Doomed Youth: Using theatre to support teaching about the First World War


By Josh Brooman, published 10th September 1999

Many history teachers will have taken their GCSE pupils to School History Scene's Hitler on Trial for a rigorous and inspirational session, using drama, in preparation for the GCSE examination. Josh Brooman has now broadened the work of School History Scene by writing a new play, Doomed Youth, aimed at Year 9. It is now playing to packed houses all over England and Wales (see this edition's Briefing on page 5). How do we get Year 9 to concentrate and reflect upon difficult political concepts? In our efforts to motivate pupils, how do we integrate our use of emotional pull with our concern for intellectual rigour? How do we interest pupils in conflicts of loyalty to state, community and personal values, whilst forcing them to think for themselves? How do we introduce them to historical constructions of identity, including identities other than their own? To meet some of these professional challenges experienced history teachers have always used story and drama. Already well-known to history teachers in and around Bristol, a visit to a School History Scene performance is now being built into the planning of history departments all over the U.K.. Here, teachers Og Owen and Diane Wood show how they made the most of Doomed Youth by building it into a wider lesson sequence which both anticipated and followed up the issues raised by the play.

This resource is FREE for Secondary HA Members.

Non HA Members can get instant access for £2.75

Add to Basket Join the HA