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The Great War Project

Through the fictional world of a Botanical Science Enterprise students in five pilot schools from grade four to grade seven will become engaged as Botanists who are requested by a client to explore a ninety-seven year old document recently discovered.

As the Botanists do their work they discover the document is a Field Notebook owned by a Botanist who, while serving in the British Expeditionary Force in France, travels the Somme making observations of the Landscape and Flora of the area. The writing in the Field Notebook reveals a much larger story as the Botanists dig deeper into the work of the author who signs his work with the initials A.W.H.

References to places, geographical features, rivers and once flourishing villages, encampments, and battle sites are places that the Newfoundland Regiment would have been familiar with. As work continues, the Botanists are connected with the famed Regiment and its story through the unfolding Trail of the Caribou, the War Diary of the Newfoundland Regiment and so Newfoundland's engagement in The Great War.

The Great War Project is an imaginative inquiry learning experience developed by The Great War Project Group of the Faculty of Education Memorial University. Partnering with MUN Botanical Garden, it creates for student participants and their teachers a rich Botanical Science frame of reference that drives the students into the story of Newfoundland, the Newfoundland Regiment, the letters and diaries of Soldiers, Nurses and V.A.D.s of Newfoundland and Labrador who served.

 A.W.H. is astonished at the sights he sees and wonders how nature has so quickly begun to take back the shattered and shelled landscape. He notes the sight of remarkable seas of red "as far as the eye can see", dotted with white crosses, and questions how "such tiny seeds could have found their way to the surface to transform the land and live again". The same questions drive exploration into Newfoundland, and its story of survival and transformation after the experiences of The Great War.

The implementation of The Great War Project is supported by the WW100 Memorial University Commemoration Program.