literature War Poetry CSP 4

Let's start with a discussion
on reading, books & stories.
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Slide 1: Slide
EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 4

This lesson contains 27 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Items in this lesson

Let's start with a discussion
on reading, books & stories.

Slide 1 - Slide

I like reading

Slide 2 - Poll

What do you like or dislike about reading?

Slide 3 - Open question

I like watching films & series

Slide 4 - Poll

What makes watching a film or series better/more fun than reading a book?

Slide 5 - Open question

I like to think up my own stories

Slide 6 - Poll

Why are stories important
to us?

Slide 7 - Mind map

“Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends. They bring order into our confusing world. Think about how many times a day you use stories to pass along data, insights, memories or common-sense advice.” - Edward Miller

Slide 8 - Slide

The big question:
What is literature (to you)?

Slide 9 - Mind map

"That is why studying literature is important. We ought to not just take in the stories, but learn how they are created and more importantly, why they are told. The why is important."

Slide 10 - Slide

War Poetry

Slide 11 - Slide

The Great War

What do you know?

Slide 12 - Slide

What do you know about World War I?

Slide 13 - Mind map

WW I in bullet points

  • 1914: after 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) and they basically used Belgium as their battleground.
  • Advanced technological and chemical warfare: machine guns, tanks, airplanes, telephones, field radios, & mustard or chlorine gas.
  • Oddly enough, the dominant powers were itching to fight each other and try out their new toys on each other.
  • Most of it was 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 (Spanish Flu pandemic), the highest count of any war to that date.

Slide 14 - Slide

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 15 - Slide

Slide 16 - Video

Why look at war poetry?
All the world ground to a halt when the war broke out. 
As young men signed up, they were optimistic: it would soon be over and Britain would be victorious. 
They thought it would be glorious to die for 'King and country' and few believed that they actually would. 
Their insights into the war and its consequences is what inspired their poems, many of which would be read by and published for the general public back home. In their works we see not only this initial hope, but the true words of men locked in constant and hopeless battle.

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. 

Slide 17 - Slide

Rupert Brooke - The Soldier
  • About what happened when the soldier 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.

Slide 18 - Slide

Rupert Brooke - The Soldier (p 5)

Slide 19 - Slide

Wilfred Owen - Dulce et Decorum est
The poem centers around a group of exhausted soldiers having to flee from a mustard gas attack.

1. While listening pay attention to the tone of the poem. What can you say about this?
2. Focuses on the Latin phrase: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. What is Owen's message do you think?

Slide 20 - Slide

1. While listening pay attention to the tone of the poem. What can you say about this?
2. Focuses on the Latin phrase: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. What is Owen's message do you think?

Slide 21 - Open question

Wilfred Owen - Dulce et Decorum est

Slide 22 - Slide

Now you've read 2 war poems, compare its contents. Which one do you appreciate more? Why so?

Slide 23 - Open question

Slide 24 - Video

Slide 25 - Slide

While watching take notes:

Group I: Which of these poems can be desbribed as a dramatization of terror and disillusionment? Why?

Group II: Which of these poems can be described as a rousing calls-to-arms poem? Why?

Group III: Which of these poems would you call a sobering realistic nature poem? Why?

Group IV: Which of these poems do you think to be the most fascinating? Why?

Group VI: Which of these poems does appeal to you the least or the most? Why?

Slide 26 - Slide

In your group take 5 minutes to answer your group question.

Slide 27 - Slide