Lesson Plan: For Teachers: To a New Life
Have students imagine that they are marrying and moving to a different country. Ask:
- What do you need to know about the country?
- What information resources are available to help you learn about the country?
- How can you travel to the country?
- What concerns do you have?
- What challenges do you face?
- How will you say goodbye to your family?
Have students consider what might be different about the information resources available today and those available during the Second World War. How might the differences make a war bride's move challenging?
During the Second World War, there were so many war brides in Great Britain that the Canadian government, in conjunction with the Red Cross, set up the Canadian Wives' Bureau in London to help war brides gain information about Canada. Students will create a list of questions that a war bride might ask at the Bureau in order to gather the information she needs.
Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the topic Love and War: Canadian War Brides on the CBC Digital Archives website. Working individually, have students listen to and view the clips "Welcome to the Canadian Wives' Bureau" and "'A way to a new life,'" and read the accompanying Did You Know? sections. Using the information they gathered, have them write several essential questions for the Wives' Bureau that a war bride would need answered before moving to Canada to join her husband. Students can record their questions in point form on the download sheet To a New Life. Questions might address the lifestyle in Canada, travel from Great Britain to a new home in Canada, and other concerns and challenges mentioned in the clips.
Assessment Tip: Collect students' completed charts to check for effort and accuracy.
Revisit and Reflect
Gather as a class. You might record a summary of questions on an overhead transparency of the download sheet. Lead a class discussion based on the following questions:
- How might war brides have felt about the information they were given or the difficulty in getting information?
- What were the main challenges and changes that war brides would expect?
- Why was it necessary to establish the Canadian Wives' Bureau?
- Why does the Bureau no longer exist?
- Explain why it would have been difficult for war brides to leave their families and their country.