Friday, February 6, 2009

Battlefront History

The students finished Juno Beach on Tuesday afternoon. Everyone is being a good sport and enjoying their time playing the game. After the third D-Day battle, the teams are in the following order:

Pickled Ponies - 3 wins
FS 101 Duel Shock - 2 wins, 1 loss
Elite Aquamarines - 2 wins, 1 loss
The Rock stars - 2 losses, 1 win
Spicy Cinnamon Girls - 2 losses, 1 win
The Trench Gunners - 3 losses

Thursday, February 5th, we spent the whole time learning about D-Day and the factors that helped the invasion succeed. Being a history club, I felt it was important that we spend time building background knowledge about World War II. Since we're playing the D-Day landings, I chose to teach the club members about the Allied plan, their deception tactics, and the factors that lead to a successful landing. At the end of our time, we watched a clip from WWII Battlefront that reviewed what I had just taught them and even had commentary by a US Ranger who helped capture Pointe-du-Hoc. The students were very interested to hear from a primary source and had lots of questions about D-Day, Hitler, the Holocaust, and World War II in general. It was a good time to dispel misconceptions and a good time of learning. Now that the students have some background knowledge, when we launch into the Utah Beach landings next week, they'll have a better understanding of the context in which the battle happened.

In the middle of our lesson, one of the club members asked a great question. She raised her hand and asked, "Why do we even have war? What was World War II really about? I mean, why were they fighting?" There are the typical answers of fighting against evil and fighting for freedom, but at its core, she asked a very good question and one that has no simple answer. I'm glad the Memoir '44 History Club is a place for students to discover questions like this and start thinking critically about them.

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