This lesson focuses on reading and retelling real-life stories of soldiers and other ordinary people during World War I with the focus on building new vocabulary and creating new, imaginative untold stories or personal letters to a family member, lover or a friend using narrative tenses (Past Simple, Past Continuous and Past Perfect).
Life of soldiers in the trenches
Students are first asked to brainstorm on the topic of war, mainly oriented to World War 1 that they had been introduced to in their History classes during the 8th grade. In order to visualize the life of soldiers in the trenches students watch a video trailer of the movie 1917, read the real-life stories on the Europeana Exhibition and look for more images on the Europeana website.
The untold stories
Students are introduced to 4 different types of stories that are part of the Europeana Exhibition “The Untold Stories”. Each group focuses on a different segment of the stories (the unexpected events, news from the front, in the trenches etc.).
After reading these stories they have to invent their own story, writing it mainly in the past narrative tenses, and sharing their World War 1 story on a Padlet wall. When each group or a pair submits their story students are invited to read their peers’ works and leave a comment or positive feedback. The teacher collects the stories and publishes an ebook under the Creative Common Licence.
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The featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and belongs to the public domain.