USF's WebQuest 

WebQuest Title:  D-Day: A Soldier's Experience
Author: Nick Mercer

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.  -- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

Introduction:

General Eisenhower's words were an eloquent disposition upon the harsh reality that many Allie soldier's were about to experience.  On June 6, 1944 the Allied Supreme Command, headed by General Eisenhower decided to risk the war by massing a huge military force in an attempt to break down Hitler's Atlantic Wall.  The men and women who served this cause would forever be remembered as Tom Brokaw stated so beautifully -- the greatest generation. 

This webquest is an attempt to help students develop an understanding of this eventful day in the history of the 20th century.  No other day in that century did so much to shape the country and world we live in.  Through this webquest the student will develop an understanding of the struggles that soldiers and civilians went through on that day, such as the men in the picture above.  With this experience students will gain a unique experience that will help students grasp the magnitude of D-Day and help them develop a "brother hood" bond with the soldiers that fought on this day.

Task:

D-Day is an important event not only in World War II history, but it is also an important event in the history of the world.  Your task is to develop an understanding of the thoughts, feelings, actions, and events that soldiers and civilians went through on that day. 

Individual Work: Each student will research the sources provided and create a two page journal that will reflect the actions, thoughts, and feelings of one of the following people: U.S. soldier, British soldier, Canadian soldier, German soldier, and civilian.

Group Work:  Each group of four will create a newspaper that will cover the events that occurred on D-Day.  There will be four sections to the newspaper: Allied soldier's experience, German soldier experience, Civilian reaction, and timeline.

Process:

Journal: Each student will choose one of the following people: U.S. soldier, British soldier, Canadian soldier, German soldier, or French civilian.  With the resources provided, you will research and develop an understanding of the events these individuals went through on D-Day.  As you research you should write down your reactions to the reading so as to help you develop a better understanding of what these individuals went through.  Each student should have at least three sources listed in their bibliography.  This criteria is set to ensure that student's develop a deeper understanding of the individual's actions and feelings on D-Day.  Your responses will be used to create a two page journal that you will create to reflect what these individuals felt and went through on this day.  With this assignment, each student will get a better understanding of the above soldier's expression.

Newspaper: After each student has done their research they will work in groups of four to complete a newspaper.  The newspaper should include: articles, pictures, and timeline of events.  Each student will interview one other member of their group.  In the interview process they will uncover information that they will be reporting back to the home front.  The information they will be looking for will include the: who, what, where, when, how, and why.  These questions should be answered so as to help the civilians at home understand the events of the day.  Each group member will be responsible for completing a one page article, one picture to go with their article, and they will need to fill out a portion of the timeline. 

Timeline:  Each group will complete a timeline that will be included in their newspaper.  This timeline is meant to help students create background knowledge of the events that took place on D-Day.


Resources:

The following resources are primary sources.  These are to be used for journal and newspaper development.

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com

This site provides a French woman's response to the landings on D-Day.

http://www.pbs.org/

This site provides a U.S. soldier's reactions to D-Day.

http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/memory_british.htm

This site provides British civilian reactions to D-Day.

http://www.stalbansobserver.co.uk

A German soldier's experience.

http://search.eb.com

A Canadian soldier's experience.

http://www.military.com/

This site contains many Allied soldier's experiences of D-Day.

http://www.isidore-of-seville.com/

This site contains both Allied and Axis soldier's experiences.

The following resources are meant to help students create background knowledge and a timeline.

http://www.historyinfilm.com/ryan/timeline.htm

The site contains a timeline of D-Day.  Including information leading up to and after June 6, 1944.

http://history.acusd.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/Europe07.html

A site that contains a timeline and background information.

http://worldatwar.net/article/overlord/

Site including background and timeline.

http://www.historychannel.com/dday/

Site including background and timeline.  Click on timeline to view.  (Watch the two minute preview for a fun, interactive background knowledge experience.)

Evaluation:

Task

Grading Criteria

The Percentage of your grade

In class behavior.  Actively working on webquest. Observation by instructor. 

10%

Timeline Group members will be filling out a rubric that will be used to justify classmates work ethic on the webquest.  The rubric will include group members: work ethic, ability to work with others, time spent on webquest, and attitude.

20%

Journal This evaluation will be based on the following criteria: information included (is it accurate), detail (how much information is included) are there at least three sited sources different than the sources used for the newspaper, format (is the journal formatted as a diary entry), and creativity (how much did the student create in trying to depict a real-life person i.e. emotions, examples, and detailed information.)

Journal Rubric

35%

Newspaper This evaluation is based on the following: are there two pictures per article, does the article contain accurate information, is the article properly formatted, are there are least three sited sources per article, setup of the newspaper (is it neat and in order).

Newspaper Rubric

35%

 

Conclusion:

With the completion of this webquest the student will understand the human struggle, suffering, and triumph that occurred on D-Day.  They will also understand some background knowledge of that day.  This webquest is meant to help the student develop some personal knowledge of D-Day through selected primary readings of this day.  From this, the student will understand is some part the emotions the above soldier is feeling and why he is saluting the tombstone of a fallen comrade.