Save Juno Beach! 🪖 – Canada’s involvement in WWII

Save Juno Beach! 🪖

Throughout this project we questioned, “Why is it so important to learn about Canada’s involvement in WWII?” We also focused on how we can use research to develop narratives and arguments which would then help us with the last assignment of our project; we were expected to write an essay with 3 body paragraphs each about different aspects of Canada’s involvement in WWII. 

Humanties is a subject I struggle the most in as my background knowlege in history is not strong. To be frank I find it overwhelming… even staying on top of what’s going on currently around the world is hard! Furthermore, when I think about my goals for the year getting better at research is always one of them and this project required a lot of researching. When I have to dig into a topic, I find it challenging knowing what to extract from the vast amounts of information I find on the internet and then critically analyzing what I learn. The combination of history and researching definitely challenged me here.

In order to craft strong statements we had to learn about the different aspects of the war. We started off learning about the factors leading up to the start of WWII like the Great Depression, the Roarings 20’s and the Treaty of Versailles. Then we had to pick a factor and explain how it was a cause of WWII. We used the acronym P.E.E. to develop our answer. The acronym name P.E.E. kind of threw me off, for obvious reasons, but it was quite helpful and here’s what it means. 

P – having a clear opinion, the point of your answer.

E – the reason for your point, provide reliable evidence to support your point.

E – the explantion from the evidence. 

I chose to do my P.E.E statement on the Treaty of Versailles and the P.E.E. strategy was quite helpful for me; it gave a structure to work off of when I was forming my answer, and helped me organize and dive deeper into my thinking. I will likely refer to it again. 

In class we watched a 30 minute segment of the movie called Saving Private Ryan. The 30 minutes we watched was a renactment of the Canadian soldiers capturing and securing Juno Beach. It was very disturbing to watch and all I could think about is how brave the soldiers were. What really shocked me was that after watching the horrors of the battle I learned that someone proposed the idea of putting condos on the very beach where so many soldiers had died.

Everything we were learning related to the driving question and we used the knowledge we accumulated to write a couple sentences for our class bulletin board. Originally, we were going to create a bulletin board to put our essays on to showcase to the school. However, it soon became clear that 31 essays would not fit, and it was highly likely that not many people would thoroughly read them. So instead we chose to write a few sentences about why we thought it was important to learn about Canada’s involvement in WWII. Gwen, Sofia and I were in charge of creating the board and it ended up looking like this:

(the statements are in the clouds)

Here is what I wrote for my contribution:

WWII was a pivotal moment in history, and learning about Canada’s involvement and contributions to the war allows us to grasp how it shaped our national identity, influenced international relationships, impacted Canada’s economy, and acknowledges the sacrifices that were made. Understanding Canada’s role in WWII still influences decision-making today, especially with respect to global matters (e.g. conflicts, agreements, and trading).

Before we jumped into writing our essay we had to learn about the structure of an essay. We practiced writing thesis statements by picking if we think cats or dogs are better (dogs of course) and then we brainstormed topic sentences that supported our opinion. We then applied this to the actual creation of our essay when going through the brainstorming process.

I then took 3 topics I wanted the body paragraphs of my essay to be about and created an outline. I was a bit confused when writing my essay outline and this reminded me to remember to clarify what I am supposed to be doing for my projects so I can come out with the work that I feel confident in.

I was now prepared to start my essay, well I thought I was. Writing my essay proved to be quite hard for me and it reminded me that I need to spend some time to find a way for me to effectively brainstorm and tackle projects like these. A big road block for me is that I thought I needed to get every single detail in my head before I could write my body paragraph correctly. So I would jump from website to website just scrolling until I could write my body paragraph which proved to not be very effective. Luckily, I got some help and was able to brainstorm and navigate each body paragraph. So from now on, before writing an essay or doing a big project I will chunk it down, write down my key points on paper, and then create a mind map for each point, with little snippets of supporting information so that I don’t get overwhelmed with all the things I think I need to touch on. In the end, I am very proud with of my essay and the speed bumps I hit just prepare me for the many others I will need to write. If you would like to read it, here it is, The Impacts of World War II on Canada .

My answer to the driving question is apparent in my essay and bulletin board contribution. To sum it up I think it is important to learn about Canada’s involvement in WWII because Canada contributed significantly to the war effort. By learning about Canadas experience in the war we can understand how it has shaped Canada’s economy, politics and society to this day. It makes me appreciate the journey Canada has been on, to get to where it is today.

Also, upon reflection, I have wondered how different the war outcome would be if the Allies didn’t win the battle of the Atlantic. Imagine if the Germans had actually won. Given Germany was a totalitarian dictatorship, I can’t even imagine how this would have shifted Canada’s government structure. Would we be a democracy today? Furthermore, how would German policies and ideologies have impacted and shifted the pathway of Canada’s industrial production and international relationships? Secondly, WWII led to big changes in how women were thought of in the workforce and I am thankful for them breaking down barriers and fighting for equality, independence and societial change. However, it is amazing how there is still inequality today. For example, there are some jobs where women are still fighting for equal pay or still trying to prove they are capable as a man to do the job. Also, women were not the only minority group impacted by the war. While doing my research I came across many articles on Indigenous peoples contribtuions to the war. They were important too and need to be recognzied and appreciated for their role.

In the end, I learned so much during this project and I am proud of the work I put out and I am thankful, even though I still find the vast and giant amounts of information on this topic overwhelming, for being challenged.

Thank you for reading!

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