Remembrance Day / Veterans Day / Armistice Day Activity
Here is a student activity (with marking guide) to help make Remembrance Day meaningful for the students.
Letter From Home
Now that you’ve had time to learn about some of the things that soldiers had to go through during World War I, imagine what it would be like if you were living back in that time yourself.
Let’s say you’re a student in Canada during World War I (1914-18). Imagine you have a family member or friend you are very close to you who has gone off to fight or help with the war. You can’t phone, email, or text. The only way to contact people back then was to mail gifts and letters that could take weeks or months to arrive.
Write a letter to this person. Cheer them up with stories from home. This person might be a soldier or someone helping medically, such as a war nurse.
Use your imagination.
- What is the date? (Think about seasons or holidays.)
- Where are you living? ( Pick a place anywhere in Canada. Maybe you are in a city, town or on a farm.)
- Who is this person? (Father, brother, aunt, cousin? Friend? Give this person a name.)
Use imagery and details to make them feel as if they were home, describing through the five senses. The trick is to use examples from the time period of the early 1900s. Use your research skills to find interesting events, literature, landmarks, common objects and activities of the time.
- Sound Your pet dog Alfie, who is a Malamute breed and howls when you sing to him
- Smell The cozy warmth spreading through the house and the smell of sage and rosemary as the turkey cooks for Thanksgiving
- Feel The recent blizzard that blew down the shed. You had to rescue the kittens living there! You had to make sure you were protected from the horrible weather by wearing all your winter clothes such as wolf fur mittens, hat, scarf, and snow boots!
- Taste The new walnut maple flavour you tried last summer at Brigham's ice cream shop
- Sight You read the book The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel by Thornton W. Burgess to your five-year old cousin Sayja. Sayja is staying with your family right now!
Letter From Home Checklist
Full Marks: 14 marks
Details to include (10 marks)
- Date during WW1 time period (1914-18). 1 mark
- Example - April 19th, 1915
- Where you are from. Is it a city, town, farm? 1 mark
- Example - We made the hour long trip into Yorkton on Saturday to get feed for the cows.
- Name and perhaps age of the person you are writing to. 1 mark
- Example – Missing you. I’m making a special gift for your birthday next month. I can’t believe you’ll be 20 years old!
- At least two things from that time (events, literature, landmarks, common objects or activities. 2 marks
- Example - Yesterday, Grandma made us her special biscuits on her new cast iron dutch oven. It works so much better than the old cookstove.
- Describe using the five senses (sight, sound, taste, smell, touch) 1 mark for each sense. 5 marks
- Example - Mom made her buckwheat pancakes yesterday, so light and fluffy. We picked blackberries so we made syrup. Delicious!
Mechanics (4 marks)
- Letter format is used - date at top, start with Dear [name of person], your name at the bottom
- All spelling is correct
- Sentences and phrasing make sense and are very clear
- Proper grammar, including capitalization and punctuation