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Social Studies Students Experience Life in the Trenches

While studying the history of World War I, Ms. Butts’ and Ms. Greenfield’s eighth grade social studies students recently took part in a “Day in the Trenches” simulation. They started off by building cardboard trenches in the classroom, after which time the students were able to demonstrate what they had learned about the kinds challenges faced by soldiers in these conditions. They participated in station activities that asked them take into account period-specific conditions and concerns such as rats, lice, trench foot, shell shock, and more.   

students simulate life in the trenches
students sit "in" the trenches they built

After reading about No Man's Land, students then created a class "mural" of what No Man's Land might have looked like. They created individual word art designs using terminology and descriptions of life under the those conditions, and also crafted a video letter to send home from the trenches.

students discuss the mural
students get to work on making mural

Ultimately, these students truly immersed themselves in the proverbial trenches, in order to get a feeling of what soldiers might have experienced on the Western Front a century ago.

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Homer Central School District
Mr. Thomas Turck, Superintendent

80 South West Road
Homer, NY 13077

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