World War 1 Poetry

World War 1 Poetry

World War 1 Poetry (ages 13-14)

This scheme of work introduces students to some of the most well known WW1 poets and their poetry. It enables the students to develop such key drama forms as mime, thought tunnel, continuum, flashbacks, slow motion, voices in the head, split scene, choral work, improvisation, thought aloud, hot seat, essence machine, dramatic pause and narration. Throughout the scheme imagery is explored and examined, supported with a range of written tasks either done in the class or for homework and developed with lighting ideas. Through practical workshops and personal research the students gain an insight to different perspectives of war. Assessment is a performance using Wilfred Owen’s ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’.

This scheme of work contains 6 drama lesson plans.

  • Lesson 1: In Flanders Fields. This introductory lesson is based on John McCrae’s poem. A visualisation exercise helps students explore the imagery, which is then developed in their group work through the use of flashbacks.
  • Lesson 2: The Target. This lesson uses Ivor Gurney’s ‘The Target’ to examine the idea of guilt, using duologues and split scene to explore a sons relationship with his Mother and the enemy.
  • Lesson 3: The Soldier. Rupert Brookes explores the theme of patriotism, dramatised through the use of thought aloud, SFX and the use of lighting to create mood and atmosphere.
  • Lesson 4: On Passing the New Menin Gate. Contrasting with the previous lesson, Siegfried Sassoon’s work explores the negative view of war and its futility. Thought tunnel and roleplay are used to explore both sides to the argument.
  • Lesson 5: Break of Day in The Trenches. Isaac Rosenberg’s poem looks at life in the trenches through the eyes of the Rat and compares life both sides of No Mans Land with each other. The issue of discrimination is touched upon through the use of an aside, narration and modelling.
  • Lesson 6: Dulce et Decorum Est – Assessment. Lesson 6 is an assessment piece based on Wilfred Owens’ ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’. All key Drama forms learnt and revised in the topic are used to recreate the students’ own version of the poem, recorded for self-evaluation.

Supporting materials include

  • In Flanders Fields by John MaCrae
  • The Target by Ivor Gurney
  • The Soldier by Rupert Brooke
  • On Passing the New Menin Gate by Siegfried Sassoon
  • Break of Day in the Trenches by Isaac Rosenberg
  • Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen

Additional resources are included in the appendices

  • End Of Unit Self-Assessment Form

The scheme of work is supplied as a PDF file, readable on most computers.

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