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Session 4: Trench Warfare of World War I



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Session 4: Trench Warfare of World War I

Materials
  • Electronic slide presentation of World War I trench warfare


  • Recording of dramatic war-like music and/or sounds of war

  • Video or movie showing trench warfare (see school library or other local library)

  • Teacher-prepared video-viewing guide (see p. 10)

  • Map showing location of the Western Front

  • Poetry, diaries, or passages from novels that detail life in the trenches

  • Teacher-selected resources
Instructional Activities

1. Explain that the class will be role-playing World War I soldiers in a combat situation. (Be sensitive to students who may have family serving in combat when choosing this activity).

  • Arrange the room in two opposite rows of desks in such a way as to emulate trenches.

  • Set a projector in the middle, which should be identified as “No Man’s Land.”

  • Have students sit or crouch on the floor in the “trenches.”

  • Show the electronic slide presentation with war sounds playing.

  • Read excerpts from poetry, diaries, or novels that detail life in the trenches.

  • After the slideshow, talk about experiences that soldiers had, and explain how trench warfare differed from the types of warfare used in previous wars.

2. Distribute copies of the video-viewing guide, and go over it with the students. Then, show clips from a movie or documentary depicting the horrors of trench warfare, and have students use the video-viewing guide as they watch. Have students discuss the concepts, sounds, and images from the presentation.

3. Assign a teacher-selected reading or other reinforcement activity.

Session 5: New Weaponry in World War I

Materials
  • Internet access


  • Print resources on new weapons of war

  • Chart listing the five major new types of weapons of World War I

  • Teacher-selected resources
Instructional Activities

1. Have students use the library and/or Internet to research the following five major new types of weapons of World War I:

  • submarine

  • machine gun

  • poison gas

  • tank

  • airplane

Have students take notes on the impact each type of weapon had on World War I, including which side used the weapon first and how the weapon may have changed the strategies of warfare. Be sure students understand that the German use of submarines led the United States to enter into the war on the Allied side in 1917.

2. Instruct students to write an essay on the new weaponry in World War I. Remind them to be sure to cite Web sites and other resources used, using an acceptable footnote style.

3. Assign a teacher-selected reading or other reinforcement activity.

Session 6: Russia from 1914 to 1917

Materials

  • Electronic presentation with notes on Russia in 1917

  • Video on Tsar Nicholas II

  • Teacher-prepared video-viewing guide (see p. 10)
Instructional Activities

1. Conduct a brainstorming session on the reasons that the French Revolution took place in 1789. Challenge students to recall all the facts they have studied, and use technology to display a list of their responses. Continue with a discussion of the general reasons why people might revolt against their government. Also, have students brainstorm terms and people they know related to Russia in 1917 (answers will probably include communism, Peter the Great, Tsar, Soviet Union, Lenin, Stalin, Romanov family, Anastasia). Explain the great significance of World War I to Russia and how Russia erupted in revolution while fighting World War I.

2. Discuss with students the events and conditions in Russia from 1914 to 1917, including the following information:


  • The government was an absolute monarchy (comparable to France in 1789).

  • Sharp class divisions existed between the nobility and the peasants (comparable to France in 1789).

  • The peasants were landless.

  • The Tsar did not resolve the grievances of the peasants and workers (comparable to treatment of the Third Estate in France).

  • Tsarist Russia was defeated and humiliated in war with Japan in 1905.

  • Tsar Nicolas II proved to be incompetent as a leader.

  • Russia suffered many military defeats and high casualties in World War I, in part because many soldiers did not have weapons.

  • Inadequate administration in World War I led to revolution and an unsuccessful democratic provisional government (1917).

  • A second revolution by the Bolsheviks created the communist state that ultimately became the U.S.S.R.

3. Distribute copies of the video-viewing guide, and go over it with the students. Then, show a video detailing the failings of Tsar Nicholas II, and have students use the video-viewing guide as they watch. Discuss major concepts and events depicted in the presentation.

4. Assign a teacher-selected reading or other reinforcement activity.


Session 7: The Russian Revolution

Materials

  • 5 x 8 inch index cards

  • Colored pencils

  • Electronic presentation of the “REVOLT” mnemonic
  • Pictures, posters, and/or other materials to reinforce the causes of the Russian Revolution


  • Teacher-selected resources
Instructional Activities

1. Conduct a brainstorming session on the word communism. Display a list of their responses and the meaning of the word. Review what was learned in Session 6 about the situation in Russia by 1917.

2. Distribute index cards and colored pencils. Explain that students will be learning a mnemonic (memory device) to help them remember the causes of the Russian Revolution. Instruct students to write, “Tsar Nicolas II’s incompetence caused the Bolshevik ‘REVOLT’ in 1917.” on the unlined side of the card. Have them add colorful symbolic illustrations to the card, perhaps drawing flags, banners, and protest signs and/or pasting on images of Tsar Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin.

3. Instruct students to turn their card to the lined side and write the mnemonic REVOLT vertically down the left-hand side, as shown below. Go over the mnemonic one letter at a time, discussing each cause and explaining its importance. Display pictures, posters, an electronic presentation, or other materials to reinforce content. As each cause is discussed, have students copy the notes next to the appropriate letters, as shown:

R – Russia lost to Japan in 1905.

E – Every landless peasant demanded land.

V – Violence broke out over bread shortage and military defeats.

O – Overthrow of provisional government was led by Bolsheviks.

L – Lenin created communist U.S.S.R. (Stalin was his successor).

T – The New Economic Policy (NEP) of Lenin allowed some capitalism.

4. Instruct students to write out the mnemonic four or more times for practice to prepare for a quiz in the next session.




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