Introduction to World War II: Using Digital Mediums to Compare Understandings About War

9 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT explain the impact of World War II through mediums of poetry and video clips.

Big Idea

All Aboard! You can watch it or read all about it!

Lesson Introduction

World War II goes down in history as the mightiest struggle humankind has ever seen. During this time, more people were killed, cost and damages to property increased, and people were affected in nearly every country than in any other war in history. In this lesson, students will begin to understand the impact of war from evidence found in text and not by word-of-mouth stories.

Warm-Up: I have one question!

7 minutes

As students walk into the classroom, I place the following prompt on the board

In an acrostic poem, describe World Wars.

There are so many ways that students can complete an acrostic poem on WWII. Some may choose the path of feelings. Others, may choose the road to images and symbols. Few if any will choose the path of important people, battles, etc. No matter how students respond to this statement, the impact that wars have on our country is starting to come into effect. Prior to moving into the next section of the lesson, students will volunteer to share what's on thier sticky note. Taking time now to hear how conversations will begin to build understanding for students about WWII.

Building Knowledge: Watching WWII Video Clips

15 minutes

Let the WAR begin! Students will watch two short video clips from the World War II power point. At no point during this activity will students talk of the risks taken during this time period in history. Instead, the focus for students is to take as many notes on what or who was involved in this war. 

These WWII snotes will be written on a sticky. I utilized these small pieces of paper so limited space could be used to express the most important aspect(s) of each video. As students watch the videos, I walk along the sides of the classroom to spot what is being placed on each sticky note. We will end this portion of the lesson by sharing what has just been learned in class. 

Independent Practice: Reading, Reading, & Reading a Poem

15 minutes

The next phase of this activity requires students to explore images and feelings in a poem to understand emotions left behind after World War II. Students will be prompted to read the poem, I Keep Forgetting, silently. As students read, they will highlight all of the examples of what the speaker seems to keep forgetting throughout the poem.

The purpose of having students understand the speaker's voice in this poem is to understand (1) how individuals felt about events of WWII and (2) to analyze if people mean what they say about events in their lives. For students who listen with a critical ear, they will hear the speaker in the poem repeat vividly what he/she keeps forgetting. Listen to a student talk about I Keep Forgetting Poem to hear what was confusing about the above tasks. Because of how the poem is written, the question that students ask themselves is , "Could I really forget something that I know so much about?"

Closure: My Own Writings

10 minutes

Students will complete an exit ticket by writing a keep forgetting poem. This use of written expression will allow students to wrap up their feelings about things that happened during World War II. In the time allotted, students will either use events of their personal lives or of the war to write a personal poem mimicking how the speaker felt in the poem, I Keep Forgetting.