Socialist and Front Soldier - Louis Barthas

The countless deaths of the Great War are often unimaginable to young learners. Examining the life and writings of Louis Barthas, however, paints a picture of life in the trenches. Show your pupils what life was like as a poilu, or common solider, in the Great War using a captivating video biography.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Pair video with excerpts of primary sources from soldiers to develop young historians' understanding of military life 
  • Show the video and ask class to write letters home from the trenches based on details 
Classroom Considerations

  • Part of Who Did What in World War I? video series
  • Graphic pictures of dead soldiers are disturbing for some viewers
Pros

  • Quotes from Barthas' writing and photographs grab viewers' attention
  • Easy to pair with primary source activities to build context
  • Anecdotes and engaging narrator create interest 
Cons

  • Does not include primary sources for extension activities
Common Core