WWI: Poetry and Comic Books

Assignment –

Students will be creating an original WWI poem and visual.  This is a great cross-curricular activity between the humanities classes and is easily adaptable.  As my Language Arts partner was teaching similes in her course, I made it a part of the rubric to be included in the poem.  The poem must consist of a minimum amount of lines and stanzas – onomatopoeias, while encouraged, do not count as a line unto themselves.  I also require a minimum of three direct references to WWI – this is not a poem about any war, but about the Great War.  As the social studies teacher, I also help my students engage in annotating poems to further reinforce the humanities aspect.

As for the visual – students must draw their own creations to illustrate the events in the poem.

Students will then pair/share in small groups and I will then ask for volunteers to share with the entire class.  I will then put up the work around the classroom and in the hallways.


Poetry Directions

WWI Poems to annotate

All Quiet on the Western Front

Pro-War Poem

WWI comics and graphic novels

In particular, my class will be using Joe Sacco’s The Great War. SaccoBook Trust me – buy this book!  Do a Google Image search – you will not be disappointed!

The book folds out to a HUGE “poster” running across the back of the entire room.  The drawing is annotated and I place summaries of what is going on in each panel and the students walk along for inspiration.

SaccoWall SaccoCloseup

Supplies – multiple comics, a WWI Bulletproof Bible (Slaughterhouse Five connection), posters around the room, construction paper, drawing implements

SaccoPosters SaccoSupplies

Teacher Powerpoint – given to the students over the course of a few days as they also complete research – https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0q0hv_n2-9xanlsbWpYQmZmYjQ