I have started a conversation with our 8th grade social studies teachers about collaborating with classrooms around the world in sharing personal stories about WW2. The idea is to get the perspectives of what the war was like in Germany, Japan, England, France, Italy, etc . Our students need to learn it is not "all about them."

We are imagining a wiki with pages devoted to different countries, and the students using different tools to tell the stories. We are open for other suggestions and ideas - we are just brainstorming and looking for partners at this point. Please spread the word around the world!!

Tags: history, ww2

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Tom Holloway created Memories of WWII in 1994 as part of the Chatback Trust an NGO started in 1986 to provide online interaction for learning disabled students. You can see the stories by people throughout Europe and Asia as they lived through the London blitz, the bombing of Dresden, and other first person accounts of the war. Visit http://timewitnesses.org/

Perhaps the grandparents of the children will remember the stories you will find here.
Thanks for the link!!
Hello Kathy,

This seems like an extremely interesting pursuit! Although my focus is English as a foreign language, I would very much like to know more about the structure of content and technology you have planned for this collaborative effort. For example, how much of this collaboration will be asynchronous vs. synchronous? Are there emerging technologies involved with this collaboration? etc.

I am co-moderating a webinar on language exchanges that focuses on linking technologies with cultural competencies, and would enjoy hearing more about this class you are implementing.
I am a computer teacher at our school and in my "free time" I help our staff integrate tech into their classrooms - which is like another full time job! Our 8th grade teachers teach WWII and I saw a wiki a few years ago where a teacher set up pages for students in different countries to create movies, powerpoints, etc of personal stories and accounts. I cannot for the life of me find the site again so we can participate, so we are going to try and make this happen ourselves. Our hope is that by students from other countries sharing stories of what went on there, we all can learn about other points of view.

We are imagining that most will be done asynchronously as projects are created and posted at different times. But I could also see it turning into other opportunities for synchronous discussions through skype or other tools like it. The time differences would be a fun challenge :-)
Hi Kathy,
I'm very interested in learning more about your project. I teach Japanese language and culture to 6th and 8th graders in Honolulu, Hawaii. Our 6th graders study about Pearl Harbor and World War II..... And my 8th graders have a unit on the Japanese Internment Camps and the Holocaust. Many of my class activities are integrated with their Language Arts and Social Studies class. I would love to collaborate together on a project.... Let's continue to brainstorm ideas! Thanks!
Fantastic! I am assuming you saw my explanation above. Do you have any ideas? My goal is for our American Students to realize that there were, and are, other perspectives and experiences during a war. That is why we were thinking if students around the world could create movies, presentations, voicethreads, glogs, - basically anything - that would share stories from relatives or others explaining experiences from a war, and we thought WW2 would be a good choice. We could create a wiki where these stories could be shared. ANd who knows - maybe this could lead to other projects and collaboration.
Hi Kathy,
Yes, I also think your idea has a lot of possibilities and feel it would be a wonderful learning experience for all! Both my 6th and 8th grade students are working on a Voicethread activity right now. Also some of the 8th graders are working on a wiki with their Language Arts teacher so they are familiar with it.

Our 8th graders work on their WW2 unit in the 2nd semester but my 6th graders are currently working on their Pearl Harbor and WW2 unit now. My sixth graders are reading books written by Graham Salisbury that tie in the Pearl Harbor and WW2 themes. Have you heard of the books "Under the Blood Red Sun", "House of the Red Fish" and "Eyes of the Emperor?" They are great books.... Our students really enjoy reading them! Hope to continue our brainstorming ideas!
Hi Melvina,
Our students are rookies when it comes to collaboration and Web 2.0 activities. :-) That is why I am trying to help our staff integrate more. I do not think it is a problem if the 6th graders are currently in WW2 topics - they can lead the way!! As our 8th graders get into it (I think it will be 2nd semester) and yours, they can add to whatever has been started.

I am going to pass along those titles to our staff and see what they know about them. Maybe I can get our guys to read a book and we could get our students "together" to discuss the book.
Hi Kathy,
Great hearing from you! I'm glad to hear that you'll pass the book titles to your teachers. Our 6th graders just finished reading the book "Under the Blood Red Sun" and will start the sequel book "House of the Red Fish" book this week. They plan to start reading the "Eyes of the Emperor" book in November and December...

Here is the link to the author- Graham Salisbury's website-

The 6th graders will also take a field trip to Pearl Harbor in December. We'll take photos and we can post the photos for the project.

Also, our 8th graders will be reading Hiroshima, Night and Farewell to Manzanar during 2nd semester that will lead them to their unit on the Holocaust and Jpnse internment camps.

I'm thinking of ideas for our collaborative project.... A voicethread with voice recordings, photos, drawings, or poetry........

Since I teach Japanese language, my emphasis has been with the understanding of Japanese words, cultural themes, etc. from the book. I have also selected Japanese value theme words and have asked students to make connections with the book and also share personal connections. I can share more if you are interested....

Let's continue to brainstorm! Looking forward to hearing back from you!
Kathy in Illinois and Melvina in Hawaii have students both interested in WWII. The Time Witnesses website has stories from both the European and Pacific theaters. It would make a wonderful project to have them communicate with each other either via email or blog or even Wiki. The Enabling Support Foundation does not deal directly with students, but can provide resources and search out new classes that may want to become involved. We would like to facilitate the project. Let me know if you want our help. To make things clear: ESF does not charge for its services.
Hi Bob,
Aloha from Hawaii! Thanks for your reply and also your kind offer to help facilitate the WWII project. I visited the Time Witnesses website and was amazed with the multitude of resources available on the website. I'm hoping to hear back from Kathy and am interested in hearing her thoughts since she initiated the collaborative project. Thanks again!
I agree with Melvina - the Time Witnesses site is amazing! I truly appreciate you sharing that resource and the stories found there.

As for you folks facilitating, I believe our district would rather I take care of it. I am currently working hard to get our district to trust me - to trust our students - and do some wonderful, educational things using technology. Baby steps :-)



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