Curriculum

8 Resources for Discussing War Poetry in the Classroom

By Helen Yoshida — November 12, 2014 1 min read

On November 11, 1918, World War I, or “the war to end all wars,” concluded. The Great War introduced new military tactics and resulted in more than 37,000,000 casualties. The First World War produced a powerful body of literature, particularly poetry. One hundred years later, the poetry remains transportive, but painfully so.

For difficult discussions about conflict and battle, the suggestions that I have included below may prompt greater student understanding about wartime and a soldier’s grueling life in the trenches, especially with so many of our military personnel active today.

Educators and students returning to school after the Veteran’s Day holiday may be interested in these four high school lesson plans which foster close reading, textual analysis, historical context, and creative writing. Included as well are three poetry collections and an interactive timeline from the National WWI Museum.

Feel free to add your own resources in the comments section too.

Lesson Plans:

Poetry of The Great War: ‘From Darkness to Light’? (National Endowment for the Humanities)

No One Spared (PBS, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century)

The Literature of War (Poets.org)

Lessons of Liberty (National WWI Museum)

Resources:

First World War Poetry Showcase (Poetry By Heart)

“The Poetry of World War I” (Poetry Foundation)

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive (University of Oxford)

Interactive WWI Timeline (National WWI Museum)

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A version of this news article first appeared in the BookMarks blog.