M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

The National War Memorial

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Mackenzie King Estate , Ottawa, Ontario

Assignment Overview
Working in groups, students will use a PowerPoint template to create a fake Facebook wall that tells the story of the origins of the National War Memorial, with specific emphasis on the role played by William Lyon Mackenzie King in the monument’s creation.
Your Fauxbook wall should touch on the following points:
•What was William Lyon Mackenzie King’s impact on Canada and the Capital Region?
•What role did Mackenzie King play in the creation of the memorial? Why did he see a need for a national memorial in Confederation Square?
•What does the National War Memorial mean to Canada’s Capital Region?
•What were the benefits of creating a national war memorial when towns and cities across Canada already had their own local cenotaphs?
•Who was Vernon March and what was his involvement in the project?
•What was the process for the creation of the National War Memorial, from the initial proposal to its unveiling?
•What are the different elements of the memorial’s design and how do they reflect the way Canadians were feeling about the First World War?
• Internet access for students
• Online Collection: The Origins of the National War Memorial
Student assignment sheet
• Sample Fauxbook wall: Queen Victoria (included in zip file)
• Fauxbook wall PowerPoint template (included in zip file)
• Helpful Tips for Using the Template (included in zip file)

Download the zip file.
The Origins of the National War Memorial
A collection of photos and stories that chronicle the origins of Canada’s National War Memorial, from its inception to its unveiling.
View the collection

Learning Object Collection: The Origins of the National War Memorial
Before conducting the activity in the classroom, you will need about an hour to prepare for the activity, by doing three things.
1. Review the student assignment sheet.
2. Familiarize yourself with the “Online Collection: The Origins of the National War Memorial.” Students will use this content as the basis for their Fauxbook walls.
3. Familiarize yourself with the Fauxbook template. You can refer to the handout entitled “Helpful Tips for Using the Template” if you need extra instructions. You may want to try creating your own Fauxbook, or starting one that you can complete with the class in order to show them how the template works.
Lesson Overview: Step 1
Step 1: Get Students Thinking About Facebook (10 minutes)
•Ask students to consider how they use Facebook. Are they all on Facebook? How do they use it, and how often? What kinds of things do they share on Facebook? What sorts of things do they learn about their friends on Facebook? Get them thinking about how Facebook tells their stories, and how it is used to share information and opinions.
•Ask students to think about their own Facebook walls. What can you learn from “creeping” someone’s wall? What kind of things do they post on their walls? (Answers might include: important life milestones, decisions they make, discussions with friends, personal opinions about current events, passing observations, etc.)
Lesson Overview: Step 2
Step 2: Exploring History Through Facebook (10 minutes)
•Ask students to consider some of the historical people and events they have studied recently. How would these events have played out on Facebook? (For example, how could a Facebook wall tell the story of the events leading up to the outbreak of the First World War?)
•Show students the Queen Victoria Fauxbook wall, which uses Facebook to tell the story of how Ottawa was chosen as the capital of Canada.
•Explain that the students will be creating their own Fauxbook walls to tell the story of the origins of the National War Memorial, and specifically the role played by William Lyon Mackenzie King in the monument’s creation.
Lesson Overview: Step 3
Step 3: The National War Memorial (30 minutes)
Introduce the National War Memorial by sharing the following information. (Note: Not all this information is included in the online collection.)
•The National War Memorial is located in downtown Ottawa, in the heart of Canada’s Capital Region. Have any of the students seen it before? What were their impressions? Aspects to highlight: its size (22 metres tall) and its prominent and busy location within view of Parliament Hill.
•It was originally constructed to commemorate the Canadian response to the First World War, but has now come to represent the sacrifice of all Canadians who have served their country in times of war.
•Students may recall seeing news items about the bodies of Canadian soldiers killed during the war in Afghanistan being returned to their families in Canada. They may have seen footage of the Highway of Heroes, the section of Highway 401 between Canadian Forces Base Trenton and Toronto, Ontario, along which military convoys have transported the bodies of fallen Canadian soldiers. During these convoys, crowds of people have gathered on each overpass to pay tribute to the fallen. Students may take for granted that the bodies of Canadian soldiers who are killed in service are returned to their homeland.
•What students may not realize is that, before 1970, when Canadian soldiers were killed in action, their bodies were not returned to their families. They were buried in the country where they fell. This meant that families were often unable to visit their loved ones’ final resting place. Following the First World War, Canadian towns and cities began erecting local cenotaphs. A cenotaph, which comes from the Greek for “empty” (kenos) and “tomb” (taphos), was a place where people could mourn for someone buried elsewhere.
•The idea for a national war monument or cenotaph was proposed in the House of Commons in 1921 by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. It was not unveiled until 1939, only a few months before Germany’s invasion of Poland, which launched the Second World War.
•This activity will help students discover what happened during the intervening 18 years, as well as what and who were involved in the creation of Canada’s National War Memorial.
Lesson Overview: Step 4
Step 4: The Assignment (5 minutes)
•Distribute the student assignment sheet.
•Explain that students will explore the “Online Collection: Origins of the National War Memorial,” and collect factual information and historical photographs to help them build their Fauxbook wall.
•Students draft their wall content before inputting it into the template. The wall content should touch on each of the questions on the assignment sheet. It should be between 500 and 750 words. We recommend editing and proofreading the content as much as possible before putting it into the template.
•Students input their wall content into the template.
•Provide students with a deadline for their assignment.
Lesson Overview: Step 5
Step 5: Introduce the Template (20 minutes)
•Show students the PowerPoint template. If you have created or started to create your own Fauxbook, use this to demonstrate how to add a wall post and a comment, and how to further customize the template with profile images and personal information.
•Distribute and review the handout entitled “Helpful Tips for Using the Template.”
Lesson Overview: Step 6
Step 6: Points to Consider and Discuss (15 minutes)

Planning the Fauxbook Wall :
•Whose Fauxbook wall will the students create? (Mackenzie King seems like an obvious choice, but could the story be told from a different point of view?)
•What will the “current date” of the Fauxbook wall be? How does that affect the story?
•What will be the dates for each of the posts and comments on the wall?
“Artistic Liberties”
Will they use only real historical figures, or could the story benefit from the addition of a fictional character? They could create a “character” to show the opinion of a particular group of people. For example, if they were telling the story of the beginning of the First World War, students might write an exchange between Austria-Hungary and Germany, rather than between Franz Joseph I and Kaiser Wilhelm II. (You can also refer to the use of the characters of the city of Montréal and the city of Kingston on the Queen Victoria Fauxbook wall, as examples.)
If students choose to invent characters to help tell the story from different viewpoints, they should follow these three guidelines:
• the character should serve a specific purpose in the telling of the story,
• it should be obvious to the reader what the character represents, and
• the information shared by the character should be based on fact.
Although many young people write on their own Facebook walls using text shorthand (for example, “c u 2nite” instead of “see you tonight”), for the purposes of this assignment, the walls produced should be grammatically correct, with correct spelling. Students can include some Internet slang for humour, but it should be kept to a minimum (and the language should be “clean”).
Sharing Work
Sharing Work (30–60 minutes)
Once they have completed the assignment, give students the opportunity to share their work with each other. Some options:
• Group students together for round-table discussions, where they can present their work to each other. They can share why they chose to tell the story the way they did.
• Hold a “gallery walk,” where all walls are displayed and people walk around viewing them. You could invite another class to come and look at them, and students could be on hand to talk about their walls. Or, share the assignments on the school’s or school board’s intranet.
• Invite students to “act out” the conversations from their walls in front of the class.
Extension Activities
If you would like students to expand their research and further develop their research skills, you can adapt the activity in the following ways.
• Expand the research requirement, and have students consult sources online and at their school or public library, the local university library, etc.
• Ask students to include a bibliography with their assignment, with a minimum number of sources.
• Ask students to include the credit information for each photograph they use.
Curriculum Connections
British Columbia and Yukon: Social Studies (Grade 11)
Concept: Autonomy and International Involvement
Outcome: Assess Canada’s role in the First World War and the war’s
impact on Canada.

Alberta: Social Studies 20-1, 20-2 (Senior High School)
Outcome 1.8: Analyze/examine how the development of nationalism is shaped by historical, geographical, political, economic and social factors.

Manitoba: History of Canada (Grade 11)
Outcome 3.4: How was Canada’s identity as a nation shaped by the First World War, and by Canada’s changing relationship to Great Britain and the world?
Skill 7: Construct and communicate historical narratives, explanations, arguments or other interpretations of the past, using a variety of media.
Ontario: Canadian History Since the First World War (Grade 10)
Concept: Citizenship and Heritage, Individual Canadians and Canadian Identity
Outcomes: Assess the contributions of selected individuals to the development of Canadian identity since 1914; assess the contributions of selected Canadian political leaders since 1914.

New Brunswick: Canadian History 122 (Grade 12)
Concept: Canada and the Great War
Outcome No. 2: Students will demonstrate their understanding of the internal turmoil caused by Canada’s participation in the First World War.

Prince Edward Island: Canadian Studies 401A (Senior High School)
Concept: Canada’s Voices from the Past
Outcome 10.2.3: Describe several personalities (past and present) who have contributed to the growth and development of Canada.

Learning Objectives

The National War Memorial: A Symbol of Canadian Nationalism and Identity

By the end of the activity, students will:
•Gain an understanding of who William Lyon Mackenzie King was, and what some of his contributions to Canada and the Capital Region were.
•Describe William Lyon Mackenzie King’s contribution to Canadian identity through the creation of the National War Memorial.
•Describe the importance of the symbolic elements of the National War Memorial.
•Describe the process of how the National War Memorial came to be, from the initial proposal, up to and including its unveiling.
•Assess the contributions of the Canadian services in the First World War and describe how the resulting nationalist sentiment is symbolized in the National War Memorial.
•Interpret and communicate a historical narrative using the Fauxbook template as a medium.