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Classroom Activities

The following activities serve to reinforce the knowledge that students are acquiring about the symbols at Canada's Parliament.

Lest We Forget

Many animals helped soldiers in World Wars I and II: reindeer, pack horses, mules, carrier pigeons and dogs. Some animals played different roles and were mascots. Research the "Tunnelers' Friends" and learn about the roles of these animals.

Read about and research the following animals that were symbols and heroes to their military friends:

First World War

A black bear cub named "Winnipeg" ("Winnie") became the mascot of army surgeon Captain Harry Colebourn's regiment, the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Winnie was later immortalized in a series of children's books and is the subject of a Historica Minute.

Second World War

A Newfoundland dog, "Gander," mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada, was credited with saving the lives of Canadian soldiers during the defence of Hong Kong, as he twice halted the enemy's advance and protected groups of wounded soldiers. He was killed in action while gathering a grenade, saving many more lives. Gander was posthumously awarded the Dickin Medal, popularly known as the animals' Victoria Cross. Gander was the first Canadian dog to be awarded the medal for heroism.

See Tales of Animals in War by Veterans Affairs Canada for a complete resource on this topic.

For more information on the theme of "Remembrance" at Parliament, visit the virtual Memorial Chamber and the Books of Remembrance.

At Work

Canadians work in many fields related to natural resources. Explore some of these different jobs:

Canada's Coat of Arms

Learn about the symbols that make up the Canadian coat of arms.

Who or What am I?

Review the plants, animals and people that are found at Parliament by completing this fill-in-the-blank exercise (PDF 37 KB).

Floral Emblem Colouring Sheets

Learn about the beauty, facts and history of Canada's provincial and territorial flowers.



Nova Scotia

New Brunswick


British Columbia

Prince Edward Island



Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories



Nunavut’s flower, the purple saxifrage, does not appear in the stained glass windows of the House of Commons Chamber. The windows were commissioned in 1967 to celebrate Canada's Centennial. Nunavut, created in 1999, was part of the Northwest Territories at the time. The purple saxifrage can be found growing all over Nunavut, which is why the territory chose it as its floral emblem in 2000.

Think About...PDF (48 KB)

Using these questions, discuss the importance and splendour of the Parliament Buildings with your students.

Why do you think there are so many symbols in and around the Parliament Buildings?

  • What symbols do you think are the most important for Canadians?

Why are the Parliament Buildings so large and so grand?

  • Why is Parliament an important place?
  • Why do lots of people go there just to see it?

Why is Parliament located in Ottawa and not another city in Canada?

  • Is it close to your home or far from your home?
  • Do you think this is a good place for the capital city to be located? Why?

Who works in these grand buildings?

  • What kind of work do you think the Prime Minister of Canada does?
  • How do you become the Prime Minister of Canada?
  • Do you think it is easy or hard to be the Prime Minister? Why?
  • Who are Senators and MPs and from where do they come?

How do you get a job in Parliament?

  • Did you know that university students work there in the summer as guides, showing people around the building? What would that be like?
  • Do you know what a "page" of the Senate or of the House of Commons does?

What else would you like to know about the Parliament of Canada?