Our Identity as Canadians 🇨🇦

Hello internet, it’s the last month of the school year! The project we got when we first entered the new quarter in my opinion the most significant piece of Canadian history —  The Great War Exhibit! the project where we as students worked individually to create a video essay about a WWI artifact and a Canadian WWI Soldier. Through determining the historical significance of WWI, we analyzed and gather evidence to tell the story of their soldier, in my case with the aviation scarf I would have had to research a pilot. On June 1st and 2nd, we hosted the WWI Discovery Box (link) at our school library and presented and showed our learning to our fellow students in our school. For this project, we focused on: How might we use artifacts and film to show the significance of WWI? With the question in mind, we started the project by looking at the timeline of the war, from how it originally started and how it ended!

1914: the archduke of Austria-Hungry, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo by the 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip, a member of Young Bosnia, on 28 June 1914. The archduke was an important figure to the Austrians so when he died the Austrians blamed Serbia and declared war on Serbia. While Germany is on Austria’s side, Russia joined Serbia’s side and just like that the two sides started forming, the Great War is about to break out. To dive deeper into this event I have learned that it wasn’t really the assassination of the archduke itself trigger the whole thing it was the nationalism and the allies coming together to protect themselves as a group.


1915: battle of Ypres started. The Battle of Ypres was known for the start of the use of chemical weapons during WWI. Many would say the Germans had started it, but really,  they had only started using chemical weapons because the French had started using tear gas. The Battle of Ypres resulted as 59,000 British (including 6,500 Canadians), estimated of 22,000 French, and 35,000 Germans casualties. There are, many types of gases, like in August 1914, when the French first used tear gas— a colourless to light yellow liquid with a fruity to aromatic smell with the effects of coughing, crying, breathing difficulties, and temporary blindness— against the German troops. Many chemical gases like the tear gas are: chlorine, first used by the Germans in April 1915; phosgene, first used by Germans in December 1915; and finally, the most deadliest gas, mustard gas, first used by the Germans in July 1917. With all these knowledge it’s really hard to remember, so we concentrated all the important facts and made a keynote presentation. While listening to the other groups present, I noticed that to other people they could find other things important.

1916: The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was fought during the First World War from 1 July to 18 November 1916. In the summer of 1916 the British launched the largest battle of the war on the Western Front, against German lines. The offensive was one of the bloodiest in human history. Over the course of five months, approximately 1.2 million men were killed or wounded at the Somme. The Canadian Corps was involved in final three months of the battle. When British soldiers “went over the top” of their trenches in the wake of the barrage, the result was catastrophe: tens of thousands were mown down by machine-gun fire or caught up in barbed wire and then killed as they tried to reach the German lines. The British lost more than 57,000 men killed or wounded on only the first day of the battle, with little to show for their sacrifice. The battle of Somme was also known for introduction to tanks, and how Francis P. received the metal of valour. This event was also included in the keynote presentation we did with the battle of Ypres, throughout the other’s presentation I could focus more on how terrifying the introduction of machine guns and tanks was to the soldiers during the war.

1917: battle of Vimy Ridge, Many Canadians view the four-day Battle of Vimy Ridge, from April 9 to 12, 1917, in France as Canada’s greatest battle. It was the first time that all four Canadian divisions had fought together under a Canadian commander. The Canadian troops captured the impenetrable Vimy Ridge from Germany, which British and French troops had been unable to do. For many Canadians, the victory was a defining moment of national pride, and the possible birth of our nation as we emerged from Britain’s shadow. Canadian troops also earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops because of the stunning success. But it was a victory at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 allies were killed and wounded. During this part of the war I think it’s where we as Canadians fought together to proof that we are more than capable of becoming a independent nation and we’re not to be messed with.


1918: World War I ended at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, the Allies claimed victory against the Central Powers. During the four years of battle, over 37 million people were killed and nearly 22 million were wounded. In addition to this massive loss of life, both sides experienced social, political, geographical, and economic short-term and long-term consequences. Between 1914 and 1917, nearly two million Russian soldiers were killed in World War I. Another five million were wounded. Russia had never been prepared for a world war. Its army was made up of peasants and working-class men who had been forced to fight. They barely had any training and no weapons, As more and more soldiers died and food in Russia became scarce, the Russian people grew tired of Tsar Nicholas II’s rule and wanted out of the war. These conditions led to a continuation of the domestic upheaval that had begun with the 1905 Russian Revolution. In 1917, two more revolutions engulfed Russia and caused the collapse of the nearly 200-year-old Russian Empire. The first revolution was in February 1917 and resulted in the tsar abdicating his throne. The Bolsheviks (a political party) and the Provisional Government (a group of members of the Social Revolutionaries and the Cadets) took control. The second revolution—the Bolshevik Revolution—quickly followed in November 1917. The anti-war Bolshevik party defeated the Provisional Government to gain full control of the Russian government. On March 3, 1918, Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany and exited the war. During the learning of this time period I noticed how much this war impacted just one country, like the change of a new political leader could completely change if the country is still a part of the war or not.

Finally,1918-19: the ending of the war, In March 1918, Germany and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, marking Russia’s exit from World War I. With its eastern front now secure, Germany removed its troops and sent them to the Western front. Germany that launched a major campaign against the Allies to try and win the war. After many advances, Germany was eventually pushed back. Now it was the allies turn to mount an attack. On August 8, Allied forces began a series of concentrated attacks on key German positions. This was known as the Hundred Day Campaign. Canadian troops were assigned the task of breaking the Hindenburg Line, Germany’s main line of defence along the front. They were successful. Canadian General Arthur Currie sauce as Canada’s finest achievement of the war, even greater than its victory Vimy Ridge the previous year.Slowly but surely Allied troops advanced against the Germans. Finally, on November 11, Germany surrendered. The armistice was signed and World War I was over. In January 1919, delegates met in Paris to hammer out the terms of the peace treaty. Canada had played a very important role in the war and was thus invited to participate. Britain, France, and the United States dominated the talks, but Canada clearly made its presence felt. The result of the Paris Peace Conference was the Treaty of Versailles, which laid out harsh terms for the Germans. At Prime Minister Borden’s insistence, Canada was allowed to sign the peace treaty as a separate nation, totally independent of Great Britain. This was an important symbolic recognition of Canada’s emerging sovereignty over its own affairs. With all the knowledge in mind we did out final video with a soldier and artifact of WWI of out choice, we put together our learning throughout the whole war and created a piece of it that is more significant than knowing what and who the soldiers (in my case a pilot) and the artifact’s role was during the vast war.

The curriculum competencies for this project are:

Socials 9 | Establish Historical Significance: How do we make choices about what is worth remembering?

I can assess the significance of people, places, events, or development and compare varying perspectives on their historical significance at particular times and places, and from group to group.

Examples of this is The Battle of Vimy Ridge…

Maker 9 | Global Collaborator: How might I use technology to connect to the world?

I can use technology to connect to others, locally and globally, to generate and enhance my ideas.

Example of this is our YouTube video 

The could be seen as a short one compared to the 7 years war but the consequences of this war was larger, more significant, and more thing had happened during the war. I learned lots of stuff during this project, like the how a ugly the weather was during those days the soldiers fought the the damp trenches, how short a pilot’s life span was, how significant the battle of Vimy Ridge meant for us Canadians. The answer for the driving questions I learn through out this project is: we learn the significant of the history behind those of the ones brought peace and identity to our country today, if it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be living to way we are now.

Anyways that’s it for this post enjoy the rest of your day/ night, peace out!