Over the Top

Over the Top - For Teachers And Students

In addition to being an exciting adventure story, Over the Top is a pedagogical learning tool whose main purpose is to allow students to better understand and appreciate the nature of trench warfare during the First World War. For, in addition to surviving their ordeal in the trenches, students will also gain:

  • A better understanding of the difficulties and perils faced by frontline Canadian troops during the First World War;
  • Enhanced knowledge of words, expressions, strategies and technologies used in trench warfare; and
  • A greater appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of Canadians that fought overseas.

The following activities have been developed for teachers for classroom use. Teachers may freely copy and/or modify any activity to suit the needs of their students.

Questions about the story (PDF 93Kb)
Lists 10 possible questions of inquiry for students to further explore some of the narrative and historical threads of the story.

Questions about the First World War (PDF 96Kb)
Lists 10 possible questions pertaining to Canada's role during the First World War, the nature of trench warfare and the aftermath of the war.

First World War Maps (PDF 779Kb)
Features two downloadable maps of Europe in 1914 and in 1923, with instructions for colouring and identifying key locations.

Propaganda and Censorship (PDF 740Kb)
Explores the uses of propaganda and censorship in wartime with the use of illustrated examples. Students can send their own Field Service Postcard to their parents.

First World War Poetry (PDF 242Kb)
Lists seven poems on the theme of the First World War with follow-up questions for students.

Researching War Poets and Writers (PDF 257Kb)
Suggests possible activities for researching First World War poets and writers and features excerpts from popular and lesser known literary works.


    Date created: January 30, 2004 | Last updated: October 7, 2009