Have students engage in a mock debate in Parliament in the fall of 1944 by exploring an historic person’s position on conscription.
Some examples of possible people to research and role play are:
Primary HTC concept(s) explored in this activity
Significance guidepost 4
Significance varies over time and from group to group
Secondary HTC concept(s) explored in this activity
Historical perspectives guidepost 4
Making valid inferences based on evidence
Cause & consequence guideposts 4 & 5
Unintended consequences & that events are not inevitable.
In this activity, students will demonstrate understanding by addressing the pros and cons of conscription in the fall of 1944 from the perspectives of different groups. The intent is for students to explore the significance of the Scheldt in shaping the conscription crisis in November. Please see The Big Six Historical Thinking Concepts (2012) by Peter Seixas and Tom Morton, as well as the Historical Thinking Project website for further ideas for student assessment or to adapt these activities.
Questions posed to students in this activity
Research question: What were the arguments for and against conscription in October 1944? How do these compare with positions earlier in the war?
Inquiry question: Would you have supported or opposed conscription in October 1944?
Considerations for teachers to introduce in student inquiry
Additional guiding questions for students: Canadian achievement in the Battle of the Scheldt opened up the ports of Antwerp and made it possible to ship in supplies and reinforcements to deliver the final blow to defeat Nazi Germany in early 1945. Is such a goal worth sacrificing lives for?