Documentary Lens Lesson Plan for “Just One Big Mess”: The Halifax Explosion, 1917



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Documentary Lens Lesson Plan for Just One Big Mess: The Halifax Explosion, 1917 Page

Documentary Lens Lesson Plan for

Just One Big Mess”: The Halifax Explosion, 1917


By Donna Daniel

George H. Luck School, Edmonton Public Schools, AB

Curriculum Connections


Just One Big Mess” is an 18-minute documentary about an event that occurred at the height of the First World War: the crash of a Belgian freighter with a French munitions ship carrying explosives. The explosion and the resulting tidal wave took the lives of 1600 people. A fifth of the population of Halifax was injured. Several hundred victims were left blind. The story is told through archival material and the voices of the survivors and their descendants. Images of that December 6 day, created by photographers and three artists, add another layer of dramatic detail.



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