Friday, January 30, 2009

The Longest Day Begins...

The D-Day Landings have begun and the Allies are charging the beaches all along the Normandy coast. My ten-year-old generals are experiencing some of the challenges that faced the invading forces as they encounter bunkers, barbed wire, and the fact that there's no place to hide when you're on the beach. History is coming alive in a new way.

On Tusday, January 27th, the students quickly set up Gold Beach and all of the teams managed to play the battle twice, switching sides. As we were cleaning up, I asked one of my students how the battle went. His answer confirmed that Memoir '44 is teaching them history in a way that books never could. He said, "I thought it would be easy to win. I had so many more soldiers, but the Germans had much better protection. They could shoot me as I came up the beach and I didn’t have anywhere to go. I can’t believe the Americans ever won like they did!

On Thursday, the 29th, we didn't have time to switch sides so the battle of Juno Beach will have to be concluded next week. Part of the reason we ran out of time was because students looked through our club library of World War II books and chose one to read at home. Some students chose books about specific battles while others wanted to simply learn more about World War II in general. When they finish the book they are currently reading, they will have a chance to exchange it for a new one.

I fianlly got around to posting our tournament results, so check the rankings on the right bar. These results are after teams finished Yellow Beach and Gold Beach. The results for Juno Beach will be provided next week after they finish that battle.


Mr. Faust said...

Sounds like you're doing an excellent job teaching your students not just history but the realities of war as well, Congrats! I think it's really important to teach this war now, especially since we're losing our WWII veterans at an alarming rate. Keep up the good work!

Christophe, le papa de Jeremy said...

Excellent job!
I see that they're playing at 4 by tables. How do they manage to play (2 sides + 1 side and commander? talks? other)

Thank you

Taylor said...

Sounds like a great way of getting the message across.

Well done Mr Rasmussen


Jewell History Club said...

Students play in teams of 2 for now so they can help each other with tactics and rules. They simply talk through their choices and share the rolls. Later in the year, they'll have a chance to play on their own.