This engaging and informative lesson enables students to understand the language features used by Michael Morpugo to depict the horrors of war in War Horse. In particular, students analyse the effectiveness of his similes, metaphors and personification (amongst other devices) before creating their own descriptive device-filled writing about going ‘over the top!’
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
Defining and exemplifying range of different descriptive techniques;
Identifying the descriptive language techniques in use in an extract from War Horse (chapter 8, in which Joey and the cavalry charge over no man’s land towards the enemy);
Analysing the effectiveness of Morpugo’s descriptive language, considering the effect on the reader;
Creating their own first person descriptive passages about going ‘over the top’, using each of the descriptive language devices effectively;
Peer assessing each other’s learning attempts;
Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
Cards for the card-sorting activity;
Descriptive language structure strip;
Extract from War Horsel;
Writing to describe helpsheet;
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 4 and 9 with minimal adaptations.
All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.