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A Deadly Day


To increase youth awareness about the Dieppe Raid during the Second World War, and, remember the sacrifices and achivements made by Canadians.


Youth will be expected to:

  • develop an understanding of the Canadian efforts during the Dieppe Raid; and
  • develop an awareness of the importance of remembering the sacrifices and achievements of those who fought and died on the beaches of Dieppe in 1942.

Target Audience

This activity is suitable for ages 8 to 12.

Sequence of events and anticipated time frame [45 minutes]

(This activity can be modified to fit available time.)

  • Introductory discussion [10 minutes]
  • Handout  – A Deadly Day [15 minutes]
  • A Deadly Day cruncher paper activity [20 minutes]
  • Dieppe Raid Word Search (optional)


Introductory discussion [10 minutes]

Brainstorm with the youth on what they know about wars. Do the youth know of any times when our country has had to fight in a conflict? Have they heard of the Second World Wars? Do they know when they took place? More than one million Canadians served in uniform during the Second World War—that is more than the population of some provinces today. Do they know which countries were involved? Ask students if any of them are aware of how Canada helped in the war. Have they ever heard of the Dieppe Raid in a book, movie or from others talking about it? You may wish to record their responses.

Show where France is on a map and how far away it is from home. Explain how wars are hard and very dangerous for those who serve in them. You could discuss things like how the terrain of the beach at Dieppe is very rocky with steep cliffs overlooking the ocean. You may wish to share the Dieppe photo gallery to better understand the landscape. Share other basic information about the battle and the bravery of those who fought at Dieppe to help set the stage for the cruncher paper activity. Before beginning this activity, you may yourself wish to read the Canada Remembers the Dieppe Raid historical sheet to familiarize yourself with Canada’s efforts.

Handout [15 minutes]

The Canadian soldiers fought in many difficult battles during the Second World War. Eventually their efforts paid off as they did help to free the people of France from the enemy, and helped them to get food and warm clothing. The people of Dieppe were very thankful for the help from Canadians.

Have students individually read A Deadly Day handout to understand how Canadian soldiers served during the Dieppe Raid.

Follow up with a short discussion. How do students feel about the story? Do they feel that the raid was worth it? Based on the number of students in the class, offer numbers relative to the number of Canadians casualties at Dieppe. Of the 5,000 Canadians at Dieppe, over 900 (18%) were killed and 1,946  taken prisoner (39%). So, in a class of 16, this would mean six out of 16 students would be prisoners for the duration of the war and three out of 16 would never see Canada again!

Cruncher Paper Activity [20 minutes]

Provide students with a A Deadly Day cruncher paper activity handout. The cruncher is an engaging activity that will help children learn more about the Dieppe Raid in the Second World War and the sacrifices and achievements of Canadian soldiers.

Read the instructions for folding a cruncher.

Optional Follow-up Activity - Word search

Provide each student with the Dieppe Raid word search.

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