The Great War Itself

Hello everyone. Welcome back the “The Blog”. After our wonderful spring break, we dove right back into history with our latest project called A War to End all Wars. This project is about  World War One, where the first tanks, plane, submarine and gas attacks where used. These military advancements is what makes this war super interesting.

Intro to the project

We started this project with looking at the driving question, “how might we use graphic novels to understand Canada’s involvement in WWI”. After discussing this question for a bit, we looked at the causes of WWI. And making some “need to know” questions, to frame the rest of our project. For a couple of days, we learned about the causes, people and effects of the war. The politics and the proceedings of the battles and places where also discussed.

Building knowledge

The driving question was introduced at the very beginning of the project, but In my opinion, it wasn’t super important to this project. It was relevant and meaningful, but It just didn’t shape a whole lot of the process like usual. 

The driving question was: How might we use graphic novels to understand Canada’s involvement in World War One?

My answer: Throughout this project I feel like I learned so much about WWI and the causes

and consequences of it. I really enjoyed that we got to use a graphic novel and the medium

for sharing our knowledge. By writing a graphic novel, we had to make sure we

understood our topic, while still producing high quality art with a storyline.

The bulk of the project was here. Less making and more studying. We started out our “knowledge building” by reviewing cause and consequence. We quickly moved on to the causes of the war and why there are many different opinions and causes of this war. Moving into the next phase was learning about the main part of the war. All the details about the different countries, timeline, results, casualties, geography, battles and all the rest where what we worked with for a good 3 classes.

The process

After all our hard work on the war as a whole, we broke into small groups of three or so, for a specific battle to work on. I got my request form in really fast so I got to work on my first pick, the Battle of The Somme….

Dun, dun, dun. The battle of the Somme had a really cool sounding name, and from what I’d heard of it, it seemed really interesting, new battle tactics, many different military forces and hundreds of Canadian soldiers showing how impactful they could be in a large scale offensive.

For a big chunk of that classless, we got to research our topic, but we where tasked to do some preliminary research, and complete the 5 W’s. The 5 W’s are: who, what when, where, why. They’re helpful in research because they are usually the most important points on a subject, or a battle like this. After handing in our 5 W’s, we did more research to complete a story spine. Creating a diagram of the important things we want to have in our final product and how we want the story to play out.

The final product

The final product for this project is a comic. This is a really cool end goal, because we can be creative with our not so “boring history”. We can learn and implicate comic components and use a storytelling approach to a gruelling time period.

After our story spine, we made a more in depth storyboard. With a storyboard, you can include pictures, sketches and notes to portray more details on the shot or panel. After all our planning steps we where basically on our own do make our comic. Wide length range, no super specific art style or colours and no specific story requirements. 

I was really stressed while making my comic, because I didn’t really know how good I had to make my drawings and I’m not a good artist, so it took a long time. Thankfully we where told to do tracing for our images from the actual war, so that was good. Here’s the comic that I made about The Somme.

Overall, I really enjoyed this project and had a lot of fun. I thoroughly researched my topic so that I understood what I was learning about which in the long run made everything about this project so much easier. I had a completed graphic novel that had accurate details, an intriguing story, and in the end, some pretty cool images.

Thanks for reading that short reflection on this past project in Humanities!

Best wishes,


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