This lesson requires students to understand war from just the perspective of a solider. Prior to students understanding the effects of war on each man/women that fought during World War II, I want to start their thinking by asking the following questions:
What if you could be a solider during World War II? What would you be doing? What would people say about you?
Students will respond to WWII questions in their notebook. The completion of this activity will allow students to understand that no matter what the status or respect a soldier gained from peers or superiors in the war, many similarities can be discussed with how each felt about death or the need to die. As this lesson progresses, students will begin to understand death and the power that it had over many soldiers' lives.
To understand more about a soldier's perspective during war, students will watch a clip on 10 legendary soldiers during this time. Students will number their notebook paper from one to ten. As students watch each person's bio, they will record characteristics or one word that describes the solider.
As students work, I am stand off to the side while making notes of attributes that students can highlight from each bio clip. Since the information along the screen moves at a fast pace, I will show the clip multiple times for students to gain an understanding of what each individual did that was so important to the war. After the video viewing(s), I will ask students the following questions
1. What element was used to group all of these individuals together?
2. What about each soldier made him/her different from all of the other soldiers during this war?
A small discussion on war will surface from these questions so students can begin to make sense of the risks behind roles of leaders and soldiers during this time.
Because students are learning about perspectives of World War II through poetry, I want them to begin understanding the power and impact emotions have on an individuals' experiences' in life. For the remainder of class, students will read poems to gain a better perspective on World War II through a soldier's lens. First, students will read and annotate the literary elements found in each poem. Then, students will work in pairs to answer comprehension questions.
To play up on annotation, students will have different purposes while reading. The first purpose allows students to gain new meanings from emphasis of literary elements found in each poem. Reading and jotting down notes will allow students to focus solely on content and not a question to be answered. The second purpose for the annotation allows students to dig into the text prior to answering questions. It is this talk over annotating soldier poems that allow students to conduct processing for better comprehension with text-dependent questions.
Pairs will end this lesson by completing a poetry analysis of two soldier poems. The handout requires students to use the impact from a phrase or word to develop a new title and meaning for each poem. This closing activity can be used as an EASY assessment of how students understood the central ideas of each poem. Additionally, students can be tested on how textual evidence was used to support their claims on what all solider poems were about.