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...