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Activity 2: A Letter from a Grandparent

Grades 6-8
Duration: 1 lesson


Students will write a letter in role as a survivor of the Halifax Explosion.

To consider how disasters affect their survivors

Subjects: History, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Before Exploring
Ask: How might living a long time make one a valuable observer? What stories from the past have you heard from older people in general, or from your grandparents? Why might some people and cultures consider the experiences of older generations so important?

Outline the Opportunity
Direct students to the CBC Halifax Explosion Web site. Students will review the topic as if they themselves had experienced this powerful and tragic event. Provide students with the download sheet Letter Organizer for point-form notes, which they will then shape into a letter that a grandparent might write to future generations about the Halifax Explosion.

Remind students that they are writing their letters in role as a survivor of the Halifax Explosion. Ask: What events, memories, and so on would likely stay with you forever? What might you want to say to future generations?

Revisit and Reflect
Students can share their letters with the class. Encourage them to discuss and compare the emotions and opinions of their classmates.

Students can make a collage of the letters to create a display for Remembrance Day. Students can exchange letters and write personal responses to the letter they receive.

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