V4 - Literature lesson 2 and 3: WW1 poetry KAAA

Literature lesson 2:
War Poetry
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This lesson contains 29 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

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Literature lesson 2:
War Poetry

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The Great War

What do you know?

Slide 2 - Mind map

WW I in bullet points
  • 1914: the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.-> World World 1 starts.
  • Two major factions: Allied Powers (France/Britain/Russia) VS Central Powers (Germany/Italy/Austria/Ottoman Empire). -> Battled it out in Belgium  
  • Advanced technological and chemical warfare
  •  Dominant power were craving war at first
  • Fought in trenches, with little ground gained or lost in each battle.
  • It was a world war because fighting also took place in colonized parts of the world such as Africa, Asia & the Middle East. Later on (1917), the USA would join the war as well, which was a defining moment.
  • By the time it ended in 1918, the Allied Powers had won, but Europe was in tatters and the blame was placed on the losing side, in particular Germany.
  • The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was about 40 million, both from directly dying in the war or later on of injury or illness. 

Slide 3 - Slide

Why look at war poetry?
The poetry shows us how we viewed the War at the time. 
From the viewpoint of the nation (homeland), to the viewpoint of the trenches (frontline). 

It shows us an honest depiction of war. 

Reminds us why we don't want war.

The two poets we will look at today are Rupert Brooke & Wilfred Owen. Both of them sadly did not live to see the end of the war. 

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  • Is Brooke's idea of war horrible?
  • What is his main messagen?
  • Which lines show Patriotism?

Slide 8 - Slide

Rupert Brooke - The Soldier
  • About what happened when the soldiers died while abroad.
  • It is full of positivity and seems to glorify the idea of a person dying for their country.
  • Became very popular during and after the war.
  • England will forever be great and where an English soldier dies shall forever be part of their great nation.
  • Brooke foreshadowed the vast numbers of soldiers whose bodies would remain buried and unknown in 'foreign fields'.
  • Religion is central to the second half, expressing the idea that the soldier will awake in heaven as a reward for dying in the war.
  • Filled with patriotic language. 
  • Rupert Brooke ironically became a soldier buried in a 'foreign field' himself.

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  • Is Owen's war a horrible one?
  • What is the main message?
  • What words/phrases makes this message stronger? 

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Slide 14 - Video

Yesterday we read 'The Soldier' and 'Dulce et Decorum est'.
What do you remember about both of these poems?

Slide 15 - Mind map

Write down as many differences between these two poems as you can!

Slide 16 - Mind map

The First World War was the first major conflict to be captured on film. The public flocked to watch footage from the battlefields: a 1916 documentary about the Battle of the Somme was seen in cinemas by an estimated 20 million people inits first six weeks of release.

 Now, 100 years later, Peter Jackson’s extraordinary film brings the war back to life, using the latest digital technology to render this century-old footage colour.

What effect does the transition from black and white to colour have on the impact of the footage? 

Slide 17 - Slide

Siegfried Sassoon
The House is crammed: tier beyond tier they grin
And cackle at the Show, while prancing ranks
Of harlots shrill the chorus, drunk with din;
“We’re sure the Kaiser loves the dear old Tanks!”
I’d like to see a Tank come down the stalls,
Lurching to rag-time tunes, or “Home, sweet Home,”
And there'd be no more jokes in Music-halls
To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume.

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Slide 19 - Video

Poetry is everywhere
For the Fallen -
 Laurence Binyon

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Why does the added colour make such an impression?

Slide 21 - Open question

Siegfried Sassoon

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I knew a simple soldier boy 
Who grinned at life in empty joy, 
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark, 
And whistled early with the lark. 

In winter trenches, cowed and glum, 
With crumps and lice and lack of rum, 
He put a bullet through his brain. 
No one spoke of him again. 

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye 
Who cheer when soldier lads march by, 
Sneak home and pray you'll never know 
The hell where youth and laughter go.

Siegfried Sassoon

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Does it Matter? 1/3

Does it matter? - losing your leg?...
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When the others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs. 

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Does it Matter? 2/3

Does it matter?-losing your sight?...
There's such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace and remembering
And turning your face to the light.

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Does it Matter? 3/3

Do they matter?- those dreams from the pit?...
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won't say that you're mad;
For they'll know you've fought for your country
And no one will worry a bit. 

Slide 26 - Slide

Choose one of these assignments for next literature class (you can work in pairs):
  1. Find 2 contrasting English war poems. Copy these poems in a word document : write down what these poems mean, by whom they’ve been written, from which wars they stem and why you think they offer opposite views, hand it in via Teams before next class. 
  2. Choose one war poem you think to be impressive. Write it down on paper and make it into a poster by creating a fitting background. Take a photo and hand it in via Teams before next class / bring it to next class.
  3. Write a war poem yourself. It does not have to be on WWI. Explain the contents of it. Do so in a word document and hand it in via Teams before next class.

Your work will not be shared in class unless you have given permission to do so. Please note down if you want your work shared with the class.

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A young man grew up with a hitch
His childhood was not all that rich
He fell for the story
about fame and glory
and ended up dead in a ditch

Slide 28 - Slide

Wilfred Owen
Siegfried Sassoon
Ruper Brooke

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