Friday, October 31, 2014

Letters from the Front - The Great War

A Highlander as sentry at a gas post
You've heard or read some "letters from the front" in class. Now, take about 20-30 minutes to explore the following sites to get a feel for some of the details of the front lines in Europe as experienced by Canadian soldiers:

Canadian Letters & Images Project

Letters from the front

First World War Project

Calgary Highlanders

Interactive Trench Game

Canada’s War Museum on WWI

Create an interview between a reporter and a soldier or a fictional letter home from a Canadian man on the front lines or woman actively involved at or near the front lines. Assume the person has served at least one of the Battles of Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, and Passchendaele, and knows about the other three or maybe other battles that Canada participated in, like the 100 Days Offensive.

Your interview or letter should aim to inform the Canadian public at home about and include details about a minimum of 5 of the following:
  • trench warfare 
  • life in the front lines 
  • the roles of technology in the war 
  • the quality of military leadership 
  • morale of Canadian soldiers 
  • the effectiveness of Canadian troops 
  • the impact of war on civilians and towns 
  • hospitals and medical treatment 
  • the roles of women in the war 
When you've done a good draft (not necessarily your final draft), post your interview or letter here under Comments. This is a detailed account, not just a quick note to tell your folks that "war is hell." Weave in some personal research on Canada & WWI from your classwork, the Canadiana Scrapbooks, and the weblinks above (or other websites). Posting comments can sometimes be tricky (Blogger can drop your comment, or the internet connection could drop), so it is highly advised that you do this on a Word Doc first and then paste it into a comment here.

Be sure to include your name & last initial (e.g. Marcy W) so I can sort out who did what. After that, look through some of your classmates' work and offer at least one comment to a classmate offering constructive feedback. Some letters will be selected for further editing and publication online.

Optional: if you have a relative or person your family knew that served in WWI, you may wish to consider them as a "test subject" for this assignment -- e.g. write the letter from his/her voice or construct an interview with this person. This may require additional research on your part.

I'm really looking forward to the results.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Victorian Era

Try a websearch to find out about how Canadians lived during the time of Confederation, plus a little bit before and after -- 1850-1901. This is sometimes called the Victorian Era (both in Canada and in Great Britain). Leave a comment below with what you find, perhaps something you find unusual about the way Canadians lived. To get you thinking about this time period and topic, try this game: You can also use your comment to say what you thought about the game (what you learned from it).