I teach seventh-grade U.S. history, and World War II is one unit students look forward to all year. Because of snow days, I had to revise the unit, including cutting a project on FDR’s “Four Freedoms” speech and shortening a couple classwork activities. On one snow day, I brainstormed ideas on how to get my kids to interact with battles chronologically, while also understanding the meat of those events.
So I came up with this activity…Imagine Twitter existed during World War II. I put instructions together on the fly, but it was a good start:
Imagine you are a journalist reporting during the 1930s and 1940s. Unlike those old-school reporters, you have access to Twitter. Report live from the battlefields in 140 characters or less to keep Americans informed on this war! Choose any 8 of the following events to cover.
- Blitzkrieg of Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, and France
- Battle of Britain
- Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Italian Invasion of Ethiopia
- Japanese Invasion of Manchuria
- Lend-Lease Act Signed
- Battle of Midway
- Pearl Harbor Attacked
- Battle of Stalingrad
Put your events in chronological order and write a tweet for each one using the textbook, Internet, and primary source readers to gather information. Tweets are 140 characters max, including hashtags, and should provide meaningful information and a date. (Example: Don’t forget to study vocabulary for your SS quiz. #myteacherisawesome)
Students could use World War II and Winston Churchill primary readers from Teacher Created Materials, our textbook, and the Internet to find information for their tweets.
I picked the top 4-5 out of each class and put them on little cards to decorate the bulletin board.