Showing posts with label World War I. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World War I. Show all posts

Monday, November 8, 2021

Resources for Teaching and Learning About Veterans Day

Veterans Day is this Thursday. If you find yourself looking for some quick lessons to review with your students, here's a small collection for you. 

ReadWorks is one of my favorite places to go when I need information texts about a holiday to share with students. ReadWorks has a good collection of Veterans Day articles that are arranged by grade level and are accompanied by question sets. 

C-SPAN Classroom Resources
C-SPAN Classroom has sixteen "bell ringer" activities about topics related to World War I. One of those is titled The History and Evolution of Veterans Day. The activity features a five minute video and seven corresponding questions along with a short list of vocabulary terms. You can find all of the C-SPAN Classroom Bell Ringers and lesson plans about World War I on this resources page

Bet You Didn't Know
Bet You Didn't Know: Veterans Day is a video that explains the origins of the holiday and why its date of celebration has twice shifted in the United States. The end of the video includes an explanation of the differences between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. 

Veterans Day by the Numbers is also from History. As the name implies, the video provides a statistical overview of Veterans Day including what percentage of the American population has served in the military among other interesting facts. 

Elementary school teachers may find this video from PBS Learning Media useful in providing an overview of Veterans Day. I prefer this one from Kid History

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, 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.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

How War Stories Inspire Learning

How War Stories Inspire Children to Learn is an interesting audio slideshow from the BBC. The presentation features Dr. Geoff Fox talking about three books and their influence on the way that children think about and learn about war. The three books Dr. Fox discusses are The Machine Gunners, War Horse, and Carrie's War. The slideshow includes archival images of WWI and WWII in England.

Applications for Education
How War Stories Inspire Children to Learn introduced me to a couple of books that I'm going to add to my reading list. Perhaps the slideshow will do the same for you and you'll want to add these books to your classroom.

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

Monday, April 13, 2009

Three Good WWI Resources from the BBC

Once again through my students' online research I've learned about some resources that can be used in the classroom. Recently while they were researching topics on WWI, one of my students showed me that the BBC has good virtual tours, animations, and movie clips about WWI.

What caught my students' attention was the BBC's virtual tour of a World War I trench. From there they watched 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.

On a related note, last week one of my classes began to make videos about US involvement in WWI. They are using ReMix America to make the videos.

Applications for Education
These three resources about WWI are best suited toward use in a high school setting.
In order to get the full benefit of these resources, students should have some background knowledge about the topics in the virtual tour, films, and animations.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Life - Your World In Pictures
History Links You Might Have Missed

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