1918 Influenza Pandemic

The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918/1919 was one of the most catastrophic events in history, and yet it has been all but overlooked or forgotten. For Canadians, the pandemic changed the course of our shared histories. To commemorate the centenary of the pandemic in Canada, we want you to join us in finding stories about those communities and about those women and men who helped forge changes in our country by their responses to it.

In 2020, the world is experiencing another global pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 shares stark similarities to the influenza pandemic from a century ago. While enormous progress in public health has been made throughout the 20th century, there remain lessons to be learned from the “Spanish flu” pandemic – for Canadians and all global citizens.

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How can teaching about the 1918 influenza pandemic help your students understand COVID-19?

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Explore the History of the Influenza Pandemic in Canada

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First Nations, Métis, and Inuit and the Spanish Flu

In this lesson students will create a bio-poem for one of the First Nations, Métis, or Inuit people they meet during this lesson.

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Inuit Communities in Labrador

Learning about and commemorating the impact of the Spanish influenza on Inuit communities in Labrador, 1918–1920, using primary source photographs and oral histories; creating “living” memorials and monuments using tableaux and other drama strategies.

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The Global Demographic Footprint of the Spanish Flu

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918/1919 produced a large global demographic footprint. Using the geographic inquiry process, students will research the casualty statistics of theSpanish flu from countries around the world and synthesize them into a map to communicate the pattern of the pandemic.

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The Geography of the Spanish Flu

Past to present, demography – students will compare the past to present demographic patterns of Canada, and use Spanish flu casualty statistics to project the demographic impact of this event today.