Lesson: Remembrance Day Family History Interview
Topic: Remembrance Day
Activity: Interviewing family members about Remembrance Day
- Students will make Remembrance Day more personal by connecting it back to their own lives
- Students will understand the impact Remembrance Day and WWI/WWII played in their families and country
- Students will facilitate live interviews and demonstrate their learned knowledge of Remembrance Day on the Remembrance Day Family History Interview handout
- Social Studies
- Remembrance Day Family History Interview Questions handout
- Remembrance Day Family History Interview handout
Pre-Lesson: Discussion of Remembrance Day
Begin by asking students if they have ever been interviewed or asked a series of questions? Who was conducting the interview? What kinds of questions were they asked?
Ask students if they can explain the significance of why we celebrate the date November 11th every year. Allow for students to answer. Explain to students that Remembrance Day is a Memorial Day observed by Canadians and other countries since the end of the First World War in order to remember all those who fought and died in the line of duty to keep us free. Explain to students that every year on November 11th, Canadians pause in a moment of silence to honour and remember more than two million Canadians who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace.
Ask students why is it important we remember those who fought in WWI and WWII? Allow students to use their prior knowledge and inferencing to come up with answers and discuss as a class. Explain to students that both WWI and WWII are very significant times in history that marked changes in social, political and economic systems for many different countries. It is important we remember those who fought in WWI and WWII so their story lives on and that their acts of bravery and courage are remembered for generations.
Disclaimer: Although we celebrate Remembrance Day in honour of the people who fought bravely for our country and continue to do so, before facilitating the activity, remind students that this subject may be sensitive to family members and friends who may have lost loved ones during this time. Explain to students it is important to ask first and let the interviewee read the questions before deciding to participate in the interview. Explain to students that a good interviewer is relaxed, respectful of the interviewee and asks questions slowly and gives the interviewee time to answer before moving on to the next question.
Explain to students that they are going to be conducting interviews with a family member or friend about where they were during WWI or WWII. If students are unable to interview a family member or friend, STCM recommend visiting the following link to conduct their interview: https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/people-and-stories/heroes-remember
Explain to students that they will be using the Remembrance Day Family History Interview Questions handout to help them conduct their interview and recording their information in the Remembrance Day Family History Interview handout.
- Download and print the Remembrance Day Family History Interview handout. If you cannot print, STCM recommend downloading the Adobe or Word version of the handout. There is one handout for grade 1-5 and 6-8 which include interview questions for either a family member or friend. Use the handout that is most suitable for your students.
- Download and print the Remembrance Day Family History Interview questions. If you cannot print, STCM recommends downloading the Adobe or Word version of the handout. There is one handout for each grade 1-5 and 6-8 which. Use the handout that is most suitable for your students.
Wrap up Discussion
Once students have completed their interviews with a family member or friend, have students share what they learned during their interviews. This will allow students to develop a deeper understanding by hearing their classmates’ answers and explore other people’s narratives about Remembrance Day. Allow students to ask their classmates questions about their interviews and if they learned any other interesting facts they would like to share.
Students who have cognitive, learning, or mobility issues may verbally describe their biography or use an assisted learning device (i.e. computer, iPad, tablet, etc.) to complete the handout.
Have students record their interview with their family member or friend. Before presenting their interview to the class, have students ask permission from their interviewee to play the recording. If they are not given permission, students may rerecord themselves providing the answers on behalf of their interviewee.