Dwight Spain's eighth-grade social studies class took their lesson to the battlefield earlier this month as they held a World War I trench warfare simulation in class.
The class incorporated acts and skits into the simulation in which they read poetry and prepared for battle. The actual battles were held with paper wads and beach balls, which represented heavy artillery. A fog machine was used to simulate the gas attacks that were common in battle.
Students also took part in re-enacting the Christmas Truce of 1914 in which German and British troops sang Christmas carols to each other across enemy lines and presented each other with gifts in a temporary cease-fire as both sides celebrated Christmas. The students re-created the famous day by emerging from their classroom bunkers from either side and exchanging candy with each other in "no-mans-land."
For Spain, it was a chance to take an event in history and allow the students to learn through living it out.
"Bringing events from the past to life in the classroom allows the students to experience some of the 'what-ifs' and 'how-tos' that might have been experienced when the events took place. It causes students to rely on their knowledge, instincts, and critical thinking skills to solve real-life issues of the past," Spain said. "My hopes were that this activity would give the students a glimpse of what trench life might have been like for World War 1 soldiers - from the adrenaline of going to battle with the opposing forces, to the downtimes when soldiers played games, sang songs, and wrote poetry and letters home to their families.”
Click here to see the full album of Facebook photos from the day.