Welcome back to my blog.

This is this is my recap of the The War To End All Wars: Graphically Told project. The driving question for this project is: How might we use graphic novels to understand Canada’s involvement in WWI?

I will answer this question at the bottom of my post.  For this project we had to create a graphic novel that told a part of Canada’s involvement in WWI.

This is how I created my comic.

I think that if I were to do it again then I would spend more time on the story and less time on the drawings and layout of the comic.

I think that the comic represents my learning appropriately and I am very proud of how it turned out.

The steps that I took during this project are as follows:

The first thing we did is looked at the main underlying causes of World War One. We learned about this through the Nelson texts. These were a group of textbook pages that we used to learn about the war. After reading the Nelson texts, we completed a worksheet of the precipitating factors of World War One. Mine looked like this.

WW1 Causes

After that, we started reading our mentor text. This was a graphic novel called WWI: 1914-1917. Unfortunately, it is too big of a document to put here but you can buy it for yourself here.

On the next day, we look at the belligerents of war. These were the nations involved in the war. After learning about these nations, we were tasked with creating a graphic that represents the start, and the participants, of the war, based off of this graphic here.

This was my groups.

After that, we did more reading of the WWI graphic novel. We were then instructed to complete a 3…2…1… sheet on the graphic novel. This was mine.

3-2-1

After reading more of the Nelson texts, we completed a sheet about the consequences of innovation during war. We were asked to rank machine guns, chemical weapons, tanks, and barbed wire along a scale of importance, and explain our reasoning. This is what my sheet looked like.

WWI Methods of War – Consequences

The next thing we did was look at a specific battle and complete a 5 W’s sheet on our chosen battle. We were then tasked to present a brief overview f our battle using the 5 W’s to someone who was not assigned the same battle. My chord battle was the battle of Verdun. This was my sheet.

Five_Ws_Chart

After presenting our 5 W’s, we looked at some WWI propaganda. After going over a piece of propaganda as a class, we each chose a piece of propaganda and analyzed it ourselves. This was what my analyzation sheet looked like. 

Propaganda Poster Worksheet

It was finally time to finish the graphic novel. After finishing the fantastic story, we were assigned to write a paragraph on one long term and one short term consequence of WWI. This is my paragraph.

I think that the main short term consequence of WWI was the stalling of the economy. A lot of the people that went off to fight in the war were also the people that worked to support the economy. This heavily affected the amount of goods circulating around the world. There was also a vast decrease in the amount of people that were able to work, because of the millions of lives lost in the war. I think that the most influential long term consequence was the innovation in weapons. This resulted in many new weapons including tanks, machine guns, barbed wire, and chemical weapons. These all evolved more in the future to become the weapons of mass destruction that we know today. These include automatic rifles that people can buy at Walmarts, missiles, bombs, and(among other things)Nukes. If there was another mass war such as world war 3, the weapons used and the innovations made would likely result in the extinction of humanity.

After reflecting on the graphic novel, we watched the movie 1917. This was a movie about two soldiers that went on a mission to warn a general that he was sending his men into a death trap. Here is the trailer for the movie.

We then reviewed the story spine and tracing in keynote. Tracing in keynote will be important later. After that, we chose our topics. These were the battles that we would be basing our comic on. I chose the Second Battle of Ypres. This was the first battle that chemical weapons were used on a large scale. On our next day in class, we learned about the aftermath of the war and the world leaders during the time of the war. We then had some time in class to work on our planning documents. These were mainly the 5 W’s for our new battle and the story spine for our comic. These were mine.

Step #1

Topic: The Second Battle of Ypres
Who  Allies – Canada, France, Belgium

Central Powers – Germany

What  The Germans used the first chlorine gas attack to blow a hole in the Canadian line. The hole was much bigger than expected, and the Germans didn’t have enough troops in position to fully take advantage of the hole.
Where  Ypres, Belgium
When  April 22 – May 25, 1915
Why ‘The Germans’ intent was to cloak the transportation of divisions to Russia for a new drive in Galicia and to shorten their line in the West by reducing the Allies’ salient at Ypres.’ – britannica.com

Story Spine 

Step #2

Once upon a time… There was a Canadian soldier Samuel.
Every day… He would fight for his country in the 16th Canadian reserve battalion, during World War One.
Until one day… He got news of a gas attack in Flanders, Belgium.
Because of that… His battalion moved on the German lines under the cover of darkness, at 11:00 pm after the gas attack.
Because of that… He participated in the bayonet charge where the Canadians lost 3/4 of the their troops, but ultimately forced the Germans to retreat.
Because of that…  He and the rest of the surviving troops retreated the next day due to unfavourable numbers and dug in on the former German line.
Because of that… The Germans unleashed the second wave of gas.
Because of that… Sam and the other soldiers use urine soaked cloths for minor protection.
Because of that… Sam watches as all of his fellow soldiers die around him.
Because of that… Sam makes on last charge at the Germans.
Until finally… He is gunned down 10 feet from the German trench
And ever since then…  He has layed on the ground in the middle of a war.

After finishing our planning, we started the creation of our comic. I did my art by tracing images in keynote. Most of the remainder of the project would be spent on creating our comics. On the next day in class, we shared the first draft of our comic with a peer and received some feedback. Mine looked like this at the time. 

The Battle Of Kitchener’s Wood

I shared my comic with Sabrina. This was the feedback I received. 

Peer Conferencing

After getting feedback, we continued working on our final product. The next few days were spent tirelessly tracing images in keynote and putting them into Comic Life, the app we used to create our comic. After playing around with Comic Life and my drawings, this was the art style I decided on.

Finally, we were done. After a couple of social lifeless days and sleepless nights, it was over. While I loved this project, it was a difficult one. Now for the grand reveal. My final comic.

Battle of Kitcheners’ Wood

To celebrate the completion of our comic, we watched a video called Service and Sacrifice. You can watch it here.

The next day in class, we looked more in-depth about a topic we had not gone over much previously. Tanks. We looked at the evolution of tanks during the war and played the GamePigeon game Tanks. For the rest of the class, we worked on the blog post, which I am doing right now.

This project was a rollercoaster. On the first day I was really excited to do a project around comics. It was even batter that it was on World War One. As the weeks went on, the project progressed fairly slow. Once we were introduced to the drawing, the project kicked into high gear, and suddenly we only had a few days to complete the entire comic. This was one of the most stressful home stretches of a project to date, but t was definitely the most rewarding as well. The incredible feeling of all your hard work paying off in an amazing finale was like none other in any project we’ve done. This has been one of my favourite projects we have done in the entirety of my time in PLP.

Now for the answer to the driving question, ‘How Might We Use Graphic Novels To Understand Canada’s Involvement In World War One?’ 

I think that we can use graphic novels to understand Canada’s involvement in World War One in many ways, but during this project we did it in two main ways. The first was we read a graphic novel telling the story of World War One. This taught us about some of the events that took place during this war, as well as the energy of the war. It also gave us an example of what we would be creating. I’ve always been taught that the best way to learn something is to teach it, and that is essentially what we did. We created a graphic novel that taught the reader about the events of the war in an engaging and entertaining way. Because of that, I think that is the most effective way to understand Canada’s involvement in World War One using graphic novels.

I learned a lot about my lack of art skills, and the events of World War One during this project, and I am very proud of my perseverance throughout this project.  

The Curricular Competencies for this project are as follows.

  • Create Effectively: Effectively incorporating technical and narrative writing within a comic panel
  • Analyze Cause and Consequence: Analyze why events happen, and what are their impacts?

I think that I have done both of these competencies well, although I think I did the first one a little bit better. I think this for two main reasons. The first is that I put a lot more time and effort into the comic than I did anything else and I think that the final product reflects that. The second is that I think I laid out my comic in an interesting and unique way that demonstrates my understanding and execution of the competency. Was there room for improvement? Of course. I’m not perfect. But I still think that I did this competency very well. While I think that I did the first competency better, I still did the second sufficiently and completely. In this project, almost all of this competency was placed outside of the main comic, which is why I don’t think that I did this competency as well. I spent most of my time on my comic, and my completion of the competencies show that.

Here is a compilation of the everybody’s comic.

(Updating…)

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and have a great day.