Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
World War I

World War I
World War I

Print Conscription Reading Comprehension with Fifth Grade Work

Print Conscription Reading Comprehension with Sixth Grade Work

Print Conscription Reading Comprehension

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.52

     challenging words:    absolutists, court-martial, exempt, manpower, objectors, compulsory, battlefield, execution, society, conscientious, court-martialed, enrollment, killing, wounded, widow, refused
     content words:    World War, In England, Western Front, Great Britain, World War I., World War II, In America

By Jane Runyon

1     When World War I began in Europe, many men were willing to join the cause. In England, 3,000,000 men volunteered to fight during the first two years of the war. The war did not go well for the British, however. They suffered great losses among the troops fighting on the Western Front. The British government realized that the war was not going to end quickly. They knew that the troops already fighting were going to have to be replaced. The men on the front lines were dying. Some were wounded so badly that they couldn't continue fighting. Some just grew too tired of fighting to fight any more. The war started into its third year and volunteers were not coming in large enough numbers to fill the positions needed. The British government decided to do something drastic.
2     Conscription is a word that means compulsory enrollment. In other words, if you were in a certain age group or had a certain status in society, your name was put on a list of people who had to serve in the army. The first list of names the British army drew up contained only single men. If you were a single male living in Great Britain during 1916, you would be expected to serve a certain amount of time in the army. There were a few exceptions to this rule. A severe physical handicap, a serious medical condition, or a severe mental condition could exempt you from service. Very little else was accepted as an excuse for not serving. As an example, in 1917, a widow caring for a large family asked that one of her youngest sons be exempted from duty because she had no one to help her at home. She had seen her first ten sons go off to war. She asked that her eleventh be left alone. She was refused. Another man asked that his ninth son be exempted. He had sent eight other sons to the British army. The British command took pity on this man, but not for long. His son was allowed to stay home for three extra months. By the end of the war, married men in their fifties were conscripted into service. Manpower in Great Britain was getting scarce.
3     Not every man in England was anxious to be a part of the army. From the time conscription of soldiers began, about 16,000 men refused to be called into service. This group was given the name of conscientious objectors. They gave many reasons for not wanting to fight. About half of the 16,000 refused to fight anyone. They believed that killing any other person was wrong. These men were called "pacifists." They did serve their country. They carried stretchers on the battlefield. They served as nurses. They cooked. They filled many jobs that did not call for them to fight.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!

Feedback on Conscription
Leave your feedback on Conscription   (use this link if you found an error in the story)

World War I
             World War I

Social Studies
             Social Studies

    United States History and Theme Units  
    American Government  
    Ancient America  
    Ancient China  
    Ancient Egypt  
    Ancient Greece  
    Ancient India  
    Ancient Mesopotamia  
    Ancient Rome  
    Canadian Theme Unit  
    Country Theme Units  
    Crime and Terrorism  
    European History: 1600s-1800s  
    Famous Educators  
    Grades 2-3 Social Studies Wendy's World Series  
    History of Books and Writing  
    History of Mathematics  
    How Can I Help?  
    Inventors and Inventions  
    Middle Ages  
    World Religion  
    World War I  
    World War II  
    World Wonders  

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

Copyright © 2018 edHelper