History KS1 / KS2: O is for Owen (Wilfred)

Commentary, newsreel and photographs examine the life of Wilfred Owen, today one of the most widely recognised poets of World War One.

A dramatic monologue introduces Owen, in hospital suffering from shell shock and at work on his poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’.

Owen reads the opening lines aloud and explains their context.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 1

Pupils could paint pictures to illustrate phrases from the short passage of his poem Owen quotes in the onscreen monologue.

You might give groups or individuals a phrase such as ‘Bent double like old beggars under sacks’ or ‘men marched asleep’.

The class could assemble their paintings into a picture book that shows the opening moments of Wilfred Owen’s poem.

Key Stage 2

Pupils could read more poems by Owen, Sassoon and other poets of the period.

Encourage the children to compare these verses with the lyrics of popular patriotic songs of the period. How do the messages differ?

Owen’s work was virtually unknown during his lifetime.

Why do pupils think he came to be seen as such a significant figure in the years after World War One?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at primary school ages for Key Stages 1 and 2, or First and Second Level.

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