Monday, January 14

We Were There with the Lafayette Escadrille

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Aircraft in World War I
The airplane was invented by the Wright Brothers a mere eleven years before the start of World War I, but it quickly came to be an important part of the fighting.  The first use of airplanes in the war was for reconnaissance.  They would fly above the battlefield and enemy territory, take photos, and report on enemy movements and weaknesses.  

However, as the war progressed, airplanes were being used for dropping small bombs and dogfighting.  Early dogfighting consisted of pilots shooting at each other with small arms.  Then they tried mounting a machine gun at the front of the plane, but the propeller got in the way of the bullets.  Eventually, the 'interrupter' was invented, which allowed machine guns to be used without interference.  Pilots became soldiers in the skies, and the best of the best were dubbed "Aces."

The Lafayette Escadrille
While America did not officially join World War I until rather late, many Americans served overseas with Allied countries.  Some Americans volunteered to fly alongside the French in a unit of fighter pilots, originally titled the Escadrille Americaine.  This squadron - officially formed in 1916 and renamed the Lafayette Escadrille - consisted of American pilots who were members of a flying corps based out of France.  

More than 200 Americans were trained as pilots, and they served on nearly every battle front in France.  Only nine pilots were lost in action.  Because of the experience they gained in battle, they helped to teach combat pilots that came later, including those who fought in World War 2.  The Lafayette Escadrille has been called "the founding fathers of American combat aviation."

We've enjoyed learning about several eras of aviation, including the Wright Brothers and modern military aircraft!

Our spine novel is We Were There with the Lafayette Escadrille

Access the complete unit in the 'We Were There' Novel Studies Bundle!

Includes THIRTY-SIX unit studies covering World & American History. Each unit addresses a new topic, spanning the the ancient world through post-WW2.  Each unit has introductory text, which will give the student basic background information about the topic at hand.

  • There are photographs and illustrations, and we have also included primary documents when available.
  • After this text, there are featured videos, which augment the background information and help make the topic more accessible for more visual students.
  • You will also find a short list of reading books, including a featured novel that the unit builds upon.
  • There are vocabulary words, places, and people to identify.
  • Reading comprehension, critical thinking questions, and writing assignments are included.
  • We add fun with hands-on activities and extra videos to watch that will bring the era to life.

These studies are directed toward upper grades students, but some have resources for younger students so that the whole family can work together. Our family has used unit studies as curriculum for many years, and we hope that your family will enjoy these, too!

Product Samples:


  1. I love Young Indiana Jones! What a great series. I have the series of books, too.

    1. Hubby grew up watching it, but I just discovered it a few years ago...they are fantastic!

  2. Some interesting things here. I have not heard of the Young Indiana Jones. Those sound fascinating and fun.


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