Tracing the Great War: comics-inspired World War One teaching resource launches

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A new World War One teaching resource has just been launched for 11 – 15 year-old students, based on the ambitious comic anthology Traces of the Great War.

The online learning resources offer teachers of English, History and Humanities a framework to study aspects of the Great War and its legacy though narrative, discussion and artistic expression.

Author Ian Rankin, poet Simon Armitage and current Comics Laureate and comic artist Charlie Adlard, are amongst the creators to collaborate on the new educational resources, authored by Natasa Lackovic of the Lancaster University Educational Research Department.

The resources were commissioned by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and 14-18 NOW – the UK’s arts programme for the World War One centenary.

Traces of the Great War  - Cover

Published last year by the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in partnership with Image Comics, Traces of the Great War (reviewed here by Joe Gordon) is a remarkable collection of thought-provoking graphic narratives, by internationally acclaimed comic book artists, graphic novelists and writers, which explores the continued relevance and resonance of World War One and its aftermath in our lives today.

The unique Key Stage 3 cross-curricular resources provide teachers with exciting new activity ideas and lesson plans. The toolkit aims to encourage students to engage with this profound topic both critically and creatively, designed as a series of easy-to-use templates that could also act as an inspiring springboard for teachers’ and students’ to develop their own projects and lessons.

“Comics have an amazing power to connect with people and tell stories in different ways,” says Walking Dead artist Charlie Adlard, one of the contributors to the Traces anthology, working with Doctor Who comics writer Robbie Morrison.

“I hope this anthology will reach out to new audiences and demonstrate the continuing relevance of the Great War on our lives today. It has been a privilege to be involved.”

“Students loved the cross-curricular element and really appreciated being able to use online sources too alongside the book,” enthused a teacher from Dallam School, in Milnthorpe, Cumbria, who piloted the Online Resource with KS3.

“It certainly links well with our curriculum and we can see the advantages to the cross-curricular approach in relation to stretching students ready for KS4.”

• The resources are free to download as both a PDF and Powerpoint presentation here on the Lakes International Comic Art Festival web site

Buy Traces of the Great War from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Buy Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link) | Also available in French

• The Lakes International Comic Art Festival runs from in Friday 11th – 13th October 2019 at various venues across the town

• Web: | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Podcast 

An earlier version of this story erroneously gave the impression Charlie Adlard’s tenure as Comics Laureate had ended. He remains in post until 1st March 2019, when Hannah Berry takes up the role. Our apologies to Charlie for the error.

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