Lesson Plan: For Teachers: History in Living Memory
Draw a timeline from 1900 to the present on the board or
chart paper. Ask students to brainstorm key events, prompting them to think of
at least one event for each decade, and record these above the timeline.
Ask: Who do you know who was alive at the time of these events? Record responses below the timeline, indicating time periods that grandparents, parents, siblings, or students would have experienced. Introduce the concept of "history in living memory," and tell students that they are "primary sources" about their own times.
Outline the Opportunity
Have students visit the topic The Somalia Affair on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them view the clips "Somalia: culture, chaos and clans", "'Belet Huen is a peaceful place'", "Canadian soldiers under investigation", "Dismissal with disgrace". Direct students to take notes to answer the following questions:
What problems did Somalia face in the early 1990s?
When did Canadians go to Somalia? Why did they go?
What did Canadians accomplish?
What tragedies occurred during the Canadian mission to Somalia?
What were some of the consequences of the tragedies?
Revisit and Reflect
Lead a discussion about the Canadian
mission in Somalia. Students may use their notes to relate the reasons for the
mission and key events during and following the mission. Many students will be
shocked by the events. Encourage them to express personal views and feelings
about this dark moment in the history of Canadian peacekeeping.
Point out to students that these events occurred during their lifetimes, even if they were too young to follow the story as it unfolded. Ask them to relate some of the things that were happening in their lives or the lives of family members while history was "being written." Ask students what current events are history in the making.
Students can talk with adults and family members about the events in Somalia. Encourage them to share the memories and impressions of people for whom this history is part of living memory.