Webquest – What challenges did soldiers face in trench warfare Colette Lenaghan Computers in the Curriculum Professor Missal April 14th, 2011
Introduction • The network of trenches in WW1 stretched from Belgium through France into Switzerland. Once the Allies and Germans reached a stalemate, the armies dug miles of trenches opposite one another as protection against exploding shells. It was a world of mud, blood, poison gas and exploding shells. Many soldiers found it difficult to return home following the war because they had been changed by their horrific experiences. • After completing this webquest you will be able to analyze the effects of war on the soldiers at the frontlines. You will be able to identify the horrors of trench warfare and the effects it had on soldiers. You will also have an understanding of how war poetry reflected the horrors of the trenches.
Task • Soldiers initially went off to war with patriotic fervor and romantic illusions about their military roles. • After completing this quest you will understand some of the challenges soldiers faced during trench warfare. • Your task is to explore the websites listed in the resources section. This will give you a firsthand insight into the horrors of war. • You will also explore the selection of war poetry which describes the conditions in the trenches. • After reading the resources try to imagine you are an American soldier in Europe during the war. • Your task is to write a letter home to your loved ones. • You will also choose a poem to read by one of the war poets you read about and answer the question; Based on the poem you chose what generalization would you make about the experiences soldiers had in WW1?
Resources • http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/ • http://www.english.emory.edu/LostPoets • www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/humanfacesofwar_gallery
Procedure • Explore the following website: www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/humanfacesofwar_gallery. This will give you an insight into the horrors of war and what life was like in the trenches. • In preparation for writing a letter home about your experiences you will discuss ideas with your classmates about how warfare has changed the soldiers. • You should begin your letter with a sentence summarizing your reactions, and you should support this main idea with vivid details about life in the trenches. • Explore the war poetry websites and choose one poem to read to the class be sure to answer the question listed in the task and be sure to understand the message the poet is conveying about trench warfare.
Evaluation • Be sure to revise your letter for logical organization and specific word choice. • After proofreading you will read your letter to the class. • After reading the poem that you chose to read to the class you will present a short analysis of the conflicts experienced by the writers and the message that they convey about war.