Teachers at a high school in the midwest took learning to a whole new level when covering World War I – except, they didn’t just talk to their students about what happened, they recreated the environment for their students to actually live it.
According to a report by cleveland.com teachers Mike Markulis, Jennifer Flaherty, Ann Puhalla and Ashely Shaheen of Kent Roosevelt High created the non-traditional program to educate 47 freshmen about what WWI fighting was truly like.
The educators of Kent Roosevelt High desired the hands-on, immersive learning experience to aid student’s view of how trench warfare actually happened by being in real, makeshift trenches, according to the news outlet. In doing so, the teachers gathered the real deal experts across many fields such as real soldiers, real medics and a real-live “war correspondent.” who in 2004 covered Operation Iraqui Freedom in Iraq for the Plain Dealer.
The news outlet also reported that a former Navy corpsman taught students interested in acting as medics for the day, how to treat soldiers who were injured by bullets, gas or artillery. Two staff sergeants from the Cleveland Recruiting Battalion, an Ohio National Guardsman, and a retired Green Beret helped staff the soldiers – assisting in tactics for the “generals” as well as “soldiers” in battle of both the French and German sides for a end result not predetermined by history.
As for the students who were interested in correspondence, they were instructed by their seasoned leader to tell the story as it unfolded by a news story, an editorial, a feature, a political cartoon and an obituary, according to the news outlet.
And immediately following the trench fighting simulation, the “Germans” lost twice to the “French” forces in the game of “Capture the Flag.”
To watch the simulation in full action, click below – courtesy of cleveland.com