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Lesson Ideas – Was Wilfred Owen a Patriot or a Pacifist?

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This lesson will enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the terms patriotism and pacifism to gain insight into the views of Wilfred Owen and other war poets. It would be useful for the students to be familiar with the war poet Wilfred Owen and to have some understanding of poetic terminology.

KEY CONCEPT:
Patriotism, Pacifism

KEY WORDS:
War, conflict, loyalty, honour, peace, dedication, politics, individual vs. society, responsibility, love, suffering, allegiance, support and betrayal.

LEARNING INTENTION:
To be able to define patriotism and pacifism and identify examples of this in poetry.

SUCCESS CRITERIA:
We can:
• Explore and discuss our understanding of the terms patriotism and pacifism.
• Classify symbols, images and quotes which are connected to the key concepts.
• Look for clues within extracts of war poetry which show us ideas and attitudes related to
patriotism and pacifism.
• Identify evidence in Wilfred Owen’s poetry and letters which help us understand his views on
war.
• Decide if Wilfred Owen is a patriot or a pacifist.

STRATEGIES USED:
Venn Diagram
Opinion Line