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Education Project Curricula

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Note: The Voices in Wartime curricula is distributed in connection with the film Voices in Wartime.

Modular approach

The intent of the modules in the Voices in Wartime Education Project is not to offer a complete background to a war or conflict, but rather to begin to look at the experience of war through poetry and other writings—through the words of the unknown and world famous.

Each of the modules is thematic, self-contained as small booklets for direct use by teachers and students, and run between 50-150 pages. However, the first module, Discussion and Action Guide, is written specifically for the instructor’s use.

Comprehensive annotated bibliographies, including print, internet and film are included in each module and questions for reflection, directives for research and further investigation of themes, and individual and group activities enrich each of the modules.

The Modules

  1. Discussion and Action Guide
    Explores background information on the documentary, Voices in Wartime, provides information on preparing for viewing the film, exploring the topics presented in the film, offers approaches for facilitating discussion of the documentary, and provides in-depth study questions for individual and group learning. In addition, a study format is proposed for using the film, modules and anthology in classroom teaching.
  2. Poetry in Wartime
    Includes a complete rendition of poetry from the documentary and explores the role of a poet as a social commentator. Questions for reflection, suggestions for research and activities on each of the poets included or mentioned in Voices in Wartime are provided. In addition, excerpts by several of the poets talking about the nature of poetry, the role of a poet in a time of war, the importance of writing as a tool to deal with emotional, as well as physical healing.
  3. The Great War
    Opens with background information on the First World War. In some instances, original documentation has been included to help provide a different perspective than may be offered in more traditional textbooks. While the reasons for the world going into war between1914-1919 are enormously complex, a background synopsis is provided to help the reader/student begin to establish a point of historical reference. Maps have also been included to help support the text.
  4. US Wars in Asia
    Includes extensive selections of poetry from both sides of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and much original material documenting the history, background, and outcomes of the war. The module includes a more exhaustive bibliography of material on the Vietnam War to appear in any curricula previously available.

Throughout these module there are suggestions for "Further Research and Investigation," intended to help the student to view the war in a more holistic way, and demonstrate the complexity of the topics that are included in the module. Further research and investigation also lends itself nicely to group and team work. Dividing the questions and suggested topics among students will allow for a more complete representation of the theme being explored once it is completed.

Closer Look at the Great War Module

For example, there are four sections in the Great War module that provide the makings of a full class investigation and a variety of formats to be explored for presenting the group’s findings:

  • The Assassination—Activities, Research and Further Investigation: The Chronology of the Great War.
  • Timeline—Activities: Taking on Different Perspectives.
  • The War: Research and Activities.
  • British Poets—Further Investigation, Research and Activities on British Poets and Writer.
  • Thoughts, Short Excerpts and Quotes—Activities: Reacting to the Words of Others.
  • Art of the Great War—Further Research and Investigations: The Art of the Great War.

The main portion of the Great War module is dedicated to the writings that originated in or as a result of the First World War. There are representative writings from professional writers and those who are not famous. Poetry has been included from British, Canadian, Germany, Austrian-Hungarian, Italian poets, and the United States. In addition to poetry, there are excerpts from diaries, journals and wartime songs. Each of these entries is followed by "Reflective Questions."

Finally, The Great War module offers a series of resources to support further investigation and research. "Literature Originating from The Great War," is an annotated listing of books which owe their inspiration to the war. The list is long, and while extensive is far from being exhaustive. However, there are a significant number of books from which students may choose to further their study or from which an instructor can assign further work.

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