CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Who Should Be a Canadian Soldier?

History, Political Science
1 lesson
To define citizens’ expectations of soldiers as representatives of Canadian values
Students write positions on whether Canadian soldiers should be held to a higher standard than people in other professions.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Brainstorm a list of Canadian values with the class while you list their ideas on the board or chart paper. Prompt students to recall sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Ask: Do all Canadians share the values listed? Should all Canadians be required to agree with these values?

Outline the Opportunity


Have students browse the topic The Somalia Affair on the CBC Digital Archives website, then clips "Defending the Airborne Regiment", "Rampant racism in the Airborne Regiment", "'Bloody and contemptuous images'", and  "Rebels in 'Two Commando'."


Divide the class into small groups. Each group should discuss the following questions:


- How did the values of some soldiers in the Airborne regiment differ from the Canadian values we listed in this class?

- The CBC's Rex Murphy called some of the peacekeepers "thugs." Should "thugs" be prevented from serving in the Canadian military? If so, how?

 - Would you support a screening process for future soldiers that is more rigorous than the interview process for other types of jobs? Why or why not?

Each group should collaborate on a short statement that answers the question "Who should be a Canadian soldier?"


Revisit and Reflect


Post the groups' statements around the classroom. Students should read each statement, asking themselves, "As a citizen, what do I expect from the soldiers who represent Canada to the world?" Students can place a checkmark on statements they agree with and a star on statements that do an especially good job of capturing their views. Read aloud those statements that many students found exceptional.


Students can visit the National Defence website at www.dnd.ca and search "Careers"  to learn more about people in the Canadian forces.

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