CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Women Contribute to the War Effort

History, Social Studies
2 to 3 lessons
To explore the roles undertaken by women during the Second World War
In this introductory activity, students perform dramatic monologues about contributions made by women during the Second World War.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Brainstorm with the students all the jobs one could possibly do during wartime and note their responses on the board or chart paper. Have students list, individually, jobs they think women did during the Second World War. Then ask volunteers to check off on the board any of the jobs they listed on their own lists, and to explain their choices.

Outline The Opportunity

Direct students to the topic Canadian Women in the Second World War on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have students review the site, including the Did You Know? sections, and select one clip that describes a job that interests them.

Based on their site review, students will write a first person, one- to two-minute monologue describing a day in the life of a woman during the Second World War. Students should focus on one particular job women did during the war. Students should practise their monologues in the mirror before they perform for the class. Students can choose to dress for their presentation in appropriate, job-related clothing.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students perform their monologues. Ask students to select the one performance, other than their own, that most affected them and broadened their understanding of women's roles during the Second World War. Students should explain their choice.


Students can work in pairs to create an acrostic poem with the phrase "Canadian Women in the Second World War." Students write the phrase vertically down a page. For each of the 32 letters, pairs create a phrase starting with that letter that explains or describes the role of women during the Second World War.

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