Lesson Plan: Canada's Full Duty
Write the following quotation on the board or chart paper:
"Canada will do as she has always
done - her full duty" to help defend South Korea.
-- Canada's Liberal Foreign Affairs Minister Lester B. Pearson, 1950
Remind students that the United Nations was only five years old when this statement was made and that the Second World War was just recently over. Ask: What is Canada's full duty to the UN? What is Canada's full duty to the rest of the world? Has our duty changed over the last 50 years?
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Forgotten Heroes: Canada and the Korean War on the CBC Digital Archives website. Students will view the clips "Canada pledges military aid to South Korea," "The war intensifies," "Canada calls for volunteer soldiers," "Canada reacts to talk of using the atomic bomb in Korea," "A veteran remembers Canada's Forgotten War" and "Canadian veterans send a message to Ottawa." As they explore the site, students will note Canada's involvement in and contributions to the war in Korea.
After reviewing the site, students will assume the role of an editorial writer for a major Canadian newspaper in the early 1950s. Assign half the class to write an editorial supporting Canada's efforts while the other half writes to oppose the war effort.
Revisit and Reflect
Students should be sure to revise and edit so that their editorial is suitable for publication. Have students from both sides volunteer to share their finished editorials.
Students can use the arguments developed in their editorials as the basis of a formal debate on Canada's involvement in the Korean War.