Ten Fun Ways to Study World War I
- Wednesday, July 21, 2010
• Eddie Rickenbacker, born in 1890 in the state of Ohio, was an ace fighter pilot in World War I. Learn about his famous "sorties." Create a poster or PowerPoint presentation about Rickenbacker, using images on the Internet. Read Eddie Rickenbacker: Boy Pilot and Racer by Kathryn Cleven Sisson. Just for fun, read Snoopy: Flying Ace to the Rescue by Charles M. Schulz.
• Complete the WebQuest about pilots in World War I.
3. Learning about technology is another fun activity for kids.
• In 1914, Charlie Chaplin produced his first film. Read about Charlie Chaplin and watch some of his films. Talk about the technology involved in movie making of the early 1900s, and compare it with movie-making technology today. How did Charlie Chaplin's films help boost the morale of the American people during the Great War? Encourage your children to create their own film to entertain the "troops".
• Read Weapons and Technology of World War 1 by Paul Dowswell. Have your children make a list of weapons of war and illustrations for their notebook. Some examples include aircraft carrier, destroyer, radar, bayonet, hand grenade, sonar, submarine, bazooka, bomber, machine gun, and torpedo. Have them make a list of military lingo such as A.W.O.L., barracks, G.I., mess hall, and boot camp.
4. Music and poetry can be useful for introducing younger children to difficult topics.
• Read the poem "In Flanders Field" by John McCrae.
• Read the book, In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae, authored by Linda Granfield and illustrated by Janet Wilson.
• Read other poetry about World War I.
• Have your children watch videos and listen to audios from World War I, especially Enrico Caruso's "Over There," American Quartet's "You're a Grand Old Flag" (1918), and "Goodbye Broadway, Hello France" by American Quartet (1919). Another resource is British Troops Receiving Rations, 1914.
• Have your child write his or her own song or poem, illustrate it, and add it to his World War I notebook.
5. One of the greatest heroes of World War I was Sergeant Alvin York. Although it's in black and white, the movie about this hero (starring Gary Cooper) is well worth watching. You can watch a trailer of this movie on YouTube.
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