Before this unit my knowledge of the First World War was extremely limited. The only thing I really knew about the war was that Germany played a major role. The topic, which my group landed upon, was military strategies. Researching these strategies it became extremely clear to me on how everything played out historically, how it was supposed to, and better options regarding strategy. Of course when researching this I automatically learned about a number of things about the war. This is because for me to understand the positions of the armies, etc., I would need to go into more depth on the background information. In terms of history the entire world war is extremely clear to me. In terms of English I felt like there was not strong enough of a correlation between the war and the subject. Although after analyzing multiple poems, I did get a greater understanding on the actual experiences of soldiers on the German side, where as with history it was more of a general overview on what had happened.
Studying the war from the historical and English perspective both had their benefits and drawbacks. World War 1 through historical scopes focuses very much on the events which occurred and what the effects of those events were. On the other hand, the English side of the unit is a lot more specific towards what you could call the sub-topics of the war. In the unit we looked for the poems written by soldiers to then give another primary perspective on each battle, which my group studied. I feel like both topics do fit quite well with the war. Everything researched during the unit did fit perfectly with the general subject of history, but with English this is a different story. This is because there is a lot more to the English language that poems during the war. This doesn’t mean that it was bad to study them at all. It means that the English part of this unit was a lot more focused, and the research done was on a narrower scale. This allowed a general perspective over the war and one that’s a lot more specific.
After this unit I found many levels of the war, which I didn’t even know, understood. The interdisciplinary unit made me understands how to use one subject to find information on the other in more depth. For example the only history-based research to be found had no information on the experiences of the Germans during the war. So when researching a battle the only way to find information on the personal experiences was through primary work. When in need to find personal experience I would look into poems written by Germans and would then need to interpret metaphors and other forms of literary devices. This also went the other way (needing history to understand English). It was extremely important when analyzing poems to understand what the stance was of the Germans. It would make a huge difference if Germany had an effective strategy or a just a “whoever shoots first, wins” battle. Therefore using historical sources would allow the poems to become understood. I did not only analyze poems, I also wrote one. Clearly for this I had to research some background information on a specific battle, and the success rate of the German soldiers.
Personally I did not go onto the trip to Ypres. This did not allow me to experience much during those few days. I made quite a lot of progression on the historical aspect of this unit. Although I found out at the start of that week, when the goal is to combine both subjects, it’s quite easy to go along with one side of the project (in my case history) and then as you go along incorporate another aspect. So then without doing so purposely, I had finished more than 1/2 of my history research and almost completely finished the English aspect.
As you can see, this project has built up my understanding on the indisciplinary unit to where I believe I fully understand what the purpose of it is. I have learned that through just one subject you cant possibly get detailed information on anything. Through using different perspectives to tackle one of my future investigations I will be able to access multiple layers of information on a topic and will then use
Prior to this unit of work, which was about the First World One, I did not have a lot of knowledge on this topic. I knew what had happened and that it was one of the bloodiest wars in human history. My group, which consisted from Eduardo, Stan, and Ziggy, decided to focus on the change in military strategies of Germany throughout the course of the war, for its historical aspect. For the English side of this interdisciplinary between English and History we decided to focus upon the individual experiences of the soldiers during these horrific battles. Whilst researching the military strategies of Germany I got a greater understanding of how some geographical locations can be vital to the success of a battle. Also I learned how the Germans were planning the war and how the thought to win every battle. Because of this I learned more on the logistics of the war and that action had reaction. Concerning the English aspect I learned how these strategies towards battle by using different weapons and tactics affected the soldiers experience significantly. By analyzing different poem, journal entries, and action report I greater view on how the war really happened in its pure truth which was terrible. Also after analyzing these poems I needed to make a poem for my self explaining a specific battle and how that went. Because of this I could put my self in their shoes which was an experience of it own. Therefore I think by researching both topics my understanding of the logistics and tactics but also experiences of the war have improved greatly.
However, studying the war from a history and English point of view did have its drawbacks. For instance our group decided to research 6 significant battles of the WW1 and then from this 6 battles analyzing poems, journal entries, or action reports from them, and then ultimately creating three poems of our own. The drawback was that is was very difficult to find good and sufficient articles about these battles. This had taken us a very long time to research, which I thought is a drawback because it was very time consuming, and this was time we could have spent on improving our exhibition. Nevertheless there are also benefits towards studying WW1 from these two angles. Due to the fact that we studied the military strategies and how that affects the experiences of the soldiers it really gave me at least a very clear scope on how crucial these tactics were and also how horrifying these experiences were. I think that because I studied those two perspectives a really got a greater understanding if the topic.
Looking back at this unit I have discovered a lot of new information about WW1 whichever never new or understood fully when compared to now. What this interdisciplinary made me understand was that sometimes a different perspective can bring a greater understanding of a topic. For example when I would be analyzing the English poems I needed to have some historical background of that specific battle poem I was analyzing to understand it. This is because a lot of these poems talk about the location they were in and what weapons were used and how. So when I researched the historical parts of these battles I could receive a better understanding to the poem thus increasing my knowledge. Also because of that I was able to relate and create a poem my self-describing what I think happened from their perspective. For history it was they same problem, this is because when I would research a battle the sites would only give me factual information. But because I also analyzed these poem I could give context to the information I was writing doing concerning the history part if this project.
Lastly, I did not go on the Ypres trip therefore no experiencing the graveyard and other WW1 facilities Ypres has to offer. An the other hand I stayed here with one of my team mates Stan. We had set a goal to finish all our history and most of our English research plus the addition of creating a website. However I did not reach this goal because sometimes we were stuck on curtain topic such as how to formulate our research and sub question. Also we didn’t have any help from a history or English teacher which could give us tips one how to do things a curtain way. This was one of the main limitations of this project I find. This is because Stan and I were just left to do work, and then show it after the three days. We had received a planning but it was just not sufficient enough and it wasn’t made in great detail plus it was quite vague. Nevertheless even though we didn’t manage to reach our goal Stan and I were very efficient and managed t get quite a lot of work done such as creating the website, finding 3 of the 6 poems and already have researched 3 of the 6 battles.
In conclusion, this interdisciplinary was a very unique opportunity to study WW1 from two different perspectives to create a understanding which most people don’t have. Also because of the use of two subject the amount of knowledge I gained when in comparison with other project is immense. Therefore I think that this is a very good and well organized unit but still has several improvements needed. Overall I enjoyed this project very much and I hope I be able to do something like this further in my school career.
Regarding this interdisciplinary unit, my group, which consisted of Ziggy, Stan, Simon and Aaron decided to look at how German battle strategies affected the experiences of the soldiers during the first world war. Our research question was
How were the military strategies in Germany influenced by world war one and how did these strategies change throughout the course of the war. Through out the process of the exhibition our group used various sources to analyze how the war strategies changed over the years as well as how they affected must have effected the soldiers at the time.
Through out the course of the interdisciplinary unit a lot of subject specific information had to be gathered in order to answer our research question. Due to this I personally learned a lot of new material in regards to the First World War, both from a history and English point of view. By analyzing several English poems about the Great War, as a group we were able to gather sufficient relevant information. It also allowed us to view how the soldiers must have experienced the war due to the literary devices used through out the poems as well as journal/diary extracts. In addition to this, by researching the strategies used by the Germans I believe that I gained more knowledge in regards to why and how certain battles were fought. Because we looked at German war strategies justifying the events that lead to the end of the war were mad a lot clearer. Because of the interdisciplinary unit and our specific research question, I believe I have a better understanding of why certain events occurred in the war and how soldiers reacted to them.
Because our interdisciplinary unit consisted of History and English, I believe it was quite easy to find an interesting topic to base the exhibition about. By studying the first world war from these two perspectives we were given the chance to look at the war from two different angles. By doings so it was possible to compliment the research done from one perspective by the other. This allowed us to gather a wide range of information that we could present on the night of the exhibition. Additionally it allowed us as a group to really focus on two aspects of the war that we were all quite interested in. By looking at the war from two different perspectives it was possible for us as a group to gain a wider understanding towards why the war took place, how it developed and what its impacts were. A drawback however was that because we had to focus on two different perspectives researching too in depth was not an option. I believe that our research could have possibly gone more into depth regarding some points however because we had to look into two separate perspectives the additional depth that could have been added to our research in general was lost.
Due to the subject lessons provided to us and the exhibition task that was given, I believe that I can see the relationship between the two subjects better. Since my group researched German strategy we were able to see how the different strategies effected the troops, by analyzing poems and journal extracts written by them. During the subject lessons, we were provided with the means to brainstorm ideas in regards to the exhibition task that correlated with both the English and History perspective. Additionally during the subject lessons we were provided enough information to base our exhibition task on. Once we were busy with the exhibition task we had to assemble the research gathered from both perspectives and combine it into one presentation. By actually combining the research done from both subjects I was able to see the correlation between both History and English sides of World War 1. Because of the task that we were provided with I am able to understand how different strategies affected the experiences each soldier had during the war.
While visiting Ypres we came across a lot of information that incorporated both an English and History element of the First World War. When we visited the museums there were certain displays that provided us with ideas that we could incorporate into our own exhibition. In Ypres we were given the chance to gather a lot of primary sources, some of them included first hand accounts of soldiers that had experienced the war, this was very crucial towards my understanding of the interdisciplinary units that were present through out the task. I believe that by going to Ypres my interdisciplinary understanding of the First World War improved because we were constantly surrounded by the effects of the war. We visited many different places and gathered information that included a bit of both perspectives, making it easier to gain an understanding of the first world war from an interdisciplinary perspective.
For this exhibition I haven’t much because I was sick fora whole week and didn’t work on the exhibition but I still talked about our website from my group and what you can find on it. When I was sick my group worked through the whole project and I only talked about our website since I wasn’t in school and I didn’t work on the exhibition as much as the other group members. Even though I didn’t do most of the work from the writing or the analysis I still tried to help my group members as much as I could. I helped them set up our room and fixed everything until we liked the look of the room. All I did in this exhibition I was talk about our website and showed them what you could find on the website. And the poems and quotes. I was in a group with Simon, Stan, Edu and Ziggy. The arrangement of the exhibition was really good but maybe it could have been a bit earlier so everybody could go home earlier instead of 20:30 or later. In my own opinion I think I did ok talking about the website that Simon and Stan made. Even I missed lessons to work on the exhibition Simon still gave me something to do at the actual exhibition. Simon was really good to me he gave me something to do so I wouldn’t get a low grade. On the night of the exhibition it went really well, a lot of parents came in and were curious of what our topics were and what we will show them. The parents really enjoyed our small clip and the grave stones that Simon made for the English. At one point all of us were really nervous because we had 4 teachers inside our room but we were also glad that so many teachers came to see our project. A lot of parents and teachers gave us good feedback. Ziggy made a very good video and Simon made gravestones and I helped Edu record for the video. Even though I didn’t do much of the work, I still tried to help the rest of the group members with what that was doing. I also visited other rooms and saw quite a lot of great work that each group have done. I think I could off message my group members and ask if there was anything I could have done while I was sick. If I messaged my group members we could have more work finished. I really enjoyed the drama bit from the exhibition night. I was really nervous standing in front of a lot of parents and audience who was listening to our work. The teachers helped us when there was a problem and gave us advice to talk better to our audience. Working on the exhibition is really fun and you can learn things that you didn’t know before. For me I didn’t know part of what my group did but after I read the website that was made helped me understand some more about World War 1 and the Schlieffen plan. The title of our website is Changes in German Military strategy (1914 – 1918). The research question for our project is “How were the military strategies in Germany influenced by World War One, and how did these strategies change throughout the course of the war?” I think. Should have communicated with my group members so I could see what I could have done. I think my communicating skills could have been a whole lot better. The trip to Ypres really helped us find the information we needed to find but in the beginning it was little boring but after it got fun. You even get to see the Tyne Cot War Cemetery. The Tyne Cot War Cemetery was really big and had loads of gravestones. We also went to the Flanders field museum and we also went to another museum on the last day but I forgot the name. We went to the museum with the dugout and there were different flags around it. After we went to the cemetery. I think I could have improved my communicating skills with my group. I really enjoyed working on this project for the exhibition but I still think I could have communicated better with my group members.
Obviously, the most I learned regarding the history perspective of the unit came from the lessons in which we learned most of the raw facts as well as deeper concepts and theories. Since I knew a lot of information from our classes, I feel like I learned a lot during our Ypres trip when we visited things like the trench systems and the museums. These things affected my subject specific knowledge because it gave me a way to interpret and give context to things I learned in class. Seeing the trenches, actual artifacts from the war, and the bomb craters also gave a sense of proportion so I could feel for myself how big and brutal this war was.
While the history side of things helped me understand the war as a whole process, the English part of the IDU helped me understand how individual soldiers were feeling during the battle. This is important because it gave me an idea of how individual people were affected by the war. Learning about poetry in the First World War was particularly helpful because I feel like, since they expressed their feelings in poems, some “poets” in the first world war could really capture a certain feeling brought about by the war. Working on the exhibition also helped with this because we analyzed and made our own poems for the English part of the exhibition.
The list of benefits and drawbacks of studying the First World War from an English and a history perspective mostly includes benefits. I think the most important benefit would be that studying the First World War from two different perspectives really broadens our knowledge of the First World War and gives us more resources and ways in which we can talk about and understand the First World War. I think this idea could be seen clearly when we were working on and doing our exhibition. When doing our exhibitions, we incorporated different aspects and concepts that we learned from both subjects in both of the English and History products that we made. For example, we were able to make our poems for English because we could understand the battles from information we got during our history lesson. While there are not many drawbacks, I think the main drawback of studying the First World War from two different perspectives is that we could easily begin to lose focus and mix up information that might be relevant to History but irrelevant to the English lessons.
It is obvious how the lessons contributed to new interdisciplinary understandings. The lessons in history covered all the events, dates, concepts, and even theories surrounding the First World War. I think a really effective task that covered most of these aspects was the debate on whose fault the First World War was. This is because we had to make and listen to arguments that supported each opinion. The lessons in English covered poem-writing techniques, but they contributed to interdisciplinary understandings because the poems thoroughly described events during the war perspective of a soldier who actually fought in the war.
The exhibition task contributed to new interdisciplinary understandings because part of the task was to research for both of the IDU subjects. This helped us develop new understandings among each other, the result of this was that we could use information that we researched for one of the subjects and could use it to answer questions for the other.
I think the excursion to Ypres helped in the development of my interdisciplinary understanding because it was a valuable place for primary sources. The trip gave us an opportunity to explore concepts of the war among real artifacts that helped give context, proportion, and even helped us understand the mood during the First World War. A good example of how we explored the mood and atmosphere of the First World War was walking through and interacting with the real trenches that we visited.