“For and From the Homeland”: World War I Poetry and Postcards (LS-ES-739)

In this lesson for upper secondary school, students will learn about the experiences of soldiers as well as citizens who stayed home during World War I.

Students will form small groups that are tasked to study two types of documents.

  • The first one, sentimental postcards sent to soldiers by family members early in the First World War,
  • The second type is pieces of poetry written by Wilfred Owen, a soldier, a casualty, and one of the greatest British poets of the Great War.

Using what they have learned in class discussions and from assigned readings, students are challenged to compare the documents in terms of type, time period, message, and the expectations and realities surrounding the global conflict.

At the end of the lesson, the students will have produced a comparison of the two types of texts that they considered. The targeted output of this lesson is written work, but the teacher can allow students to choose other forms of (re)presentation (oral sharing, a recorded audio-only presentation, a mind map, or visuals).

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CC-BY-SA: the cropped featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana, from the contributor The Army Children Archive.

CC BY-SA 3.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Europeana 1914-1918.

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