As students have been reading the World War I Chapter in Howard Zinn’s, A Young People’s History of the United States, they had the chance to study a few anti-war protestors. Back in the classroom, students discussed the Espionage Act and how it changed the perception of freedom of speech in America. In this activity, the three pictures you see above were scattered around the outdoor property. When students found their pictures in small groups, the teacher walking with them would then read a primary source, the protestors speech. Teacher’s did their best to act as the protestors and read aloud, with passion, from Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove’s Voices of a People’s History of the United States. We read, Emma Goldman’s Address to the Jury in U.S. v. Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman (July 9, 1917, John Reed’s Who’s War? and Why the IWW Is Not Patriotic to the United States, and finally, Eugene Debs’ The Canton Ohio Speech.
Next, students will be looking at WWI propaganda, reading journal entries from a real WWI soldier and creating their own protest speech based on something in their life they want to stand up and speak out against.