World War One in Songs and Pictures

Lesson Author
Required Time Frame
Minimum of two 40 minute or more class sessions. More sessions may be used if student presentations are employed.
Grade Level(s)
Lesson Abstract
After viewing the MovieMaker presentation titled, "WWI Cemeteries" students will listen to "Will Ye Go to Flanders" by Jane Tabor and complete Song Analysis with teacher.

After viewing the MovieMaker presentation titled, "WW I Cemetaries" students will listen to "Will Ye Go to Flanders" by Jane Tabor and complete Song Analysis with teacher. Students may choose one of four suggested activities, or be assigned one to complete. Students should also read McCrae's In Flander's Field and examine Tabor's Lyrics if time allows.

*Point out to students that the second slide's words were taken from a poem by Rudyard Kipling regarding WW I. Also note to students that Kipling lost his son in WW I.

Rationale (why are you doing this?)

A multi-media presentation using multiple senses has been proven to reach a more and diverse student population.

Lesson Objectives - the student will
  • Analyze time period songs and complete fourteen question Song Analysis.
  • Students will research a song of their choosing to share with class and lead analysis.
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met
  • Social Studies - Understands how the United States changed from the end of World War I to the eve of the Great Depression
  • Social Studies - Understands the changing role of the United States in world affairs through World War I
  • Language Arts - Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • Language Arts - Students conduct research on issues and interests by generating ideas and questions, and by posing problems. They gather, evaluate, and synthesize data from a variety of sources (e.g., print and non-print texts, artifacts, people) to communicate their discoveries in ways that suit their purpose and audience.
  • Language Arts - Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.

Missouri Standards

Social Studies

6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions

7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents)

Comm. Arts

2. reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama
7. identifying and evaluating relationships between language and culture

Kansas Standards

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.
1. (A) analyzes a theme in United States history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.
2. (A) develops historical questions on a specific topic in United States history and analyzes the evidence in primary source documents to speculate on the answers.

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed
  • MovieMaker Presentation titled "WW I Cemetaries"
  • Song Analysis Stencil
  • Song, "Will Ye Go to Flanders" or other WW I song such as "Over There"
  • June Tabor’s lyrics to "Will Ye Go to Flanders"
  • John McCrae’s "In Flander’s Field" poem

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By John McCrae

Will Ye Go to Flanders?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
There we’ll get wine and brandy,
And sack and sugar-candy
Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And see the bonny sodjers there, my Mally, O
They’ll gie the pipes a blaw
Wi’ their plaids and kilts sae braw,
The fairest o’ them a’, my Mally, O

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And see the chief commanders, my Mally, O
You’ll see the bullets fly
And the soldiers how they die
And the ladies loudly cry, my Mally, O?

Will ye go to Flanders, my Mally, O?
And join the bold hielanders, my Mally, O?
Ye’ll hear the captains callin’
And see the sergeants crawlin’
And ’the sodjers fallin’, my Mally, O.

First and third verses from Folksongs and Ballads
of Scotland, MacColl. Second verse from recording
by Ossian; final verse from Kim Friedman.

Primary sources needed (document, photograph, artifact, diary or letter, audio or visual recording, etc.) needed
  • WWI song such as ’Over There’ or ’Keep the Home Fires Burning’
Technology Required
  • MovieMaker
  • CD or Record Player or Cassette
  • Computer or DVD Player
Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both the teacher and the students do?

Part I of Lesson: Instruction introduces lesson with MovieMaker presentation titled, ’Harry’s Music.’ After viewing, the teacher leads students through a discussion and analysis of the presentation completing the Song Analysis activity sheet.

Part II of Lesson: Students choose one of the four activities listed on the Song Analysis activity sheet to complete and present to the class in future lessons if desirable.

Assessment: fully explain the assessment method in detail or create and attach a scoring guide

The instructor will assess students based on completion of the Song Analysis activity worksheet, discussion in class and completion of one of the four chosen activities listed at the bottom of the Son Analysis activity sheet.

The Song Analysis activity sheet has fourteen questions and an adequate completion of all questions would merit success. Participation and of at least one of the four activities in a follow-up lesson would merit deeper understanding and comprehension, thus meriting a higher score.

Song analysis


Video file
Cemetary movie


Online Collection