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Using the Minutes to Think Critically


The Heritage Minutes illustrate the possibilities of story-telling. This critical thinking exercise will help guide you through the deconstruction of four Heritage Minutes: Peacemaker, Vikings, John Cabot, and Jacques Cartier. The activities can be easily adapted to any of the Heritage Minutes you want to use in your classroom.


An invaluable skill for any student is the ability to critically examine available historical evidence and develop an awareness of its possibilities, as...

Valour Road


This lesson is based on viewing the Heritage Minute, "Valour Road." By coincidence, 3 of the 69 Canadian men who were awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War had grown up on the same street in Winnipeg. This street was renamed Valour Road in their honour.


The "Valour Road" Heritage Minute is a good starting place for students to learn about the horrors of war and consider the great personal sacrifices that soldiers made.

By coming up with their own film treatments and...

John McCrae


This lesson is based on viewing the John McCrae Heritage Minute, which shows Canadian Army surgeon John McCrae writing the famous poem, "In Flanders Fields."


Students will discuss the meaning, imagery, language and message of the poem, "In Flanders Fields."

Students will study the poem, "In Flanders Fields" and discuss its language, imagery, and message. They will compare this poem with other poems about the First World War, and discuss whether they contain realistic...



This lesson is based on viewing the Heritage Minute, "Winnie," which recounts the true story of the Canadian soldier's bear that became the inspiration for writer A.A. Milne.


Students will discuss the cultural importance of meaningful symbols by looking at how animals are personified and anthropomorphized in literature and popular culture.

Secondary students can often learn a great deal about common literary themes and devices through exploring childrens' stories. These...

Halifax Explosion


This lesson is based on viewing the Heritage Minute, "Halifax Explosion," which focuses on the heroic act of Vince Coleman, who died while alerting a passenger train about the explosion in Halifax harbour on December 6, 1917.


Using the example of Vince Coleman, students will discuss the definition of a hero. Do heroes have to be famous? What role do heroes play in society? Students will also imagine how Coleman's children might have felt about his actions, and how the people he...

Remembrance Day: Integrated Arts Lesson Plan


Start this activity by introducing your students to Canadian writer John McCrae with the Heritage Minute about his poem "In Flanders Field" and to the Unknown Soldier by reading "Waiting in Line" from Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul (text below).

Waiting in Line"

As I approached the Peace Tower at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa I saw it: a line of orderly, polite, patient, Canadians - waiting. Without a word, I joined the line and many more followed. The young man in front...

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