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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > The Spanish-American War in Motion Pictures

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Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, June 7th, 1911

[Detail] Wreck of the U.S.S. Maine, June 7th, 1911

Arts & Humanities

Creative Writing

After viewing films of soldiers training, students can imagine themselves as those soldiers during the war. They might write a journal or diary of a soldier's daily life. They could also write letters home to family describing what the war is like for them.

Love and War

Love and War, Nov. 28, 1899

Students could view the film Love and War, a fictionalized account of a soldier during the Spanish-American War, and write their own script for the film and act it out.

Persuasive Writing and Debate

Students can research the events that led up to the war and write a persuasive paper as to why the United States should or should not get involved in the dispute between Cuba and Spain.

Students can also research the Sampson and Schley controversy, represented by two films in the collection (search on Sampson and Schley). The controversy was whether Admiral Schley had disobeyed orders from Admiral Sampson during a crucial naval battle, and is detailed in The War Ends - Parades and Controversies. Let students choose sides and hold a debate about whether Schley acted heroically or insubordinately.

Journalistic Writing

Have students read the Edison Catalog entry found near the bottom of the item record page for the film War Correspondents. Discuss how this differs from journalists "getting the story" today. Assign students to small groups, and ask them to act as journalists during the turn of the century in order to research the Spanish-American War. Then, have them work together to write headlines and articles regarding the war, and produce a newspaper of the that time period which contains their stories.

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