To honour the worldwide celebration of Armistice Day, we looked closely at the key facts of the First World War. We crafted poems, based loosely on the ‘Cinquain’ form. Our poems were presented on paper poppies the children had made and became part of a large Remembrance day wreath.
-To express the gravity of war within a poem.
-To assume a ‘Character or Voice’ within a poem
-To write succinctly and use a wide range of descriptive devices and vocabulary.
The Armistice Day poems were crafted from the perspectives of the following:: A soldier, a nurse, a donkey, a horse, a gun. The children chose these characters themselves. The poems were written in the form of a type of Cinquain and began…….
‘I am the Nurse that……
‘I am the Soldier that…,..
Mrs Drake read the World War One picture book ‘ Torty’, to provide a very simple, but poignant account of the Great War.
The class with much enthusiasm wrote moving, short poetry about World War One.
The writers developed a strong sense of their own voice.
The children engaged deeply with the sacrifice and loss of war.
The children communicated their ideas and feelings about conflict.
Brooke: I learnt a lot about the nurses and soldiers who had to live right near all the fighting and shooting
Fergus: I think the donkeys who carried the hurt soldiers were so strong and brave
Nick: I think Torty the injured tortoise gave the wounded soldiers some hope, ‘coz, Torty walked only slowly
Writing the Armistice Day poems gave Mrs Graham’s class a real sense of the sacrifice that their great-grandparents, soldiers, nurses and the thousands of horses and donkeys made, for their country, New Zealand, during World War 1.
The class also learnt that poetry can be a very powerful, writing medium.
Keywords: Poetry, metre, descriptive writing, cinquain, war, conflict, emotion.