The horror and realism of war have been explored in art, music, literature and film. Two works compared in this unit are the nearly 22-minute opening battle scene from Saving Private Ryan with Wilfred Owen’s poem, “Dulce et Decorum est.”
Students will view supporting video clips on the poem, argument and read an essay from The Atlantic Monthly on Saving Private Ryan. The lesson contains links to a short documentary on sound in war films as well as a video that analyzes the battle scene.
There is an opportunity to write a rhetorical précis, as well as supporting material for teaching this strategy to your students. An original prompt on analyzing the rhetoric in The Atlantic Monthly essay on the Saving Private Ryan essay is featured. Included is a lesson on crafting a thesis sentence. If you are studying war literature such as The Things They Carried, The Red Badge of Courage, or The Iliad—then you can fit these lessons into your curriculum plan.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, World Literature or AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities.
There are sources for teaching the concept of a jig-saw learning strategy. A jigsaw activity on the Saving Private Ryan essay acts as explication for the argument. The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, World War II, poetry, film studies