Showing posts with label WWI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWI. Show all posts

Friday, May 29, 2020

Return to Sender - Interactive Map of Postcards from WWI

Return to Sender provides an interesting way for students to find and read postcards sent to and from soldiers during World War I. Return to Sender is an interactive map on which students can see where postcards were sent in Europe during World War I. The postcards displayed through the map are part of the Europeana 1914-18 thematic archive.

There are a few ways that students can explore the Return to Sender map. Probably the easiest option for students is to just select a country from the drop-down menu on the left side of the map. Once a country has been chosen the map will be populated with interactive markers depicting from where the postcards were sent. Clicking on a marker will reveal the postcards. Students can then click on the postcards to read more about them and who archived them. In most cases students can read a little story about the postcard and or read the card itself.

Applications for Education
Return to Sender combines two of my favorite things to use in history lessons. Those things are maps and primary source documents. This combination lets students experience the primary sources in the context of where they were written.

It is possible to create your map in a similar style with Google's My Maps or Google Earth. You could import PDFs or PNGs of primary sources into placemarks on the map. Doing that could make for a nice local history project. I'll show you how to do that in my upcoming course, Teaching History With Technology.

H/T to Maps Mania for the map. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Echoes of the Great War - Online WWI Exhibition

Echoes of the Great War is a fantastic collection of videos, audio recordings, and pictures about WWI. This online exhibition created by the Library of Congress.

Echoes of the Great War is arranged thematically. Those four themes are Arguing Over War, Over Here, Over There, and World Overturned. Within each of those themes you will find galleries of visual and audio artifacts. You can also skip directly to the video and audio gallery. The exhibition also includes a timeline of WWI. Some images with links to more information are included in the timeline.

Applications for Education
Years ago I used some of artifacts that are now in the exhibition to help students understand how print media influences perceptions. I printed some of the artifacts that are in the Arguing Over War theme and distributed them to my students. They then had to find classmates who had artifacts that supported the same position as the one that they had been given. Finally, based only on the artifacts at their disposal, they had to make a case for or against U.S. involvement in WWI.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Visual History of the Last 100 Years

Earlier this month I declared that Made From History is a must-bookmark for history teachers. Today, the Made From History team published another fine example of why history teachers and students should bookmark their site.

A Graphic History of the Last 100 Years provides an good summary of major political and military themes of the last one hundred years. The page begins with WWI and concludes with Arab Spring. Along the way the graphics cover WWII, the Cold War, Vietnam, Civil Rights Movement, the Iranian Revolution, the Gulf War, and 9/11. As the name implies, A Graphic History of the Last 100 Years is heavy on visual aids like graphs and timelines to accompany pictures and text.
Screenshot of part of A Graphic History of the Last 100 Years
Applications for Education
A Graphic History of the Last 100 Years doesn't cover every important event and theme of the last 100 years, but it does provide a good overview. The content is shared in a manner that makes it accessible to most students. The graphics, particularly the graphs and timelines, could be helpful in prompting questions from students.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Made From History is a Must-bookmark for History Teachers and Students

Made From History is a fantastic history resource that I learned about from Larry Ferlazzo. The site features picture essays, timelines, videos, and interactive guides to significant events in European and World history. Made From History is divided into four sections; WWI, WWII, Civil Rights, and Referenced Blog.

The Referenced Blog features picture essays that don't fit into one of the other three categories. Some of the recent posts on the Referenced Blog featured images of Shackleton's expedition, small countries with crazy histories, and vintage American posters.

Applications for Education
In the WWI, WWII, and Civil Rights sections of Made From History the guides provide an excellent mix of images, maps, and text to provide context for the timelines. The visual nature of the essays on Made From History will grab students' attention and have them jumping from entry to entry.

Overall, Made From History is a great example of how a digital resource can be a better option than a traditional textbook. Made From History's section on the American Revolution offers more content than what I've seen in many elementary and middle school history textbooks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lots of Great WWI Lesson Materials from the BBC

BBC Schools offers an excellent collection of resources for helping students learn about World War I. The materials are sorted into a section for primary school students and a section for secondary school students. While both sections are packed with materials, I was more impressed by the primary school materials.

The primary school section includes a series titled 100 Years Ago... in which students learn about what life was like at home, school, and around town during WWI. This is from a British perspective, but there is a carry over for other students particularly in the 100 Years Ago "country" section in which students learn about the causes and effects of WWI.

Applications for Education
One of the activities that I thought of while looking through the 100 Year Ago materials was to have students do some research into life in the United States during WWI to then create comparisons between life in the two countries during the war.

The BBC Schools materials on WWI are designed to support the BBC's iWonder series on WWI. In the iWonder series students can watch and interactive with videos and slideshows on topics like medicine and trench warfare during WWI.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Animated Map - Britain's Royal Navy in WWI

The Guardian recently published a neat animation of British Royal Navy ship movements in the years just before WWI, during WWI, and the years just after WWI. If you watch the animation you'll notice shifts in the patterns of activity during the years depicted. The animation moves quickly and is not interactive so I had to watch it a few times to notice everything it depicts. The animation itself is neat, but what I actually found more interesting is the data that was used to create the animation. The animation was created using these ship logs. To see images of some the ships in the logs, visit this ship list.

Applications for Education
When I saw the animation my first thought was to ask students to investigate why some routes were maintained during the war while others were abandoned. A good follow-up could be to have students try to investigate U.S. Navy ship patterns for the same time period.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Four Short Videos on the Origins of World War I

Yesterday's featured document from the U.S. National Archives was President Wilson's address to Congress calling for a declaration of war against Germany in 1917. Looking at the document got me to look at some of my bookmarks for World War I materials. In that search I came up with four short videos on the origins of WWI. Those videos are embedded below.









The first three videos above came from the channel History is Happening which contains some excellent videos for a wide range of topics in world history. The last video in the list came from All Histories which also has a great collection of more than 300 history videos.


The BBC offers a virtual tour of a World War I trench that some of my former students showed me a few years back because they enjoyed it. The BBC also has some short films about WWI. There are six films that show students artifacts and images of a British soldier's life during WWI. The films are sequenced beginning with recruitment continuing on to life in the trenches and ending with information about injuries and shell shock. The BBC also offers an animation of army movements from 1914 through 1918.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Video - The Last U.S. Veteran of WWI

Frank W. Buckles was the last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I. He passed away in February of 2011 at age 110. In the video below, which I found via Open Culture, Mr. Buckles talks about his life, experience in WWI, and shares his thoughts on the state of war in the 21st Century.

Buckles from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
For teachers of US History this video could definitely be worth sharing with your students to give them some first-hand information from a veteran of WWI. Not to mention offering the advice of someone who spent an extraordinarily long time on this Earth.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Snag Learning Film of the Week - Last Voyage of the Lusitania

The last US Veteran of WWI died yesterday at 110 years old. One of the events of WWI that is often included in lessons about WWI is the sinking of the luxury passenger ship Lusitania. The sinking heightened calls in the US for joining the war, but President Wilson resisted. None-the-less, the sinking of the Lusitania was significant in shaping public opinion about the war. In The Last Voyage of the Lusitania National Geographic examines why the ship was attacked by Germany and why it sank so fast (in just 18 minutes). Click here to watch the film and read discussion questions.
Watch more free documentaries

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Videos - Origins of WWI

In my US History we're wrapping-up our unit on World War I and wrapping-up the grading period. At the end of each unit I like to post supplementary review materials on my classroom blog. I recently found two videos (actually it was one, but is in two parts) that provide a good overview of the causes of WWI. The videos are clearly older productions and are not something I would show during class time, but they have some value as a supplementary review materials for students to watch on their own time.

Part one is embedded below.


Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Three Good WWI Resources from the BBC