Pathways in the Great War: WWI Through Canadian Eyes

Pathways in the Great War: WWI Through Canadian Eyes

James Vlanich, Celena Meloche, Alexis Watson, and Angela Toole

Pathways in the Great War: WWI Through Canadian Eyes is an interactive learning tool that was created using Google Forms. Pathways in the Great War is an easy to use tool that allows students of Canadian history to embark upon customized learning “adventures” as Canadian characters through WWI based on their personal choices. This tool allows students not only to learn about WWI in a fun and engaging way, but it also allows for students to become immersed in roles as Canadians who lived during WWI.


Teacher Candidates:

James Vlanich

Celena Meloche

Alexis Watson

Angela Toole

Subject: History

Grade/Class: Grade 10/ CHC2D

Duration: 75 minutes

Lesson Topic: Review of WWI Unit


Social, Economic, and Political Context: describe some key social, economic, and political events, trends, and developments between 1914 and 1929, and assess their significance for different groups in Canada.

Identity, Citizenship, and Heritage: explain how various individuals, organizations, and specific social changes between 1914 and 1929 contributed to the development of identity, citizenship, and heritage in Canada.


By the end of the lesson students should be able to:

Describe some key economic trends and developments in Canada during this period (e.g., with reference to the wartime economy, new manufacturing sectors, postwar recession, consumerism, buying on credit, unions, rising prices), and assess their impact on various groups in Canada.

Explain the impact on Canadian society and politics of some key events and/or developments during World War I (e.g., with reference to shortages on the home front; the internment of “enemy aliens”; an increase in the number of women in the workforce; the Union government; new laws such as the Military Voters Act, the Wartime Elections Act, the Income Tax Act, and/or the War Measures Act; the Halifax Explosion; the role of veterans in post-war labour unrest.

Explain the main causes of World War I (e.g., European alliances, rivalries, militarism, and nationalist movements) and of Canada’s participation in the war (e.g., imperialist sentiments in English Canada; Canada’s status within the British Empire), and analyse some of the consequences of Canada’s military participation in the war (e.g., with reference to enlistment; the conscription bill; the development of war industries; the military consequences and the human costs of battles involving Canadian forces; issues facing veterans; Remembrance Day).

Explain how some individuals, groups, and/or organizations contributed to Canadian society and politics during this period and to the development of identity, citizenship, and/or heritage in Canada (e.g., with reference to Frederick Banting, Napoléon Belcourt, Billy Bishop, Robert Borden, Samuel Bronfman, Arthur Currie, Marie Lacoste Gérin-Lajoie, Fred O. Loft, Agnes Macphail, Masumi Mitsui, J. S. Woodsworth; the League of Indians, rum runners, the Trades and Labour Congress of Canada, the Vandoos, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union)

Describe some significant developments in the rights and lives of women in Canada during this period (e.g., women’s contribution to the war effort, their expanding role in the workplace, and the impact of these on their role in the family and in society; women’s role in suffrage, temperance, and other social movements; new political rights; changing social mores in the 1920s and their impact on women; the participation of women in organized sports), and explain the impact of these developments on Canadian citizenship and/or heritage.



WWI Graphic Organizer

Pathways in the Great War


5 minutes- Students will be asked if they have any questions regarding material covered throughout the lessons on WWI.




Activity 1

10 minutes- Teacher-guided learning activity- The teacher will give students a demonstration on how to use the “Pathways in the Great War” learning tool.

Activity 2

50 minutes- Student-guided learning activity. Students will receive a link to the multi-literacy tool entitled “Pathways in the Great War”. Using the duration of class time, students will each use the tool on either a personal device (Laptop, tablet, phone) or a school device (laptops, tablets, iPads). Students will be encouraged to



– Textual information within the learning tool will be clear and concise.

– Pictures and videos will accompany text to aid the comprehension of visual learners.

– Videos will provide background information as well as extra information on selected topics within the tool.

– Students are given choice throughout the entire learning tool. With this in mind, it is likely that students will chose a path that they are not only interested in but knowledgeable in as well to some extent.



10 minutes- A graphic organizer will be distributed to the students. This graphic organizer will use questions based on the information contained within the “Pathways in the Great War” tool to test for knowledge and understanding.



– The “Pathways in the Great War” tool will serve as an assessment as learning tool. The tool will not only test for general student understanding and knowledge on WWI but will also serve learning tool.

– The graphic organizer component of the lesson will serve as an informal assessment of learning. This organizer will be distributed to students prior to their use of the “Pathways in the Great War tool” and will test what they have learned from the tool itself.

Praxis Paper

In the past few decades, the way in which students learn has changed dramatically. Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become the primary means through which students “communicate, collect information, make meaning, and construct knowledge” (Vacca, Vacca, Mraz 30).  It has been theorized that these “new literacies” have reshaped the way in which learners learn.  Previously, hardcopy textbooks, magazines, newspapers and journals were the primary information resources, but now the internet has become the main medium for information sharing and gathering.  Today, teachers and students have access to a variety of learning and teaching tools, or tools that can be adapted for these purposes, online.  These tools have both created and promoted new literacies for today’s teachers and students.  These new literacies include computer literacy, information literacy, and media literacy.  Many teachers, especially those who are not privy to new-age technology, have found it difficult to comprehend the workings of this new-found digital medium for teaching and learning.  However, it needs to be recognized that technology will continue to become increasingly entrenched within the lives of learners.  Therefore, technology should be embraced and utilized by educators. With an increasing availability of free online website builders, presentation builders, video makers etc., teachers can easily create customized learning and teaching tools to be incorporated into their classrooms.

“Pathways in the Great War” is an online interactive learning tool, supported by Google Forms, that allows students to embark on a personalized journey through WWI.  This teacher-customized interactive learning tool provides students with general historical information all while promoting in-class exploration and historical inquiry. It then poses related questions, which have several answers (choices) for students to pick from.  Based on the answers that they chose, students will create and embark on their own WWI “adventures.”  This multimodal tool requires students to use and build upon a combination of new literacies such as computer literacy, digital literacy, information literacy, and media literacy.  The intended outcome of a student using this tool is that each individual student will have built their own learning experience and will have reviewed, comprehended, and connected on a personal level with the textual material presented to them.  This tool is intended for use as a review activity, but it can also serve as an introductory activity to precede all lessons before WWI.  As an introductory activity, students would be encouraged to “play” through the game numerous times so as to experience a different “character” each time and, in doing so, future lessons focused on WWI would be building or scaffolding on this new knowledge.  However, regardless of when this tool is used by students, it can always be the starting point for a class discussion or student-centered learning activity.  For example, after students have completed this activity, they could report to the class about the journey their “character” took.  This could lead into a whole-class discussion, where the journeys taken by each character are compared and contrasted.  Lastly, this activity could provide the basis for a RAFT writing assignment, as the Role would be the “character” whose journey the student chose to follow.


Works Cited


Vacca, Richard T, Jo Anne L Vacca, and Maryann Mraz. Content Area Reading: Literacy and    

Learning Across the Curriculum. 11th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2014. Print