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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: A Lack of Compassion

Type: Introductory
Subjects: History, Social Studies, Political Science
Duration: 1 to 2 lessons
Purpose: To identify and reflect on public recognition given to veterans
Summary: In this introductory activity, students will complete a worksheet charting the compensation given to various veteran groups.

Before Exploring

Have small groups of students discuss public recognition. Ask:

For what types of deeds are people publicly congratulated?

Tell us about anyone you know who has received public recognition.

Do you think public recognition is beneficial? Why or why not? In what cases?

Why do you think some people who do things that serve the public like to be anonymous?

Ask the students to discuss occasions when they have not been recognized for something for which they believed they deserved recognition. Ask: How did you feel? Did you try to get proper recognition? How? Were you successful? Share these observations with the class and discuss generally the question: Were your efforts to be recognized for your accomplishments worth the trouble? Why or why not?

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to Continuing the Fight: Canada's Veterans on the CBC Digital Archives website. Have them browse all of the clips and then complete the download sheet A Lack of Compassion.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students share their findings and as a class answer the following questions: Were the efforts of the various veteran groups worth the pain, suffering, time, and energy used to achieve the end? Explain. Did the veterans achieve all they deserved?


Students can look at ways that Canada recognizes public service, such as the Order of Canada. Students then create a public service award; naming it, setting out criteria for earning it, and designing the award. Students might suggest someone whom they would nominate to receive the award.

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