Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Reading Tasks

The Children’s War

Write down any words that you need to find the meaning of

Before reading the text
Read pages 4 and 5 then discuss it with a partner or group.
• How did the title help to prepare you for reading the text?
• Were you surprised to find that it was about children in New Zealand?No because I knew that New Zealand would join because they are supported by the British Empire

The government wanted people to stay positive about the war, even children. It wanted people to see the war as a joint effort – and for those back home to believe that the sacrifices ... to be good for their mothers – and useful. It was their duty to help win the war. They were even encouraged to see themselves as soldiers of the British Empire, just like their fathers at the front.

Why would the government want to influence children’s thinking? So when the children grow up they will be
• What words or ideas help you to understand why this was important?the events of why the kids did it.
• What does “duty” mean to you now? What did it mean then? Duty meant back then is doing your time for your country and “duty” still means the same to me right now.
• How important was being part of the British Empire then? How important is it to us now?
Being apart of it was a big case especially for the men.
Inside the classroom, students spent the day surrounded by maps of the Western Front and photos of Empire heroes. During lessons, they worked their way through the School Journal. Between 1914 and 1918, the Journal contained a lot of material about the war – with one catch: it avoided the unpleasant truth about the soldiers’ experiences. Instead, the war was given a positive spin, with stories of heroism and success.

Turn to a partner.
• Compare the classroom then with your classroom now. What are the main differences?The class has changed because of all the different things that have been happening.
• How would you characterise the School Journal materials now?
• What is your opinion of using the Journal to tell only positive stories about real and terrible events? My opinion is good.

What are the connotations of “with one catch” – is a “catch” usually good or bad?
• What are the connotations of “spin”? Where have you heard this word and in what contexts? Why do you think the writer used these words? What was he implying?

As you read, keep thinking about the connections you’re making with your own lives.
• What do you infer about the role of education in shaping individual and national character?
• What connections can you make between the role of education then and now in relation to New Zealand’s involvement in modern wars?

What does it mean “One in five of them would never come back.”

More information about World War 1

Read about the World War 1 memorials

Research a memorial a bit more and create an information sheet with a picture and labels about the memorial.

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