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World War I

February 25, 2011

We wrapped up World War I last week.  This was a great unit that the boys thoroughly enjoyed.  Having a history major father who loves military history especially, helps, I’m sure.  (Sometimes I wonder what our homeschool would look like if we had a house full of girls instead.) But I learned quite a bit as well.  I can finally explain how it started for one thing.

As always, we read the chapters in Story of the World that cover World War I and did the mapwork.  Comparing Eastern Europe before and after the war especially helped me better understand more recent history in the Balkans.  Every day I’m more grateful for choosing this chronological approach to history as I’m beginning to understand where a lot of conflict in the world today began, or at least what it grew out of.  It’s very enlightening.

Also from the Story of the World activity book, A decoded the Zimmermann telegram.

His copywork last week was from two World War I people.  I really like all the great quotes he’s been copying from our Time Travelers unit.  They always make for good discussions as well as handwriting practice.

Besides SOTW, we really liked the Usborne World Wars book and Going to War in World War I. The other non-fiction books were good for reference.

There aren’t too many World War I picture books for children, but we enjoyed these:

A and C also read the following chapter books.  I meant to preread them, but C beat me to them and said they were good, but sad.

Just as with the Civil War, we enjoyed listening to music of the period.  Now that Poppa found the lyrics to “Over There” for us, the boys have been singing it frequently.  And now I have “And we won’t come home till it’s over, over there” stuck in my head.  We also watched Sergeant York together last weekend and really enjoyed it.

I meant to utilize the WWI resources at the Library of Congress website, but never quite got around to it.  Maybe next time.  We did do some puzzles and watched a few short videos at this site.

Our big projects came from the Time Travelers unit.  First was learning about Military Weaponry.

Being boys, this was thrilling for them!  Instead of just pasting in the preprinted information sheets, I had them narrate what they learned…which wasn’t quite so thrilling.  I have not been nearly diligent enough about having them narrate and write summaries lately.  This was a good exercise for all.

The other much more crafty project was making World War I paper ammo belts.  There was little to no writing for this, just cutting, folding, and pasting, but it was a good review of the many things we learned in these few weeks.

Instead each flap were some “Did You Know…” trivia items.

Inside the pockets were a map of World War I Europe and some propaganda posters:

A Victory Medal, a soldier’s registration certificate, and a card about Sergeant Alvin York and the Medal of Honor:

A timeline of the war, a mini soldier’s Bible, and some World War I poetry:

We reviewed “In Flanders Fields” which we memorized last fall for Veteran’s Day.

As a final wrap-up, I whipped up some crepe-paper flowers (pretend they are poppies) and we went to the Salt Lake City Cemetery and left them on the grave of my great-grandfather, a World War I veteran.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2011 9:44 am

    We are making our way through the Time Travelers unit soooo slowly. I don’t know exactly why we have such a hard time getting to any history or science this year. Thanks for the book suggestions. We should be doing WWI in a week or two. Perfect timing so I can put a few of these on hold and have them come in at the Library.

    We haven’t done a whole lot of Story of the World but will have to get it out and listen to the chapters at least, even if we don’t actually study it. I need the history lessons!

    I love the poppies at the gravestone. That really brings it home and makes it real for them.

  2. February 26, 2011 12:27 pm

    This is great! I know my boys would love a unit on wars. Just the other day my six year old asked me to help him find books at the library on wars. This is so different for me as my girls would have never asked me that. It looks like you all had a great time.

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