How far is Iwo Jima from your town? These students know.
Students at Viroqua Middle School in Wisconsin recently placed themselves in the middle of WWII geography—literally. Guided by student teacher Hannah Gutschenritter, they completed the Museum’s A Looong Way from Home lesson, where they researched and wrote about important WWII locations, used some online magic to determine the distances between those locations and their school, and built a distance signpost for their classroom; much like homesick soldiers did in faraway corners of the world during the war.
One of the best ways to engage students in history is to place them right in the center of that history. It’s one thing to learn about Iwo Jima, Normandy, Pearl Harbor, and Berlin. But when you can connect those faraway places with your hometown, you gain a much greater appreciation for the global nature of the war and its vast distances. From that understanding comes the more human appreciation for the emotions and experiences of young men and women who served overseas during WWII (and who still serve throughout the world today).
And rock on, Viroqua Middle School students!
Posted by Director of Education Kenneth Hoffman