2018 Wwiunithero

Academics, Upper School

Students Study World War I Era

The entire junior class visited the Museum of History and Industry’s (MOHAI) “WWI America” exhibit on Oct. 3 as the culmination of a comprehensive month-long study on World War I. While at MOHAI, students focused on viewing the exhibit according to assigned themes, such as free speech and the role of technology and people of color, for a discussion held afterwards in their Humanities classes.

“World War I was such an interesting collision between two eras. The 19th century implodes, and the modern era, which to a certain degree we still live in, is born.” says Humanities teacher Sarah Porter. “The MOHAI visit provided a fantastic opportunity to get a personal look at this historical event and showcase the scope of the war, and what follows afterwards.”

In addition to studying events in Europe during the war, students examined what was happening simultaneously in the U.S.A., such as the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance. They read poems by Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon, the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zorea Neale Hurston, and chapters from All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. Humanities teachers also led students through an in-depth reading of the Treaty of Versailles, which segues into the upcoming curriculum unit of The Great Depression and leadup to World War II.

“The MOHAI exhibit was really inclusive,” says junior Iona D. “We could view the war through multiple lenses, including African American and women’s history. It all threaded together nicely.”