Education Workshops at the Archives of Ontario

“A little reminder of what we had to go through:” A Diary of World War I - Grades 10-12

Photograph of mother and children sitting on the front porch of a house

What was the Great War like for a solider in the Canadian Forces? In this workshop students will be able to answer that question for themselves by exploring the diaries of Private John Mould, 19th Battalion, 2nd Canadian Expeditionary Force. Private Mould participated in some of the worst battles of the War, particularly the Battle of the Somme in 1916. His diaries provide a rare personal glimpse into the fears faced and courage summoned by soldiers fighting in World War I. By exploring these records, students will develop a research question, explore possible responses, and communicate their findings about life in World War I in creative and collaborative ways. Students will be introduced to the Archives of Ontario as an important site for preserving sources such as Private John Mould’s diaries by going on a behind-the-scenes tour of our facility and talking with Archives staff about their work.

Curriculum Connections

This workshop aligns with the

Students will be involved with different components of the Inquiry Process by:

  • Formulating questions
  • Gathering and organizing information, evidence, and/or data
  • Interpreting and analysing information, evidence, and/or data
  • Evaluating information, evidence, and/or data and drawing conclusions
  • Communicating findings

Preparation material

Upon receiving a booking confirmation, teachers will receive an introductory package to prepare students for their visit. This package will include:

  • An “Introduction to the Archives of Ontario” one-sheet for teachers

  • A “What is an Archive?” handout and worksheet for students

  • An Archives of Ontario vocabulary word game

Travelling Modifications

In a travelling format, with a 45-60 minute time frame, this workshop will begin with a PowerPoint tour of the Archives of Ontario, which will lead into an introduction of the John Mould diaries. Using reproductions and transcriptions of the original diaries, students will get a chance to explore the diaries and respond to the research questions they have predetermined. To develop students’ question writing skills, teachers are encouraged to precede the visit with a lesson generating questions to ask of the records.

To book an onsite visit, complete a Booking Request Form [PDF] and a member of our team will get back to you to confirm details.