Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tommy GUN in School ! ! !

The Industrial Revolution from the late 1700s to the present has impacted our lives in countless ways. We have learned how to mass produce food, clothing, building materials, and unfortunately methods of killing each other: rifled firearms, machine guns, poison gas, atomic weapons, and the Tommy Gun. As deplorable as the topic of firearms and warfare is to consider by some of you out there, to ignore history is even more deplorable.

If you are among the ANTI-2nd Amendment types and are enraged that I would talk about such a weapon in class, WATCH the HISTORY CHANNEL episode HISTORY OF THE GUN: THe Tommy Gun. After watching this, you will quickly see that this adds to a student's understanding of 20th century history.

click here for the TOMMY GUN VIDEO

Before I show students this History Channel episode about the history of the Thompson Submachine Gun, I have students fill out a sheet of paper and divide it into a quadrant with a circle in the middle.
-- The circle in the middle will have a student drawing of the weapon.
-- The top left corner will have  words describing the TOMMY GUN's appearance and sound
--The top right corner will have KEY FACTS about the TOMMY GUN
-- The bottom left corner will have KEY DATES about the TOMMY GUN's history
THIS NEXT PART, I do not tell them about until AFTER they have watched the video....
-- The bottom right corner will have a HAIKU about the Tommy Gun. A Haiku if you don't recall is a Japanese form of poetry with three lines. The first and last lines have 5 syllables each and the middle line has 7 syllables. While this is not a strict adherence to traditional HAIKU form, it is the watered down Anglo-version often used in American classrooms.
This is truly an exercise that crosses curricular lines: Writing poetry, art, history.
Here are two former students' work...

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