Taking on Different Perspectives


World War I refugees
Life continued on the home front as the military fought on the battlefields. The war was all consuming. Scores of women went to work to take the jobs of men who had gone off to war. Factories that were once making toys were making weapons and “top tunes” became patriotic. Listed below are a number of different activities, that will require some research, but when completed will offer a different perspective on how involving the Great War was, and how it affected so many peoples lives. Each activity can be prepared as a report. Power point presentations could also be made. Illustrations should be incorporated into the reports. 
  1. World War I Slang. Any prolonged major event brings with it a language of its own. The Great War was no exception. Words like “buck private,” “chat,” “Dixie,” and “British warm” all had unique meanings. Research WWI slang. Create a WWI Slang Dictionary.
  2. The Plight of Refugees. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced because of the war. Most of the movement of people occurred in Europe. There are first hand accounts of refugees and some incredible photographs of their relocation. Research and illustrate a report of refugees. Include maps and photographs in your report. 
  3. Chemical Weapons. The Great War was the first war in which chemical weapons were used. Research the creation of the weapons and the proliferation of their use in the war. There are a number of exceptional photographs showing soldiers using protective gear. As you conduct your research try and locate information on accidents that occurred when chemical weapons were used. 
  4. Animals in the War. A number of four legged friends were used to help in the war. Horses, mules, camels, dogs and even cats were used. Carrier pigeons also played a significant role. Research and illustrate a report on the role that animals played in the war. Maps can also be included as animals were used in geographic locations where they were needed and would excel. You may wish to add a special section on animal heroes of the war.
  5. Auxiliary Organizations. The Red Cross is an organization that we recognize immediately as being significant in playing a major role whenever a disaster occurs. The Red Cross is international and its branches throughout the world were involved in helping with relief efforts during the war. So were a number of other groups: Jewish Welfare Board, the Salvation Army, the Knights of Columbia and even the YMCA along with scores more of smaller organizations. Prepare a report on the role that auxiliary organizations played during the war. Illustrate your report.
  6. Weapons of the War.  Artillery and rifles were the most prominent weapons of the Great War. However, pistols, mortars, grenades, tanks and other weaponry were used. Prepare a report on the use and limitations of World War I weapons. Your report can go into detail on the differences of weapons. Illustrate your report with photographs and drawings.
  7. Posters and Post Cards of the Great War. A number of countries produced propaganda posters and post cards for the war. Locate posters and/or post cards from Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States.   Show what type of propaganda was used for each poster. You can refer back to the activity “Recruiting the Navy” to obtain a list of types of propaganda techniques.