This engaging and informative lesson enables students to understand the key features of the historical context of World War I, in order to gain a clearer of understanding of Michael Morpugo’s Private Peaceful. In particular, students learn about the horrific ordeal faced by young soldiers in WWI, and then relate their understanding of historical context to different plot features throughout the text.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Researching and understanding key information about World War I, including enlistment, life in the trenches, and accusations of cowardice;
- Linking the key features of context to sections of the text, including descriptions of Tommo's trench and Charlie's arrest;
- Reading selected extracts from the text, in order to link ideas regarding context and text together;
- Creating their own propaganda posters, detailing what war was really like for young soldiers;
- Peer assessing each other's learning attempts;
- Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
- Research Template
- Links to WWI worksheet (and answer sheet for teachers);
- Comprehensive lesson plan.
There are also opportunities for group learning, speaking and listening, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. I originally used these resources with year 7 and 8 classes, however colleagues have used them for between years 3 and 9 with minimal adaptations.
Please note that students will need internet or library access to complete the research introduction task.
All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.