Teacher can explain (5 mins) background to a few key moments in the War leading up to the last 100 days. Teacher to handout student activity sheet (in student package) detailing the cost of war. Students to fill in the blanks on casualties from the major battles of WWI, as per sheet while following along with the teacher presentation. Following the presentation and the activity sheet, students must complete a cost-analysis of the War, as per instructions on student handout. What did winning the War really cost? How many lives were necessary? Was it all worth it? Students to complete a brief reflection, as per student handout. What percentage of RMR men became casualties, lost their lives? Teacher can show at the end in the presentation, there is a slide with the link to the Encyclopedia Britannica video clip on the end of the War (3:36mins).
As per the presentation students have just viewed, the risks, casualties and deaths were enormous in achieving victory. The War was fought on the ground, often through difficult, inclement weather and harsh terrain. Trench warfare played a pivotal part in Canada’s victory at Vimy Ridge and elsewhere. It came at a cost to soldier’s physical and mental well-being.
Students will now explore what the conditions were like living and fighting in the trenches and try on the soldiers’ kits they carried with them (60 pounds!) to try and understand and perhaps even empathize with Canadian soldiers who experienced this in WWI.
Teacher to continue presentation: Trench life. Presentation contains points below and pictures on trench life.
While students view this section of the presentation, they will complete the handout on Trench Life Notes, as per student handout. They will write down their observations of what they see as they view the facts in the presentation and links to pictures. See student handout.
Presentation – show Claude Cloutier’s NFB short animation, The Trenches, 6:55 mins. No dialogue, only sound (powerful- shelling, fear). Ask students what emotions they feel while viewing this short animation.
Presentation – Teacher can also show NFB short doc (9 mins) Front Lines-The Trenches. Excellent original footage and includes recordings of excerpts of letters home from a soldier’s perspective. Students can also include their observations from this clip in their observation sheet on trench life, as per student handout.
Ask students to observe the pictures of the trench life in the presentation. Students can try on the full uniform gear kit to appreciate the weight soldiers had to carry on them. Students to write their observations of this experience on the note sheet. Students will use their notes from trench life to write a reflection. See student handout and description below. The RMR Museum can also lend the kit to schools as part of the mobile RMR Museum.
Get the chance to interact with our replica uniforms from the Great War. We lend both the soldier’s and the nurse’s uniform so that every one can picture how people dressed during wartime. The uniforms offer a small insight into the daily lives of the ordinary people who participated in events that took unprecedented proportions.
This exhibition provides an overview of the First World War, from its causes to its consequences, with a special focus on the Battle of Vimy Ridge and its importance to the conflict. It is composed of 14 panels.