HELPING TEACHERS INSPIRE COMPASSION FOR ANIMALS, PEOPLE & THE ENVIRONMENT

Classroom Resources

Animals and Remembrance Day

Classroom Activities

Remembrance Day is a time to recognize, appreciate and remember those that have served and continue to serve our country in the past and present, and in times of war and peace. Included with these brave men and women are animals that have served alongside them. Delivering messages, providing security, rescuing wounded, carrying supplies, detecting bombs, and providing moral support are just a few of the tasks that they have carried out assisting Canadians since before WWI to our more recent war in Afghanistan. Without the help of these animals, our sacrifice would have been even greater.

1. Tales of Animals in War

Go through the Tales of Animals in War booklet with your students. In this resource, from Veterans Affairs Canada, the Remembrance Clubhouse animals participate in the Heritage Fair and present projects on Canadian military history. Pick one of the stories mentioned, and as a class research to learn more. Try and find the answers to the following questions:

  • What role did the animal have in war?
  • Why do you think the animal had this role?
  • What characteristics does the animal have that allowed it to perform this role?
  • Does the animal still perform this role today?

 

For older students, divide your class into six groups. Assign one of the Remembrance Clubhouse friends to each group. Have groups research the story that goes with their character. Each group can share what they learned with the class.

2. Memorializing Animals in War

Animals had a significant role in wars. In the First World War mules hauled ammunition over treacherous terrain, as did horses who also carried troops. Dogs were used as messengers, bomb detectors, and for search and rescue missions. Carrier pigeons delivered messages to specific destinations and were said to be the most dependable way of sending a message during the war. Collected in jars, Glowworms provided much needed light in the trenches for officers to study battle maps and soldiers to read their letters from home. 

Photography is gaining recognition as an art form, with many art galleries including photography alongside other media. Photographs can evoke meaning and emotion just as with other art forms. With your class, go through the photo album ‘20 Incredible Pictures of Brave Animals on the Battlefields of World War I‘ and discuss what emotions each photo evoked. Ask your students:

  • Did seeing a particular animal surprise you?
  • What special quality does the animal have that allows it to do its role?

Have students pick an animal from the photos and research the role it played in war. Create a collage or poster memorializing the role the animal played in war. 

For older students, students can select a couple of animals and create a pamphlet, short presentation or even a poem memorializing the role the animal played in war.

3. Animals Helping People

Animals play an important role in helping veterans who return home from the war. Service dogs can help veterans who are dealing with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after service. Dogs with jobs are members of our community who help not only veterans but people with mobility issues, sight loss and more. It is important for the public to know the do’s and don’ts of interacting with a service dog. As a class, watch the short video ‘Just Play it Cool: Tips for Interacting with Service Dogs‘ (2:11) and go through this list of guide dog etiquette.

Have students create a poster highlighting proper service/guide dog etiquette. Hang the posters around the school for other students to see and learn from.

EXTENSION: Read Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes to your class. A story that shows the major role dogs play in the lives of people with disabilities. Alternatively, you can watch this read aloud ‘Rescue and Jessica‘. 

Additional information on Service Animals

Screenshot from 'Just Play it Cool'

Animals and Remembrance Day Picture Books

Below are a selection of books that include true stories of animals in war, that come recommended by a teacher. Click on each book for recommendations, discussion questions and activities suited for Remembrance Day.

Curriculum Connections

English Language Arts and Literature
  • Organizing Idea: Text Form and Structures: Identifying and applying text forms and structures improves understanding of content, literary style, and our rich language traditions.
    • Guiding Question: How can ideas and information be organized?
      • Learning Outcome: Children explore how messages can be organized.
        • Skills & Procedures
          • Represent information and ideas from a variety of real messages.
  • Organizing Idea: Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported by applying varied strategies and processes and by considering both particular and universal themes.
    • Guiding Question: How are messages understood?
      • Learning Outcome: Children demonstrate understanding of messages communicated in texts.
        • Skills & Procedures
          • Share connections between a text and personal feelings or experiences.
  • Organizing Idea: Writing: Ideas and information can be articulated accurately and imaginatively through the use of writing processes and an understanding of the author’s craft.
    • Guiding Question: How can messages be recorded?
      • Learning Outcome: Children experiment with written expression of ideas and information.
        • Skills & Procedures
          • Ask questions about real people, places, or things to learn more about them.
          • Gather factual information from a variety of people, places, or things.
          • Share factual information.
Social Studies
  • K.2 I Belong
    • General Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the characteristics and interests that unite members of communities and groups.
      • Specific Outcomes students will:
        • K.2.5 examine ways in which people create a climate of cooperation by exploring and reflecting upon the following questions for inquiry:
          • What are the rules at home, at school and in the community?
          • Are their similar rules at home, at school and in the community?
Art
  • REFLECTION
    • Component 3 – APPRECIATION: Students will interpret artworks literally.
      • Concepts
        • F. All aspects of an artwork contribute to the story it tells.
English Language Arts and Literature
  • Organizing Idea: Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported by applying strategies and processes and by considering both particular contexts and universal themes.
    • Guiding Question: What messages are conveyed through ideas and information within texts?
      • Learning Outcome: Students investigate meaning communicated in texts.
        • Skills & Procedures
          • Locate information in texts to answer questions.
  • Organizing Idea: Writing: Ideas and information can be articulated accurately and imaginatively through the use of writing processes and an understanding of the author’s craft.
    • Guiding Question: How can writing be used to communicate meaning?
      • Learning Outcome: Students create messages through the application of writing processes.
        • Skills & Procedures
          • share messages with others
          • gather factual information from a variety of digital or non-digital sources.
Social Studies
  • 1.1 My World: Home, School, and Community
    • General Outcome: Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of how identity and self-esteem are enhanced by their sense of belonging in their world and how active members in a community contribute to the well-being, growth and vitality of their groups and communities.
      • Specific Outcomes students will:
        • 1.1.1 value self and others as unique individuals in relation to their world:
          • recognize and respect how the needs of others may be different from their own
        • 1.1.4 determine what makes communities thrive by exploring and reflecting upon the following questions for inquiry:
          • How do our actions and decisions contribute to the well-being of groups and communities?
Art
  • REFLECTION
    • Component 3 – APPRECIATION: Students will interpret artworks literally.
      • Concepts
        • F. All aspects of an artwork contribute to the story it tells.
English Language Arts and Literature
  • Organizing Idea: Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported by applying varied strategies and processes and by considering both particular contexts and universal themes
    • Guiding Question: How does comprehension facilitate the meaning of a text? 
      • Learning Outcome: Students examine and apply a variety of processes to comprehend texts.
        • Skills & Procedures:
          • Answer questions that require making interpretations or giving opinions about information in texts.
  • Organizing Idea: Writing: Ideas and information can be articulated accurately and imaginatively through the use of writing processes and an understanding of the author’s craft.
    • Guiding Question: How can writing processes and techniques improve expression?
      • Learning Outcome: Students create and enhance ideas and information by applying a variety of writing processes
        • Skills & Procedures
          • Share written messages with others.
Art
  • REFLECTION
    • Component 3 – APPRECIATION: Students will interpret artworks by examining their context and less visible characteristics.
      • Concepts
        • A. Contextual information (geographical, historical, biographical, cultural) may be needed to understand works of art.

English Language Arts and Literature

  • Organizing Idea: Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported by applying varied strategies and processes and by considering both particular contexts and universal themes.
    • Guiding Question: How can the development of skills and strategies support comprehension of text?
      • Learning Outcome: Students analyze text and make connections to personal experiences to support meaning.
        • Skills & Procedures:
          • Make connections between various aspects within or between texts.
  • Organizing Idea: Writing: Ideas and information can be articulated accurately and imaginatively through the use of writing processes and an understanding of the author’s craft.
    • Guiding Question: How can writing craft combined with skills and processes contribute to written expression?
      • Learning Outcome: Students investigate writing and research processes that support informed written expression.
        • Skills & Procedures:
          • Access information from a variety of sources to answer questions or expand knowledge.
          • Use research to create written text that is appropriate for an audience.
Art
  • REFLECTION
    • Component 3 – APPRECIATION: Students will interpret artworks by examining their context and less visible characteristics.
      • Concepts
        • A. Contextual information (geographical, historical, biographical, cultural) may be needed to understand works of art.
English Language Arts and Literature
  • Organizing Idea: Writing: Ideas and information can be articulated accurately and imaginatively through the use of writing processes and an understanding of the author’s craft.
    • Guiding Question: How can development of writing processes and expression support effective communication?
      • Learning Outcome: Students construct and organize text to share perspectives and develop creative expression.
        • Skills & Procedures:
          • Access information from a variety of sources to critically answer questions or expand knowledge

Art

  • REFLECTION
    • Component 3 – APPRECIATION: Students will interpret artworks for their symbolic meaning.
      • Concepts
        • A. Artistic style affects the emotional impact of an artwork
English Language Arts and Literature
  • Organizing Idea: Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported by applying varied strategies and processes and by considering both particular contexts and universal themes.
    • Guiding Question: How does the interpretation of evidence support comprehension of texts?
      • Learning Outcome: Students analyze information, contexts, and perspectives using a variety of comprehension strategies.
        • Skills & Procedures:
          • Examine information from texts that describes context around people, ideas, or events.

 

Art

  • REFLECTION
    • Component 3 – APPRECIATION: Students will interpret artworks for their symbolic meaning.
      • Concepts
        • A. Artistic style affects the emotional impact of an artwork
English Language Arts and Literature
  • Organizing Idea: Comprehension: Text comprehension is supported by applying varied strategies and processes and by considering both particular contexts and universal themes.
    • Guiding Question: How do comprehension strategies enhance interpretations of texts?
      • Learning Outcome: Students interpret and respond to texts through application of comprehension strategies.
        • Skills & Procedures:
          • Analyze texts to determine contextual information that supports how a text can be understood.

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