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.
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 Lakes International Comic Art Festival runs from in Friday 11th – 13th October 2019 at various venues across the town
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.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.