A Soldier Mystery


‘Perhaps a class of students might pursue a community based study of nurses and/or soldiers who once attended their school or traversed the streets of their town. There’s no doubt that soldier research can be turned into a powerful learning tool that actively engages students in their learning. It allows for a constructivist approach to learning where the students piece together the random puzzle pieces of evidence to fashion a narrative. They will take ownership of this project which will lead to further learning outcomes such as providing partial answers to some of the ‘big questions’ that revolve around war and memory. Finally, students will discover where and how they fit within this history.’

General Tasks:

Part 1: Students are given a soldierpack with primary sources and they explore it.

Part 2: They collect information about their solider, compare soldiers with various criteria and reflect on the soldier’s reason to enroll for WWI. They then produce a list of questions they would ask to that soldier. Students compare their experience with others, and evaluate the changes with modern soldiers.

Part 3: Students explore primary sources included in the pack and online, collect information on their career, death and memorial. Students write a tribute to the soldier.

Evaluation Criteria:

Application/understanding of Historical thinking concepts; Use of primary sources; Quality of tribute to soldier; Organization of information/communication.
A Soldier Mystery

Ryan McManaman & Dave Alexander


Owen Sound, Ontario

‘[T]he soldier or nurse the student is researching directs them through primary source evidence.’

Related Lesson Plans

  • Durham Memorial Project

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    Flora Fung

    Oshawa, Ontario

    ‘Students then shared their knowledge with each other in the form of a “Soldier Share” and by presenting their research on a display board.’

  • Exhibit A: Curating World War I

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    Nathan Moes

    Dease Lake, British Columbia

    ‘A historical inquiry into the service and sacrifice of the women and men who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during [WWI].’

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