Poetry/DramaFor Remembrance Day, my students work on a choral reading of A Prayer for the 21st Century by John Marsden. First we read the poem out loud and analyse the meaning as a class. I break up poem up into six verses - I change the spacing so that every four lines is a new verse. Then I break the class up into six different groups that each learn a different verse of the poem. We present with the class standing in six rows facing forward. Students wear black pants and white shirts. It looks really dramatic, and adds some creativity into a traditional activity like choral reading. This can be assessed for drama and/or oral presentation marks.
Song Lyrics ComparisonExtend your student's thinking by having them break into groups to compare the song lyrics for Imagine by John Lennon with the poem A Prayer for the 21st Century by John Marsden. Many similar themes and ideas will come up. Then have a class discussion bringing together the ideas from the various groups.
Reading Resources & Post Cards for PeaceAnother great resource for lesson plans is Veterans Affairs Canada website. They have a detailed website with a variety of resources to help you plan your Remembrance Day activities and/or lessons. My Grade 7 and 8 students have enjoyed writing Postcards for Peace, and reading the Canada Remembers Times in both French and English classes.
World War 1 Trench Life SimulationOn the Canadian War Museum website they have created a simulation game to help students develop a greater understanding of life in the trenches during World War 1. Students read through different scenarios, and make a choice between two options. Disclaimer - the website states that students will live through the realities of trench warfare.
Week of Lesson Plans
Remembrance Day blog post. It outlines the various stations: Song Lyric Analysis, Photo Stations, Videos, and Paragraph Responses that I use with my middle school students. These lessons can be adapted to work with younger or older audiences.
Need other Canadian History Resources?
Click on the links below to visit other Canadian teacher-bloggers showcasing their ideas for Remembrance Day lessons.