Educational Resources on the First World War

From lesson plans to articles to podcasts — a list of resources to remember the First World War.

Written by Canada’s History

September 28, 2018

Over a century ago, what started as a small conflict in southeast Europe became a global war fought on a scale never before seen. More died in the First World War than in any other war Canada has fought. The war years brought unimaginable pain and horror for our troops and hard times for those back home.

On Remembrance Day we mark the anniversary of the end of the First World War and honour the lives of those who have fallen.

Use these resources to explore the First World War and its legacy with your students.

Lesson Plans

The Canadian Patriotic Fund, 1914–1919

In this lesson students explore the role of the Canadian Patriotic Fund during the First World War.

The Battlefield Landscape of the First World War

In this lesson students explore several seminal Canadian First World War battles with an emphasis on the experiences of soldiers in the trenches.

How should we remember those who fought for Canada?

In this lesson students explore the Lest We Forget Project. They build a class archive of soldier files, engage in research, and create a memorial for their soldier.

Putting it into Perspective: First Nations Soldiers in the First World War

In this lesson students explore the experiences and contributions of Aboriginal soldiers to Canada’s role in the First World War.

Slippery Slopes: Preventing War

This exercise attempts to recreate the historical process that helped lead the world into the Great War.

Patriotic Arts: Influencing Canadians at War

This lesson you will discuss with your students: How war has shaped Canada and its citizens; the influences of patriotism, propaganda and music on choices Canadians made during war.

Veteran Appreciation: Participating in Democracy

The purpose of the unit is to encourage students to appreciate our democratic institutions and to recognize the commitment made by our veterans to establish and maintain them.

Classroom Activities

The Battle of Beaumont Hamel Quiz

Use this twelve-question quiz to get your students reading and thinking about the Battle of Beaumont Hamel.

Remembrance Day Word Search

Use this Remembrance Day word search to familiarize your students with key terms from the First World War.

Discover your local cenotaph!

With this activity students are encouraged to explore their community landscape and community history through the local cenotaph.

Classroom Resources

A Bear in War

This book is a great entry point to teaching your young students about the First World War. 

McGill War Poster Collection

This great collection of Canadian war posters will illuminate your history lesson.

Supply Line by the Canadian War Museum

Bringing the museum into your classroom has never been easier. 

Veterans' Week Learning Resources

Veterans Affairs offers free, bilingual resources, in hard copy and electronic formats, so students 5 to 18 years old can learn about those who served and why we honour them.

The Battle of Hill 70 Education Program

Bring the story of this historic First World War battle into your classroom.

Kayak in the Classroom

Articles

The Breakthrough

How, after years of stalemate, did the Allies manage to win the war?

Children of Conflict

Young Canadians worked, worried, and waited during the First World War.

Indigenous Soldiers

Thousands of Indigenous people served both overseas and on the home front.

The Raid on Blécourt

Courageous Canadian action results in mass capture of Germans during the 100 Days Campaign.

Belgian Town Honours Canadian Soldier

A rose christening marks 100 years since the end of the First World War.

 

Grey War, No More

Colourization project breathes new life into First World War images.

Shell Shock Through the Wars

No one knew how to treat soldiers suffering from shell shock in the First World War, so doctors tried everything including shaming, blaming, and electric shocks. 

War of Words

Learn how propaganda was used to sway public opinion during the First World War.

The Hidden History of the Poppy

How a First World War poem about poppies blossomed into an annual Remembrance Day campaign raising $14 million each year to assist veterans.

Podcasts

Voices of Vimy

Listen to the stories of soldiers who fought at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and the loved ones back home who cherished them.

Videos

The Great War Video Series

Key Canadian battles during the First World War led to the march to victory in 1918.

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