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World War I in Poetry

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Grade Level:  9-10
 
Time required:  1 or 2 class periods (45-50 minutes each)
 
Ohio Social Studies Content Standards: GLI- 9th grade History 7b and c ; GLI-10th grade Skills and Methods 2
 
Primary Sources Used:  
 
John McRae “In Flanders Fields”
Rupert Brooke “The Soldier”  
Wilfred Owen “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and “Dulce Et Decorum Est”
(All the above can be found at The Poetry Foundation Website ; direct links below)
John McRae "In Flanders Fields" (at Academy of American Poets website and on worksheet, below)
  
Instructional Steps
 
Students will read John McRae “In Flanders Fields” 
 
Students will read the poem and answer the questions to go with it on the In Flanders Fields Worksheet in order to start thinking about poetry for remembrance.
 
Give students the Poetic High Diction handout to help them with the language, and suggest to them some changes in language resulting from World War I.
 
Next, Students will read these two poems, Rupert Brooke “The Soldier”  and Wilfred Owen “Anthem for Doomed Youth” , thinking about the following questions which the class will discuss:
 
1. Compare and contrast the tone and message of the two poems.
2. What images of World War I do the two poems convey?  
 
Students will read these two poems: Wilfred Owen “Dulce Et Decorum Est”  and Edgar Guest “The Things That Make a Soldier Great” , thinking about the following questions, which the class will discuss:
 
1. Compare and contrast the the tone and message of these two poems.  
2. What reasons do soldiers have for fighting (compare reasons during World War I and reasons today – are they the same or different?).
 
Teacher, student, and supplemental materials needed:
       Paper, pencil, 
       Handout of “In Flanders Fields” and selected poems
       Poetic “high diction” handout
 
Additional resources for poetry on World War I:
 
 
 
Additional resources for teaching poetry:
 
 
 
The above sites include poems and information about poets, and can be searched by author, title, etc.
 
 
Created by Gina Daniels, Reynoldsburg High School, Ohio.