The Poppy Project
... Is a sustainable alternative to the traditional red, plastic poppy. Unlike the plastic poppy, the seed paper poppy will decompose in your garden and will bloom in the spring.
This project is an educational collaboration between Fanshawe College, The Royal Canadian Legion, London area schools and beyond.
The concept of the project is for students to create a sustainable poppy made from seed paper that they can wear to commemorate Remembrance Day. Classrooms will be able to use this interdisciplinary experience as a vehicle to teach about the history of the poppy, the importance of Remembrance Day, and to connect with various curricula areas including science, social studies, literacy, the arts and beyond.
The kits from Fanshawe are $10 each (plus HST and shipping) and include:
- brief history of the poppy and John McCrae
- red construction paper
- poppy seeds
Teachers will receive lesson plans (created by Fanshawe College) that will include step-by-step instructions: how to make the seed paper, a pattern of the poppy, a guide to assemble the poppy, a video/slide presentation highlighting the poem In Flanders Fields by John McCrea, the history of the poppy and its symbolism.
2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the Remembrance Poppy in Canada, a lasting symbol of hope since the First World War. In 1915, Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem, 'In Flanders Fields.'
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies
grow in Flanders Fields.
The poppy, adopted as the symbol of Remembrance by the Canadian Legion in 1921, became a huge commemorative success as millions of people pinned the bright red flower over their hearts to show their solidarity to the men and women who had made such great sacrifice.
Today, the Royal Canadian Legion continues its Poppy Campaign. The money raised provides financial assistance to veterans and their families, as well as funding for medical equipment, medical research, home services, long-term care facilities and much more. The remarkably delicate flower is a symbol of hope and a reminder to never forget those who gave their lives for our freedoms.
"The poppy making process was an incredible learning experience for all of us! The children, families and staff loved the idea of sustainable poppies! We will definitely make them again next year. We plan to bury a plastic poppy and our left over sustainable poppy paper pieces in our worm bin and watch to see what happens over time." - Michelle Hill, Teacher, Kindergarten, West Oaks Public School, Thames Valley District School Board
Seed Paper Making Process
Free-form Poppy Instructional Video
Making your own screen video
The Poppy Project in the Media
- CBC: Poppy Project at Fanshawe College makes seed paper poppies that grow into flowers
- CFRL: “Growing symbols of hope:” Fanshawe’s sustainable Poppy Project
- London Free Press: Sustainable poppies symbols of remembrance, hope
- CTV News: Riverside Public School making biodegradable poppies for Remembrance Day
The Poppy Project would not have been possible without the assistance of many.
Our Generous Sponsors
Ontario Seed Company (OSC) - donated the poppy seeds
Sterling Marking Products - produced and donated ink stamps for instructional packages
Royal Canadian Legion - donated pins for the poppies
Fanshawe Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services - printing and packaging
Fanshawe School of Design - printing and packaging
Special thanks to Dana Morningstar, Brian Harris, Darlene O'Neill, Annette Markvoort, Tracy McIntyre, Lorrie Dunn, Drew Ellwood, Deb Trotechaud, Elizabeth Oakley and Ben Robinson, Edwin van der Wolf, Hyunmin Lee, Joshua Gall.
Programs Involved in the Project
General Support of the Project
The Poppy Design is a registered trademark of The Royal Canadian Legion, Dominion Command and is used under license.
Le motif du coquelicot est une marque déposée de la Direction nationale de La Légion royale canadienne et est employée sous licence.