War Project

Driving Question

Guiding Questions generated from a KWL Exercise: Why do wars start? How do wars end? What are men’s roles and women’s roles? How are they similar and how are they different? What are the different branches of the military? How has technology in wars changed over time?
Grades Involved

4th & 5th


What PBE Principles were highlighted in this project?

Community as Classroom, Inquiry-Based, Interdisciplinary, Learner-Centered, Local to Global


Project Description

Students originally brainstormed topics they were interested in covering in Social Studies. They had to include a “why” along with an expression of interest. The class voted on this topic. They used the KWL process to come up with guiding questions for the study. From there, teachers started making connections with the local community.

Visiting Experts — male and female experiences:

Air Force Veteran

A military vehicle museum representative

Vietnam scrub nurse

Green Beret

Military Intelligence

Two other video conferences with veterans with connections to our local community.

Following each visit, students brainstormed continued questions or interests to pursue as individual projects. For example, after the military vehicle presentation, each student picked a vehicle to research further.

An educator from the JH Historical Society: Discussion of Heart Mountain Japanese Internment camp in Cody, WY; examination of local newspapers from 1916-19402 that published letters from veterans Students imagined the perspective of the veterans and wrote their own letters.

Essay writing: students chose one of the guiding questions to research and write about for this final project.


 How did this positively impact community? How was it shared?

There were amazing connections with local community members, and even some folks far away. Parents were invited in for individual interest projects.
Coordinating all of the community connections was the biggest challenge and reward.

Words of Wisdom

Anabelle, “I’m so proud of myself. I know so much about this topic now.” After being allowed to research and present on her grandfather and his participation in the military following a visit by an expert.