"Hopefully, we can use these soldiers' stories to help build our own perspective on this time period."
April 25, 2017
During the past two days we have laid down the groundwork for our project on our Monuments App Project. On Tuesday, the grade visited the American Cemetery in Suresnes, near the school. We, the students, were split into groups of two or three and given a speech from Mr. Lowe, the Head of the ABMC (American Battle Monuments Commission) and the Assistant Superintendent also offered some insight. We were then given coordinates of the grave of a World War 1 soldier. We planted an American flag, out of respect, and started investigating the graves. From the graves we could learn our soldier’s names, their home state or country, their rank, their regimen, their date of death and their religion. We also had the opportunity to investigate one other soldier, apart from that of our group, out of interest. We also recorded any questions we might have about these people’s lives and the time period.
"We also had the opportunity to investigate"
Our next class, we discussed, as a class and in small groups, what a good project might look like. From this we will create a rubric for the project and we started creating model rubrics in small groups. We also listened to Mr. Neville’s example project and he informed us about the project as a whole. The past two days have been a great introduction and start to the project, as agreed by many of the students.
"Our next class, we discussed, as a class and in small groups, what a good project might look like."
This project involves interactive and explorative learning, not just reading from a history textbook, but actually discovering our own piece of history. This is not just paraphrasing some pre-processed secondary sources, but piecing together a story ourselves, from authentic primary sources and adding to the common knowledge of historians and others. This project is unlike than any other project, that might get published and then get lost amidst the vast internet; this one could be used to educate people and to tell untold stories.
"This is not just paraphrasing some pre-processed secondary sources, but piecing together a story ourselves..."
This project is very important because it could be used to piece together portions of history in ways that no one has done before, and give another unique perspective on a time period. Mr. Lowe stated in his speech how grateful he was to us for doing this project that could commemorate these people in a way that the ABMC had wanted to do, but never could.
"...and give another unique perspective on a time period."
Hopefully, we can use these soldiers' stories to help build our own perspective on this time period. Some questions that might be brought up during the project are: How can we use the experiences of these soldiers to help us create an opinion on World war 1? How can we honor these soldiers while remaining unbiased? How is a variety of primary sources with different views useful when forming opinions? What have these soldiers given up from their old lives? Was it beneficial for the United States to join the war?
April 25, 2017