Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Over There with World War I Songs

Patricia Barry Holbert
Santa Rosa District Schools

Description

Students listen to and interpret songs from World War I. These songs express feelings, a time period, and patriotism. (This activity can be used as an introduction, conclusion, or as a part of a larger unit on World War I.)

Objectives

The student critically analyzes specific elements of mass media with regard to the extent to which they enhance or manipulate information.

Materials

-Songs from World War I: “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary,” “Over There,” “Smile, Smile, Smile!” “How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?)” (See Preparations, step 4)
-Student copies of the lyrics and questions for each song (See Associated File)
-Computer and/or
-History resource books

Preparations

1. Check the Websites to make sure they are still active.
2. Duplicate the lyrics for these songs: (See Associated File)
“It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”
“Over There”
“Smile, Smile, Smile!”
“How ‘Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?)”
3. Duplicate the questions about the songs. (See Associated File)
4. Check to see if the computer will play the music from the Website: http://www.melodylane.net/ww1.htm. (Note: The Melody Lane Website requires a one-time registration fee of $20 in order to defray server, bandwidth, and music costs. Membership is required to access songs from this Website.)
5. If necessary, get CDs or cassette tapes of the World War I songs.

Procedures

1. Play the following songs from World War I from the Internet or from CDs or cassette tapes.
“It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”
“Over There”
“Smile, Smile, Smile!”
“How ‘Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree?)”

2. Pass out the words of those songs. (See Associated File) Have the students sing along with the music to get the feel of the World War I time period. Ask students how these songs became popular. How were people able to hear these songs? Discuss the importance of radio as a mass media during this time period.

3. Students go to the Internet or history resource books in order to answer the questions listed after the words of each song. (See Associated File)
The teacher can:
A. Play the songs from the Internet at the Melody Lane Website: http://www.melodylane.net/ww1.htm or play CDs or cassette tapes of World War I songs as the whole class is working on the questions.
B. Let the students use headphones at the computer station to play the songs on the Internet at this site: http://www.melodylane.net/ww1.htm as they are working on the questions.

4. Ask the students to take turns reading the answers to their questions. Discuss the time period and how the people felt about the war. Songs are primary sources.

5. Talk about the significance of the songs in World War I. (The songs stirred patriotism, encouraged people, expressed feelings, and told what happened during this time period.)

Assessments

1. Students answer correctly the questions about the songs from World War I.
2. Students participate in the class discussion about the songs from World War I.
3. Students write a one paragraph essay analyzing how these songs enhanced information about WWI to those who listened. The paragraph should include a description of one type of mass media, such as radio or popular music of the period, and list two ways it enhanced public information about WWI. (Students can mention factual information, public sentiment, patriotism, reminders, etc. )

These are formative assessments and students who do not demonstrate mastery or understanding should receive feedback and more practice.

Extensions

This activity can be used as an introduction, conclusion, or as a part of a larger unit on World War I.

Web Links

Popular World War I songs
MUSIC OF THE GREAT WAR (WWI)

A World War I site
Historical Text Archive

Attached Files

This file contains lyrics of World War I songs and questions.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.