World War 1 Unit

Happy Wednesday, friends!
Today was a wonderful day in my little corner
of the 5th grade world :)
My students were on-task, diligent, and so much fun!
For the past two weeks we've been working on an interesting history unit focusing on World War 1 
Soldier Saluting
(interesting tidbit: it was actually called "The Great War", that is, until World War 2 came around!)
The students literally CHEER when I tell them
to pull out their History books. 
They are so fascinated by the whole concept - and it's not something that they have previously studied. The first day of the unit, I did a big introduction of our chapter and the students were so curious to see "who won the war!" Unlike the more familiar details of World War 2, they really had no frame of reference for World War 1.
To start the unit, we watched this
great video from the History Channel:
Finding childrens books written about World War 1 has proven to be a challenge. I'm slowly building my collection in my classroom library. 
But, I did find two winners that I shared with my class.
In our unit, we discussed Flounder's Field, the poem written to honor the soliders who died.
We read this book:
The lines of the celebrated poem are interwoven with fascinating information about the First World War, details of daily life in the trenches, accounts of McCrae's experience in his field hospital, and the circumstances that led to the writing of "In Flanders Fields."

Then, expanding on the story, we read this INCREDIBLE book about a schoolteacher who makes a difference during World War 1. 
When American soldiers entered World War I, Moina Belle Michael, a schoolteacher from Georgia, knew she had to act. Some of the soldiers were her students and friends. Almost single-handedly, Moina worked to establish the red poppy as the symbol to honor and remember soldiers. And she devoted the rest of her life to making sure the symbol would last forever. Thanks to her hard work, that symbol remains strong today. Author Barbara Elizabeth Walsh and artist Layne Johnson worked with experts, primary documents, and Moina's great-nieces to better understand Moina's determination to honor the war veterans.
The illustrations are some of the most beautiful
I've ever seen in a book:
It's a perfect book to read for Veteran's Day
(coming up on November 11th)
I'm working on a packet to accompany the book - stay tuned! :)
I'm loving this book so much, I'm linking it up with 
One thing we really emphasize is the emotions that are raging during a war - the emotions of the countries involved, the officers, the enlisted soldiers, and the people left at home. One place where emotions run high are during recruitment campaigns to get men to join the armed forces. To further our discussion of recruitment posters and persuasive techniques, I have the students a special assignment. They had to choose a country to represent, come up with a persuasive slogan, and then design and decorate a recruitment poster. 
They did a phenomenal job!
 
On the back of the poster, the students needed to write two sentences explaining the persuasive tactic used in their poster and why it would be effective in motivating people to join the war effort.
 
You can snag the project (with options for the American Revolution, the Civil War, WW1, and WW2) by visiting my TPT store HERE!
I'm so glad I TRIED the idea this week :)
Link up ideas you've shared with
Holly from "Fourth Grade Flipper"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This week's Jivey's topic for "Workshop Wednesday" 
is incorporating content areas into writing
Lastly, we wrote letters to soldiers in World War 1. The students did such a phenomenal job - they wrote such heartfelt notes of appreciation for the sacrifices these soldiers made.
Link up your ideas for incorporating the content areas into writing with Jivey!

3 comments

  1. Wow! This makes me want to teach the World Wars! Although I do love the American Revolution though so I don't think I could give that up! The Poppy Lady looks beautiful! I love when picture books go with social studies!!!

    You are so good about integrating and making wonderful units!! And very good at linking up to multiple linkies! Well done!! ;0)

    Thanks for linking up and sharing your wonderful ideas!!
    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your students' posters look wonderful!! I LOVED this project last year using your product! Can't wait to do it again this year if I can work it into my ELA time. :)
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a FABULOUS post!!!!! :) I love all the reading and writing across the curriculum you are doing! Thanks for linking up such great ideas!
    Jivey

    ReplyDelete

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