Students will explore three sources for perspectives on the Italian campaign:
Excerpts from Farley Mowat’s And No Birds Sang
Lyrics from the song The D-Day Dodgers
The CBC radio archives
Students will display their findings in response to the research and inquiry questions in the manner of their choice; teachers looking to provide greater structure may choose to identify a specific mode of delivery for the findings. Some suggestions include: posters, news articles or podcasts,
traditional essays, etc.
Primary HTC concept(s) explored in this activity
Perspectives guidepost 2
It is important to avoid presentism – the imposition of present ideas on actors in the past.
Perspectives guidepost 3
The perspectives of historical actors are best understood by considering their historical context.
Secondary HTC concept(s) explored in this activity
Ethical Dimensions guidepost 2
Reasoned ethical judgments of past actions are made by taking into account the historical context of the actors in question
Ethical Dimensions guidepost 3
When making ethical judgments, it is important to be cautious about imposing contemporary standards of right and wrong in the past.
In this activity, students will demonstrate understanding that in order to make a judgement about the Italian Campaign, they must consider the historical context of the events they are exploring and the contexts in which the perspectives they are exploring were formed. Students should also be able to demonstrate an emerging understanding of what presentism is, and how to be mindful of this in historical study. 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 happened in the Italian Campaign according to these sources?
Inquiry question(s): Can we make an ethical judgment about the Italian campaign based on these sources? Why, or why not?
Considerations for teachers to introduce in student inquiry
Additional guiding question for students: By opening up a second front in Italy, what are the implications for Italy and Italian civilians?