Victory Awards Ceremony
Celebrating the Heroes of the War of 1812
History recalls many great stories of people in the past, which can tell us what life was like at the time. By studying the life and actions of individuals who played a significant role around the time of the War of 1812, we can develop a much better understanding of events that occurred and their subsequent consequences.
Learning outcomes: This activity will provide students the opportunity to discover the impact and significance of key individuals during the War of 1812.
Activity: Working in flexible groupings or as a class, students will create a Victory Awards ceremony honouring selected individuals for their efforts in various battles during the War of 1812. Awards will be created and students playing the role of their selected individual will give a two-minute speech about their involvement. The number and type of awards given can be decided as a group, or by the teacher.
Before the awards ceremony:
1. Have students conduct research on the following individuals who were involved in the various battles of the war (See attached graphic organizer):
- John Brant
- The Prophet
- Major-General Isaac Brock
- Robert Runchey’s Company of Blacks
- A British soldier
- A member of the Fencibles
- Laura Secord
- A Privateer
- James Fitzgibbon
- Gordon Drummond
- George Prevost
2. Once students have completed their research, have them select an individual they would like to role-play for the awards ceremony.
3. As a class or group, decide on the names and number of, as well as the criteria for, the different types of awards you will like to give these individuals. For example, a medal or certificate of bravery could be awarded to Laura Secord for her efforts to reach Fitzgibbon and inform him of a secret American attack on the British Army at Beaver Dams.
4. Once students have selected their individual, have them use their research to create a two-minute (or length of your choice) acceptance speech, which can include the following:
- A reflection of the battle fought (what happened? How? Why?)
- The emotional aspect of the war (what feelings did the war produce?)
- A expression of gratitude (Who would your individual like to thank?)
During the awards ceremony:
5. Consider setting up part or the entire classroom to look like an awards ceremony. This may include rearranging the furniture to create a theatre or dining hall. Consider having a podium set up with a microphone and a table with the awards on it.
6. Consider having students who are role-playing dress in clothing that represents their individual. For example, consider what traditional dress Tecumseh would have worn as Chief of the Shawnee.
7. Consider having yourself, or a selected student play the role of the Master of Ceremony. You can also have those students in the group or class, who are not role-playing a character, present the award by first explaining the criteria and then giving a brief explanation of the person receiving the award, before calling upon the recipient. This brief explanation can include:
- The battle or conflict that the recipients participated in and how the recipients distinguished themselves.
- The qualities that the recipients possess.
After the awards ceremony:
8. Have students write a reflection on who they think is the most deserving of an award and why.
9. Working with a partner, have students identify common qualities possessed of the award recipients by compiling a list, and then use these qualities to explain how they helped them achieve success.
- Teachers may want to briefly review the history of the above key individuals first, then have students specifically choose one individual to research and present during the awards ceremony.
- More than one student can choose the same individual (as long as the acceptance speech is personal to the student and not shared between students)