1. Research war machinery, using some or all of the following: the cluster bomb, flamethrower, machine gun, gas mask, tank, observation balloon, anti-aircraft gun, daisy cutter, star-luster bomb, and grenade. Explain how these devices altered ancient and medieval concepts of the warrior and hero.
2. Compare Paul’s response to impending death with that of the speaker in Randall Jarrell’s poem “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” or Alan Seeger’s, “I Have a Rendezvous with Death.”
3. Compare Remarque’s antiwar sentiments with that of Francis FitzGerald’s Fire in the Lake, Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee or Creek Mary’s Blood, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, Walter Dean Myers’ Fallen Angels, or Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun.
4. Locate battles at the front from research and make a map showing Paul’s company’s approximate locations to those battles, using clues from the novel.
5. Create a Web site about the novel, utilizing the author’s background, maps, illustrations, themes, and your reaction. Design pages to intrigue and inform your audience, and invite other readers to post their thoughts and responses to their reading of the novel.
6. Compare and contrast this novel with Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, another remarkably realistic early war novel.
7. Create an exhibit of World War I photographs and use quotations from the novel for captions.
8. Use a scene from the novel, such as the one where the men are talking about the nature of war in Chapter 9, and write dialogue, in the form of a scene from a movie or play; practice and act out the scene with several classmates.
9. Two films of this novel were made, and both are available on videotape. Watch the films and compare the two film versions with the novel.
10. Research information on more recent wars in which technology has rendered killing very distant. How does the soldier’s experience in modern warfare compare with what Paul experienced in World War I?