This list focuses on the use multimedia to teach various World War One topics including trench warfare and the Halifax Explosion.
When teaching this topic in both my World History and Canadian History classes, there are certain websites that I use on a regular basis.
In no particular order of importance, these include:
1. Over the Top: An Interactive Adventure. Created by the Canadian War Museum, this flash simulation allows students to role play a Canadian soldier fighting in a front line trench on the Western Front in the autumn of 1916. Students first create a character profile and then follow a combination of audio recordings and text to make decisions that will determine their fate. It also includes a glossary of First World War terms which are easily to navigate.
For the teacher, it also includes a resource section containing PDF files that can be used for students to complete as they role play.
It is located at http://www.warmuseum.ca/CWM/overtop/index_e.html
2. Another very effective multimedia resource for teaching about the World War One trench system comes from the BBC. A flash-based animation site, it centers on contemporary photographs, dramatized diary readings and interviews with veterans to provide insight into such topics as ‘Volunteering and Recruitment’; ‘Life in the Trenches’; ‘Over the Top’; ‘Gas Attack’; and ‘Injury and Shellshock’.
Google search ‘BBC world war one movies’ or check it out at the following location http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/worldwars/wwone/launch_ani_wwone_movies.shtml
3. For an interactive journey of a First World War front line trench, the BBC also offers another fascinating resource using Quicktime video clips. These panorama clips include the trench outline and design, a view of a dugout, and aerial warfare. The various clips are located below.
4. The accompanying website to the PBS series The Great War & the Shaping of the 20th Century is another excellent resource for teaching about World War One. In addition to excellent information detailing the main events of that conflict, it includes valuable multimedia including animated maps and audio/video clips of various topics. It also contains teacher resources including PDF lesson plans that can be used with the video episodes.
It is located at http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/
5. One multimedia website that I often use when dealing with developments on the Canadian home front during World War One focuses on the Halifax Explosion. Based on the CBC television production “Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion”, this website uses interactive Flash presentations of the ships involved in this disaster, Apple Quicktime to view 3D ship models, Real player to access audio and video files, and Adobe Acrobat to view and print PDF documents. This site is located at