CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Symbols

History, Visual Arts, English Language Arts, Social Studies
1 to 2 lessons
To create a symbol to represent an idea
To reflect on the meaning of symbols in the military, and to create a new symbol in the form of art, music, drama, poetry, or prose, that represents the contributions of Canada's peacekeepers.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Brainstorm with the class about Canadian symbols, flags, monuments, songs, and so on. Create a list of symbols on the board for reference purposes. Place students into groups of four to five and ask them to categorize the generated list into general or military symbols. Have them share their lists as a class, and then ask: Why does the military have these symbols?

Outline the Opportunity

In pairs, direct students to the clips "Honouring the Peacekeeper" and "Building the Monument" on the topic Peacekeeper to the World on the CBC Digital Archives website.  Ask them to examine the monument and identify the symbolism in it. Assign each student the task of creating a new symbol to recognize the contributions of Canada's peacekeepers. This symbol can be in the form of art, music, drama, poetry, or prose.

Revisit and Reflect

Once the new symbols have been created, place the class into groups of five or six. Have them share their symbols with one another in each group and select one symbol for presentation to the class.



Students, as a class, can select three symbols that best articulate thanks to the peacekeepers. Arrange to send them to the military for presentation to peacekeeper representatives.

Assessment Tip

You might look for the following to choose three representative symbols:

How well does it reflect the military's work in peacekeeping and peacemaking?

Can it be distributed easily to a wide audience?

Is it a symbol that could become well recognized as supportive and Canadian?

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