Writers' Circle - Learning Station 2

Hello Writers' Circle! Your group will explore remembrance words that help remember those who served in the First World War.

What are words of remembrance?

Remembrance words can help us learn about the First World War and honour those who served in it. They are words carved into the headstones in cemeteries. They are also found in the letters, diaries, songs and poems written by soldiers and others during or after the war.

Examples

In Flanders Fields

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

In Flanders Fields was written by Dr. John McCrae who served in the First World War. Published in 1915, it has come to symbolize the sacrifices of all who were fighting in the First World War.

Remembrance Day

Lyrics by Bryan Adams

For our king and our country and the promise of glory
We came from Kingston and Brighton to fight on the front line

Just lads from the farms and boys from the cities
Not meant to be soldiers we lay in the trenches

We'd face the fighting with a smile - or so we said
If only we had known what danger lay ahead

The sky turned to grey as we went into battle
On the fields of Europe young men were fallin'

I'll be back for you someday - it won't be long
If I can just hold on 'til this bloody war is over

The guns will be silent on Remembrance Day
There'll be no more fighting on Remembrance Day

By October of 18 Cambrai had fallen
Soon the war would be over and we'd be returnin'

Don't forget me while I'm gone far away
Well it won't be long 'till I'm back there in your arms again

One day soon - I don't know when
You know we'll all be free and the bells of peace will ring again

The time will come for you and me
We'll be goin' home when this bloody war is ended

The guns will be silent on Remembrance Day
We'll all say a prayer on Remembrance Day

On Remembrance Day - say a little prayer
On Remembrance Day

Well the guns will be silent
Oh There'll be no more fighting
We'll lay down our weapons
On Remembrance Day

A Pittance Of Time

Written by Terry Kelly © Jefter Publishing - SOCAN

They fought and some died for their homeland.
They fought and some died, now it's our land.
Look at his little child; there's no fear in her eyes.
Could he not show respect for other dads who have died?

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls who went over.
In peace may they rest, may we never forget why they died.
It's a pittance of time.

God forgive me for wanting to strike him.
Give me strength so as not to be like him.
My heart pounds in my breast, fingers pressed to my lips,
My throat wants to bawl out, my tongue barely resists.

But two minutes I will bide.
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls who went over.
In peace may they rest, may we never forget why they died.
It's a pittance of time.

Read the letters and poems of the heroes at home.
They have casualties, battles, and fears of their own.
There's a price to be paid if you go, if you stay.
Freedom's fought for and won in numerous ways.

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls all over.
May we never forget, our young become vets.
At the end of the line, it's a pittance of time.

It takes courage to fight in your own war.
It takes courage to fight someone else's war.
Our peacekeepers tell of their own living hell.
They bring hope to foreign lands that hatemongers can't kill.

Take two minutes, would you mind?
It's a pittance of time,
For the boys and the girls who go over.
In peacetime our best still don battle dress
And lay their lives on the line.
It's a pittance of time

In peace may they rest, lest we forget why they died.
Take a pittance of time.

Your Task

Your own words can help you remember too. Your group will write your own remembrance words in the form of a poem about Canada's First World War Veterans and what they represented to Canadians.

  1. As a group, discuss Canada's First World War Veterans and what they represented. Think about the letters F-I-R-S-T W-O-R-L-D W-A-R. What words can you think of that start with those letters and remind you of the First World War? Use the information discussed today to help you brainstorm. Write your ideas on a piece of paper.
  2. As a group you are going to take your thoughts about Canada's First World War Veterans and the First World War to write an acrostic poem.
  3. Next, write your poem onto the poster paper, and use the markers and/or pencil crayons to colour it in and make it look attractive.
  4. When you are finished present your poem to the whole group.

An acrostic poem uses the first letter of a word, or words, to make up the body of the poem. Put the letters that spell your subject down the side of your page. Use each letter and think of a word, phrase or sentence that starts with that letter and describes your subject.

For example:

F
is for the FIRST World War
I
is for all those Canadians who served IN the First World War
R
we bow our heads in REMEMBRANCE
S
and stand in SILENCE
T
to THANK them

Now try your own!

  1. F
  2. I
  3. R
  4. S
  5. T

  6. W
  7. O
  8. R
  9. L
  10. D

  11. W
  12. A
  13. R
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