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What did the artists of the Panthéon de la Guerre want to tell us about the First World War?

This enquiry takes as its focus the panoramic World War One painting the Panthéon de la Guerre, painted towards the end of the war.

The enquiry uses the painting as a way of exploring the idea of commemoration. Students consider the ways in which the painting might have served to highlight and distort certain aspects of the war.

First, students have the chance to examine the painting more closely, matching up aspects of the work with descriptions. Then, they consider what these aspects of the painting might have been intended to suggest about the war.  Critically, they consider what the painting ‘missed out’ about the events of 1914-18.

Finally, students are tasked with coming up with an Instagram caption for the painting, so that viewers of a new generation are able to comprehend the messages of the painting (and, perhaps, the aspects of the war that the painting willingly overlooked).

The lesson represents a great way of rounding off a World War One topic, and could open up wider discussions about the role of commemoration and collective memory in our modern world.

Download lesson

  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1 & 2: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

Price: £12.99

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