Thursday, March 12, 2015

Week 8: The Allied Leaders

General Paige taught the first part of class today.  She shared a little bit about the hairstyles of the 40's.

She also presented "The Big Three" of the Allied leaders -- Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt.  The lesson ended with a guessing game of who said which quote.  Here's some links to the quotes:

Then we did a document study of a speech that Winston Churchill gave at Harrow School in 1941.  There were several great points of discussion in the speech, but I think the class favorite was:

"Never give in.  Never give in.  Never, never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.  Never yield to force.  Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy."

Another favorite was: 

"You cannot tell from appearances how things will go.  Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done."

  • Keep working on your interviews.
  • Keep working on your personal Hero Project
  • We're discussing the book Hiroshima by John Hersey in two weeks.
  • We're discussing Flags of our Fathers next week if you didn't already finish that one.
  • Get started on your biography book.
Next Week:  The Pacific Theater

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Week 7: The Holocaust

We opended class with a video of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940.  The collapse happened in our own backyard while America was still at peace but Europe was already involved in WWII.  Even though it had nothing to do with the war, it was relevant to the time period and caused America's engineers to make some significant strides in their designs and ideas that probably had some impact on the structures built for WWII when America joined in 1941.

Near the end of the video, our class simulation began.  A German authority banged into our classroom and demanded everyone's name, birth date, religion, and ethnicity.  Then gave everyone a gold star they were required to wear pinned onto their clothes.

After the German left, we learned a bit more about the Holocaust.  It was a "systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators."

We learned a little about the concentration camps and the death camps.  Children under 12 were sent to the gas chambers upon arriving at Auschwitz unless they were a twin.  They kept the twins for medical experimentation.  The Nazis used the people in the camps as forced/slave labor in the factories for the German war effort.  Those that were too old, young, or sick to work were sent to the gas chambers and replaced with new arrivals to the camps.  

Then we started our book discussion of The Hiding Place.  As we were discusing, the German came back and scared us enough that we decided we should find a place to hide.  We found our hiding spot and practiced getting to it quickly.  Then we set up General Paige as our lookout in case the German came back.  Then we went back to our book discussion...sort of.  We were all a little nervous and rattled so it was hard to do anything that resembled normal.  When the German came back, we had enough warning that everyone was able to hide and the German found nothing.  That was the end of our simulation and we had a debrief of the simulation mixed with the rest of the discussion of our book.  

We finished up with our journals.  The prompts were:  How were you changed by today's simulation?  What did you learn about yourself?  What are you going to do differently from now on?

  • Write a short paper on a "Righteous Gentile."
  • Keep working on your personal Hero Projects
  • Start reading Hiroshima
  • How are those movies coming??
  • Interviews??
Next Week:  The Allied Leaders