For Teachers - Activities - So What?

Canadian soldiers can rightfully claim that they helped win the war. What claim can conscientious objectors make? This section explores some of the ways in which alternative service changed COs, as well as some of the ways these COs went on to change the world. Although the COs' contributions are easily quantifiable in dollars and acres, changed hearts and lives not so easily measured.

Activities

  • The government has asked you to design and build a monument to commemorate the service the COs performed during the war. What would it look like? What would the plaque or statue say? Where would you put it?
  • You attend a reunion of COs and are chosen to write a letter thanking the government for allowing COs to do alternative service instead of forcing them to go to war. What would the letter say?
  • Plan a cross-country trip to visit some important CO locations. Where would you go? What would you see?
  • Create a model (out of paper, Play-Doh, etc) of what the forests looked like before the COs came and after they had cleared the dead trees and planted new ones.
  • Write about an experience that changed your life.
  • Write and perform a drama focusing on a CO in the medical corps helping in a battle

The “So What” section can help students:

  • understand the long-lasting effects of our actions
  • evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of solutions to a problem (i.e. what good came out of alternative service and what could have been improved?)
  • recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as new information is found