Lesson #9 – Culminating Activity (World War One and the Interwar Period (1919-1939))
Question: Which of the two time periods in Canadian history – the First World War or the Interwar
Period – was more significant in bringing about social, political, and economic change?
World War One (1914-1918); Interwar Period (1919-1939)
British Columbia Social Studies 11
Lesley Scowcroft with editorial help from the School District #23 Historical Benchmarks Group (Graeme Stacey, Lindsay Gibson, Krista Marrs, Ryan Mansley, Liam Kelliher)
Approximately one class (80 minutes)
This lesson is a culminating lesson for the Interwar Unit in Canadian history. It presupposes student knowledge in both the First World War and in the Interwar period. In this lesson, students will make a judgment concerning the social, political, and economic importance of both the First World War and the Interwar period (1919-1939). Students will reflect on and organize their knowledge about these events to determine which had a greater impact on Canada.
This lesson will touch upon the following Prescribed Learning Outcomes for Social Studies 11.
Skills and Processes of Social Studies
; Apply critical thinking skills, including: comparing, questioning, summarizing, drawing
conclusions, defending a position.
; Demonstrate effective research skills, including: accessing information, assessing information,
collecting data, evaluating data, organizing information, presenting information, citing sources.
; Demonstrate effective written, oral and graphic communication skills, individually and
Autonomy and International Development
; Describe Canada’s evolution as a politically autonomous nation
; Assess Canada’s role in World War One and the war’s impact on Canada
Society and Identity
; Explain economic cycles with reference to the Great Depression and the labour movement in
; Assess the development and impact of Canadian social policies and programs related to the
[development of] the welfare state
Required Knowledge and Skills
To complete this task, students will need to have:
; an understanding of the criteria for determining the historical significance of an event.
; an understanding of the following terms: social, political, and economic
; an understanding of the causes, course, and consequences of the First World War
; an understanding of the causes, course, and consequences of the Interwar period, including the
Winnipeg General Strike, women’s issues, the development of Canadian autonomy, and the
; Photocopies of required sheets (see Lesson Preparation below)
; Computer connected to speakers and an LCD projector. Another option is to ensure that the
class takes place in a room with one computer for each student.
; Class set of photocopies of worksheets entitled “Death and Despair: Assessing the First World
War and the Interwar Period”
This is a culminating activity that assumes students have already learned about World War One and the social, political, and economic trends of the Interwar Period (1919-1939).
1. Hand out the “Death and Despair” worksheet to each student. After each student has a copy,
introduce the lesson – read the over-riding question students need to keep in mind. (5 minutes)
2. Next, introduce (or reiterate) the definitions of the following terms: social, political, economic.
Students will have a copy of the definition on their sheet and they can also add to their
examples. Additional relevant examples/explanation to be determined by the teacher. Why
are these terms important? Why are they used to organize history? Do you think they are
effective “organizers”? (5 minutes)
3. To refresh students’ memories of World War One, brainstorm using the white board the
information students remember. As a hook, you may wish to enter into a discussion of
reminding students of the importance of “remembering” World War One and its importance. If
you have access to the internet, visit the following site to demonstrate the significance and
function of memorials. (5 minutes) Please Note: “Remembering World War One” discussion is
optional due to time constraints.
4. To further review World War One and demonstrate the terms, show the following Historica
Minutes. After each “minute,” discuss the importance of the event and have students write
down the various social, political, and economic circumstances that each episode deals with.
These ideas can be written down on the worksheet under the “Example” section for each of the
terms. (15 minutes)
Minutes to show:
A.) Valour Road – Shows courage of Canadians fighting in Belgium in 1915. This discussion
can also lead to importance of Ypres. (political, social)
B.) Vimy Ridge – Details the battle of Vimy Ridge and nationalism demonstrated by
Canadians after victory. (Political, social)
C.) Halifax Explosion – Details the Halifax explosion and can lead into greater discussion of
direct physical and social effects of the war. (Political, economic, social)
D.) *Optional* - John McCrae – Details John McCrae and the writing of In Flanders Fields.
Link: http://www.histori.ca/minutes/minute.do?id=10200 (Social)
5. Put students into partners using any method decided upon by teacher.
6. In partners, have students complete table that outlines the social, political, and economic
effects of World War One. **Please see “Alternate Sequence” below (10 minutes)
7. When students are finished discussing the effects of World War One, briefly come together as a
class and discuss ideas – try to have each pair contribute to the discussion. Also, ask students
about how they would rank the degree of changes brought about by World War One. (5-10
8. Have students finish the table for the Interwar Period. Students should refer to previous
assignments, notes, discussions to obtain the information for the table. (15 minutes)
9. When students are finished discussing the Interwar Period, briefly go over class ideas together.
Teacher should now ask which event was more significant in bringing about change to check for
comprehension and ensure students are on the right track. (5-10 minutes)
10. Introduce the “End Task” to the students. Repeat the question and go through the two choices
for the assignment given. Reintroduce the definition of a thesis statement (provided on the
worksheet) and go over the rubric. Finally, ensure students understand what command term,
“explain,” means. Place the command terms sheet on the overhead to demonstrate meaning to
students. (Students could plan ideas for homework and be given time next class to write).
11. Have students plan and complete the assignment. Circulate the classroom to ensure
comprehension and expectations. Rubric provided for marking guide.
**Alternate Sequence: Teachers may wish to review both World War One and the Interwar Period together and then have students complete the full table in partners. If this method is chosen, more time should be given to complete the table and discussion will refer to both events.
; Death and Despair: Assessing World War One and the Interwar Period. Worksheet with
definitions of terms (social, political, economic), table, assignment, and rubric
; Definitions for Key Verbs in Written-Response and Essay Questions (Command Terms)
Social Studies 11 Command Terms
Definitions for Key Verbs in Written-Response and Essay Questions
Successful results can be achieved by addressing the specifics of the question. Most questions contain a
key verb or command term. The following list will help you to understand and respond to written-response questions effectively. Any particular examination may use terms selected from this list.
Assess Estimate the value of something based on some criteria; present an
Compare Describe how the elements of qualities of one event, issue, or
character are similar to those of another. Often used in conjunction
Contrast Describe how the elements or qualities of one event, issue, or
character are different from those of another. See COMPARE.
Describe Give a detailed or graphic account of an object, event, or concept.
Evaluate Use criteria or standards to make judgments about the strengths and
weaknesses of a position on a particular issue
Explain Give an account of a topic, process, or concept, providing evidence and
To What Extent Advance arguments in favour of a position or point of view and
respond to or take into account arguments opposed to that position or
point of view
Discuss Provide a variety of viewpoints on a topic. Engage in a discussion of
the various aspects of a topic or concept.
“Death and Despair” – Assessing the First World War and the Interwar Period (1919-1939)
Guiding Question: Which of the two time periods in Canadian history – the First World War or the
Interwar Period – was more significant in bringing about social, political, and economic change?
End Task: Formulate and defend a position on the above question in the form of a standard essay or empathic character response.
Historians are often interested in the forces that laid the foundations for modern society. How did we get to where we are today? Often, this involves determining how significant events, such as the First World War and the Great Depression, resulted in changes in society. Categories such as social, political,
and economic are often used to organize their ideas. From this organization, historians make judgments about the consequences and significance of events in contributing to the present social, political, and economic organization of Canada.
Both the First World War and the Interwar Period were important in changing Canadian history, but which was more important? This task will allow you to make your own judgment on history and determine which event had more of an effect on the Canadian social, political, and economic climate.
1. Social: This term refers to events, issues, and trends that affect society. It is a broad category that has to do with how people relate to each other and takes into account people’s roles in society.
Example: Role of women in society (women’s issues), entertainment, and lifestyle.
2. Political: This term mostly refers to issues of government in societies. It includes the type of government system in place (ie. democratic), as well as a country’s relationship with other countries in the world.
Example: Elections (Borden and the 1917 election) and voting rights, Canada’s development as an
3. Economic: This term refers to systems of trade, production and consumption of goods, and money. It also is related to employment and incomes in society.
Example: Economic cycles such as prosperity, recession, depression, recovery; wages made by people (ie. rising or staying the same), consumerism (how people spend money), production (ie. natural resources)
Organizing Your Thoughts
Now that you are familiar with the terms, it is time to organize your thoughts. Please complete the
table in point form.
FIRST WORLD WAR INTERWAR PERIOD (1919 – 1939) 1. Social Effects: 1. Social Effects:
Example: Women received the right to vote.
Consequences of Change: (How deeply (How deeply Consequences of Change: felt/profound was its impact? How widespread were felt/profound was its impact? How widespread were
changes? How long-lasting were the effects?) changes? How long-lasting were the effects?)
2. Political Effects: 2. Political Effects:
Example: Canada received an independent seat
at the Paris Peace Conferences (autonomy).
Consequences of Change: (See above) (See above) Consequences of Change:
3. Economic Effects: 3. Economic Effects:
Example: Canada’s national debt climbed to $150 million immediately after the war.
Consequences of Change: (See above) Consequences of Change: (See above)
Degree of Change: WORLD WAR ONE Degree of Change: INTERWAR PERIOD
On a scale of 1 to 5, rank the degree of On a scale of 1 to 5, rank the degree of change change you feel took place in each of the you feel took place in each of the categories as categories as a result of the First World War. a result of the First World War.
5 = significant change 5 = significant change
1 = no change 1 = no change
*Table adapted from: Denos, Mike and Roland Case. Teaching About Historical Thinking. Edited by Peter Seixas and Penney Clark. Vancouver: The Critical Thinking Consortium, 2006.
End Task: Please choose one of the formats below to complete a written response to the following question:
Which of the two time periods in Canadian history – the First World War or the Interwar Period
– was more significant in bringing about social, political, and economic change? Explain your
Format #1: In a formal essay, answer the question posed above. You will need to have a thesis
statement that clearly outlines your argument for the paper and is directed by the command term (“Explain”).
This is formal writing. Please ensure you have the following:
; Thesis statement
; Third person
; Introduction, body paragraph(s) that support your thesis, and conclusion
Format #2: You are an expert in Canadian history. You have lived through both the First World War and the Interwar Period and have been posed the question noted above (see “End Task”). Respond to the question in an editorial for a newspaper.
This is a more informal response. Please ensure you have the following:
; Date, Name of newspaper, your name at the bottom of the article
; First Person (this is more of a “character” response)
; Thesis statement built into writing
; Introduction, body paragraph(s) that support your thesis, conclusion
Thesis statement: This is a statement that tells the reader what you will be arguing in your response. It is often broken into three parts and is written at the end of the introduction in an essay.
Example: Canadians contributed to World War One by supplying the Triple Entente with vital war necessities, fighting in significant battles on the western front, and fighting against the German u-boats in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rubric – Assessing World War One and the Interwar Period
Categories Incomplete/Does Approaching Meeting Exceeding
Not Meet Expectations Expectations Expectations
1 2 3 4
Response is fully Response is Response is not fully Response is fully Response is fully explained and incomplete, or explained or include explained and explained and accurate include several several inaccuracies accurate accurate
Supporting Details Response is not Response is Response is mostly Response is
supported with supported with supported with well-supported with
sufficient details some detail developed details thoroughly
No conclusions or Conclusions are adequate and Conclusions are
weak conclusions weak effective insightful
Fluency/Completion Thesis statement is Thesis statement is Thesis statement is Thesis is clearly of Criteria inadequate or not attempted or clearly stated. stated.
Expression is Expression is limited Expression is Expression is clear
awkward and errors and errors may sufficiently fluent with few flaws in
interfere with distract or impede and errors generally communication.
meaning meaning do not impeded
May be missing May be missing Discusses social, Discusses social,
discussion on one or discussion on one or political, and political, and
more of the more of the economic effects of economic effects of
following areas: following areas: event event
social, political, social, political,
*Table adapted from “Essay Scoring Criteria” used for marking Socials 11 Provincial Exam.