After a brief introduction to the war, and the participants in it, students will be introduced to this project. Students will be given an opportunity to choose a character, to take on said persona. They will choose between the following:
Young male, age 17, white, American born
Young male, age 19, black, American born
Young male, age 20, white, European born, immigrant to the U.S. (choose country of origin)
Young female, age 19, American or French
Older male, age 33, German/Austrian/Russian/etc.
Female, age 33, black, American born
Female, age 27, German/Russian
Male, age 17, Mexican, riding with Pancho Villa in 1915-1916
Assignment: Using primary sources, students will investigate the lives of real persons who fit the details of their category. Students will keep two separate DOCUMENTS: A research diary, in which they record data, details, and resources pertinent to their research. Emphasis should be placed on finding information that pertains distinctly to the role they are playing. For instance, if the student chooses to be a German male, look for statements about German feelings toward the war and the Kaiser. Stress what makes this persons experience unique. Also, they will record questions that arise, words or concepts they don’t understand, excerpts that they feel appropriate, and begin to flesh out their character. In the other, they will create a document (a diary, a journal, etc.) to illustrate a fictional experience. This will be a work of fiction, but will show the progression of understanding. Students may visit the NWWI Museum to get a deeper understanding of the humanness of their character. If the students visit the museum, have them look for representations of their persona around the museum.
The student will need to have some research done before they can begin their personal documentation (their story creation). This document can be used as an assessment of the research, at the instructor’s discretion. Students should give a citation for their sources of information, should they choose to follow up for more information. A minimum of four sources should be allowed, to fully flush out the character.