Students will examine the methods used by the Canadian Government to get men to enlist in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. They will examine ww1 recruiting posters issued by the government and analyze them for their content and message. Using the knowledge and information they have gathered they will them create their own recruiting poster that will be specifically aimed at the men of Niagara.
Recommended Grade Range:
All provinces and territories except Quebec: Grades 7 to 12
Quebec: Secondary 1 to 5
Ontario Specific Expectations:
CGV.02D - demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which outside forces and events have
influenced Canada's policies;
CGV.04D - demonstrate an understanding of Canada's participation in war, peace, and security;
CHV.02D - demonstrate an understanding of how individual Canadians have contributed to the
development of Canada and an emerging sense of Canadian identity;
This lesson should follow lessons introducing the concept of causation relating to World War 1 and Canada’s situation (political, economic and military) in the British Empire. Students should also be given background information on Niagara at the turn of the century and the 3 CEF Battalions that were raised here for War Service.
Individually, students will select a recruiting poster from the examples given by the teacher.
Individually, Students will analyze the poster using the poster analysis organizer
In pairs or individually students will design and create a unique recruiting poster for the 81st, 98th or the 176th Battalions CEF.
Students will display their posters in a gallery exhibition in the classroom.
Rogers, R L. The History of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment. St. Catharines: 1954. Print.
Vance, Jonathan. Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War. Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997. Print.
Morton, Desmond, and Jack L. Granatstein. Marching to Armageddon: Canada and the Great War, 1914-1919. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1989. Print.
Wilson, Barbara. Ontario and the First World War, 1914-1918: A Collection of Documents. Toronto: University Of Toronto Press, 1977. Print.
Gwyn, Sandra. Tapestry of War: A Private View of Canadians in the Great War. Toronto: Harper, 2004. Print.
Morton, Desmond. When Your Number's Up: The Canadian Soldier in the First World War. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 1994. Print.
When war was declared, instead of mobilizing the militia by units, the Canadian Expeditionary Force was formed. Volunteers, both from the militia and off the streets, were formed into newly created units, and in less than two months some 32,000 men sailed for the United Kingdom. Most of the volunteers from the 19th Lincoln Regiment and the 44th Lincoln and Welland Regiment were allocated to the 4th Battalion, CEF, although many were assigned to other units.
As the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions of the CEF were raised, a number of CEF units were raised in Ontario, and three of them were infantry battalions which had special connections to the people of Niagara. The 81st, 98th and 176th Battalions were made up almost entirely of men from this area. More than 3000 soldiers and officers made up these three battalions. However in all, over 5000 men from Niagara would serve in some capacity during the war. The vast majority of them would travel overseas and see service in the trenches of the Western Front.
One thing that is important to consider is the vast number of reasons why the men of Niagara would want to serve in such large numbers in a war that was so far away from their homes.
Teaching/ Learning Strategies:
Teacher conducts a class discussion reviewing the causes of World War 1 and Canada’s entry
Students form small groups of 3-4 students per group
Teacher displays a selection of World War 1 Canadian Recruiting posters and leads a class discussion on the impact, emotion, target audience, and potential effectiveness of each poster
In small groups, students create a list of criteria that might have been used by the government to create these posters.
Teacher distributed the Poster Analysis Organizer to the students and asks them to compare their list with the one on the sheet.
In their groups, students receive a selection of posters and are asked to fill in the organizer.
Upon completion students will be asked to submit their ‘best’ Poster Analysis Organizer for assessment.
Teacher will lead a class discussion on social, political and economic situation in Niagara at the outbreak of the war. Students shall draw on their knowledge from prior lessons to participate. The teacher should display picture relating to the Military in Niagara at the time and the cap badges of the 3 local CEF Battalions.
Teacher will introduce the final assignment to the class, emphasizing that the student’s should incorporate their knowledge of Niagara into the design of their posters.
Students will use all available resources to design and create an effective recruiting poster for one of either the 81st, 98th or 176th CEF battalions.
Once the posters are complete students will display their poster in the classroom to create a gallery.
Each student will select one poster (not their own) and write a one paragraph reflection in the role of a young man in Niagara in 1914 that was unsure about enlisting for war service and who has just seen the recruiting poster while walking down the street.
Students will submit their poster and their writing-in-role reflection to the teacher for evaluation.
Diagnostic assessment of prior knowledge through teacher led classroom discussion
Use this organizer to decode the message and meaning behind the posters that have been provided for you as exemplars. Using the aspect given in the left column, fill in the right column with your answers
Are there any UNUSUAL images or words on the poster?
What government PURPOSE is served by the poster?
In order to be completely effective a poster must be unusual, simple and direct in its message and intent. Based on the information you have gathered in this organizer discuss how effective this poster would have been in enticing men to join in the war effort between 1914 and 1918. Make sure to include specific examples for the organizer.