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World War I – Literary Assignment

RI 2 To what extent should national interest be pursued?

Learning outcomes achieved:


2.2 appreciate that the pursuit of national interest has positive and negative consequences.
2.3 appreciate multiple perspectives related to the pursuit of national interest
2.7 analyze nationalism and ultra-nationalism during times of conflict (cause of the First and
Second World Wars, examples of nationalism and ultra-nationalism from the First and Second
World Wars, ultra-nationalism in Japan, internets in Canada, conscription crisis)

World War I was unique in that it was a very literary war. No war before 1914 had been so
written about by the participants, mainly because never before had such a large percentage been
able to read and write. Much of what we know about the war has come from the diary entries,
poetry, letters and postcards of those involved.

Use the information you have learned in the class, from your texts from the videos or additional
research, to write a letter and 2 postcards from a Canadian soldier on the Western front. Three
of the four major battles we have studied must be addressed (Ypres, Somme, Vimy Ridge or
Passendaele).

Part I: Write a letter that is approximately one page in length (typed) and should include
all of the following:

• A specific date and reference to where he is fighting


• Specific references to one of the battles (i.e., poison gas, tanks, Vimy Ridge
preparations/victory, mud)
• Describe the conditions and life in the trenches
• Your reasons for volunteering (was it worth it)
• A sense of being Canadian

Part II: Write TWO postcards

The postcard industry reached its peak during World War I, as millions of civilians and soldiers
sent messages back and forth conveying their hopes and fears. These postcards are now
important as historical and cultural artifacts which can provide a window to the past.

There are many different examples of WWI postcards on the internet (i.e., propaganda-negative
and patriotic, romantic, scenes from the front). Choose two different types, and consider who you
would send them to. Save to a picture file, print the front of your postcard and glue it onto a back
of a cardstock piece of paper (provided for you). Now you are ready to write. Be sure to pick
different battles from the one addressed in your letter. Each postcard must include the
following:

• Specific date and reference to where he is fighting


• Specific reference to one of the battles
• Description of life at the front.
Student name: ___________________________

Category 4 3 2 1
Content /8 Student Good Satisfactory Inadequate
2.2 appreciate that the demonstrates understanding understanding understanding
pursuit of national an excellent of life on the of life on the of life on the
interest has positive and understanding Western Front. Western Front. Western Front.
negative consequences.
2.7 analyze nationalism
of life on the Detailed Some Few reference
and ultra-nationalism Western Front. accurate references to to specific
during times of conflict. Very detailed references to specific battles battles.
references to specific battles have been
specific battles have been included
have been included.
included.
National Interest Students Students Students Students does
Connection demonstrate an demonstrate a demonstrate a not connect
2.3 appreciate multiple excellent good superficial their
perspectives related to understanding understanding understanding letter/postcard
the pursuit of national of Canadian of Canadian of Canadian to an
interest
national national national understanding
interest and interest and interest and of Canadian
nationalism. nationalism. nationalism. national interest
and
nationalism.
Writing Style Excellent Good writing Satisfactory Poor writing
writing style.
2.2 appreciate that the style and writing style. style. Lacking
pursuit of national Vivid, detailed Adequate in detail and
interest has positive and
emotional descriptions of description of description
negative
descriptions of life in the life on the
life in the trenches and on western front.
trenches. the Western
Writing is front.
creative
Format/Presentation Letter and Letter and Correct format Incorrect
postcards very postcards has not been format.
neatly neatly used. Spelling Postcard
presented presented error may and/or letter
using the using the distract. has not been
correct format. correct format. Images on neatly
Free from Only a few postcards do presented.
spelling spelling not relate to Spelling errors
errors. Images errors. Images content. distract. Images
on post card on postcards do not relate to
connect well to connect to content.
the content. content.

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