World War #1 Co-op

Our driving question for our WW#1 Co-op was: Is war fair? Is Conscription fair? Is any means of warfare fair? Is it fair for those left at home?




For the introduction of the lesson: Allied and Axis forces - Trench warfare… Trenches, Barbed Wire, Craters and chances… 

I had a long piece of paper down the middle of the table with barbed wire and trenches drawn down each side. We talked about no man's land, about crossing and about your chances of getting to the other side.




Activity #1: Timeline of WW#1 (Canada’s Participation) - each student put their piece on the timeline on the table…


We discussed the events effecting Canada in WW#1 here and the students added their pieces to the timeline down the centre of the above sheet of paper. We then discussed each event.

I had the students divide into groups and summarize each of the battles and add the main points to the timeline - one person spoke about their summaries and one wrote on the timeline. They summarized information that I had taken from several books on Canada in WW#1. 



Activity #2 - Statistics - divide stats into axis and allies. I had given the groups 2 different statistics sheets for them to complete. Canadian Statistics and World Statistics. We got back together and discussed them.






Activity #3 - Debate - Conscription Crisis




“As the war progressed, Prime Minister Robert Borden, realizing that the volunteer system of raising troops had reached its limit, passed the Military Service Bill in 1917. This enforced conscription into Britain's war enraged the French Canadians and almost wrenched the country's two families apart. There were riots in the streets of Quebec and blood was shed. It didn't help that recruitment in Quebec was headed by the English elite or that Ontario had passed Regulation 17 or that the bitter memory of Riel's hanging still burned in the minds of French Canadians.”
While Quebec was rising to the protection of provincial rights over conscription, Ottawa was passing what would be one of the greatest centralizing measures - the Income Tax Act. This was meant to be only temporary, mind you, just a means of raising money to pay for the war effort. But this new "spending power" gave Ottawa the ability to finance bigger, national policies which the country demanded after the war.”






I had our students present their groups point of view if it were today and then have a debate about why you feel that this applies. What if today you were a farmer on the lower mainland with one of those huge greenhouses and you were providing food for 1000’s of people. What if you had been promised that you would not have to fight and then a military official came to your home and said that you would have to fight? What if this was about the world and you felt compelled to fight for freedom and yet you were going to have to fight for Britain?


Activity #4 - Women’s Rights - I read the below to our students - back to our original question - was it fair that women could go overseas and be nurses, work in factories etc. but still not have the right to vote? This was also a great discussion! Most of our male students could not see a reason why women were not given the vote earlier!!

"It was during the First World War that some women in Canada were finally allowed to vote and in 1919 all women over 21 had the right to vote in a federal election.

Women's suffrage groups had existed since the 1870s, but during the war, it was hard to ignore their arguments. Women were serving in the war, taking over from the men in factories and offices, holding families together while the men were overseas, and working in voluntary organizations that supported the war effort. They couldn't be kept out of political life any longer.

Women got the federal vote in three stages: the Military Voters Act of 1917 allowed nurses and women in the armed services to vote; the Wartime Election Act extended the vote to women who had husbands, sons or fathers serving overseas; and all women over 21 were allowed to vote as of January 1, 1919.
Provincially, women were given the vote in 1916 in the four western provinces, in 1917 in Ontario, in 1918 in Nova Scotia, in 1919 in New Brunswick, in 1922 in Prince Edward Island, and in 1940 in Quebec.
Early feminists in Canada included women like Emily Stowe, who supported her children and a sick husband by working, illegally, as a doctor in Ontario. She'd had to go to New York to obtain her degree since Canadian women weren't allowed in medical school or any other higher educational institution at that time. She graduated in 1868. In 1876 she started the Toronto Women's Literacy Club, which was actually a women's suffrage group.

The first province to give women the vote was Manitoba. This was where Nellie McClung had rented the Walker Theatre in Winnipeg in 1914 and staged a mock parliament, casting herself as premier and putting men in the role of having to beg her for the vote. The event was a great success, both financially and politically. McClung was also one of the five women who campaigned to have women recognized as "persons" by the Supreme Court so that they could qualify to sit on the Senate. They were finally successful with their "Persons Case" in 1929.


The women's suffrage movement was often linked with temperance societies which were demanding the prohibition of alcohol. Women argued that excessive drinking by men ruined family life and led to much domestic violence. But alcohol wouldn't likely be abolished, they said, until women got the vote."

Final wrap up: I asked the students:  Have you changed your ideas at all in what is fair and what is not? Is war and all means of warfare fair? Is Conscription fair? Is the way that women were treated during WW#1 fair?


Another great Co-op day! If you need help with your High School Co-op drop me a line and I would love to help ;) Blessings!!


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