an alliance?

How can alliances be beneficial?

How might alliances lead to conflict?

What level of commitment is expected when you belong to an alliance?

Tell students that they will learn and formulate an opinion about Canada's level of commitment to the First World War as a result of Great Britain trying to honour the alliance known as the Triple Entente.

Outline the Opportunity

Individually, have students listen to and view the clip "Canada answers the call" on the topic  The First World War: Canada Remembers on the CBC Digital Archives website.

As they listen, they record facts in point form to show evidence of the level of support, both in theory and in practice, that Canada provided to the war efforts of the First World War. What did Canada do that showed support? What did Canada do that indicated a lack of support?

Write this statement on the board: Canada did indeed "render assistance to the full extent of her power." Students use their notes to offer an opinion about the level of Canada's commitment as a member of an alliance during the First World War.

Revisit and Reflect

Gather as a class and record the facts on the board. Ask students to share and justify their opinions about Canada's commitment to the Triple Entente. Revisit the questions posed in Before Exploring by applying them to Canada's commitment to Great Britain and its membership within the Triple Entente during the First World War.




Students can write a journal entry in which they reflect about whether or not they would personally "answer the call" under similar circumstances.


Related Content

Writers & Company: Pat Barker's Regeneration

The author of a First World War trilogy takes inspiration from her grandfather's experience.

An original war bride

Peggy Holmes, a war bride of the First World War, recalls coming to Canada in 1919.

First World War cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather

CBC television's Close-up marks Remembrance Day with commentary by journalist and WWI veteran ...

Remembering John McCrae

An interview with Walter Gow, cousin and boyhood friend of In Flanders Fields author John McCr...