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War of Words - Lesson Plan for KS4

Additional Resources

There is a Powerpoint presentation that can be used alongside this lesson plan.


This activity takes approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. Alternatively, the introductory work can be done in class (55 minutes) and the poem can be written as homework.

Learning Objectives

• Learn about conflict

• Explore poetic techniques and their effect on the reader

• Plan, draft and edit their own poem on the theme of conflict for our ‘War of Words’ poetry competition


• Prepare a copy of the pupil entry form for each pupil

• Download our free Powerpoint presentation that complements this lesson plan

• Prepare copies of ‘Belfast Confetti’ by Ciaran Carson and ‘Poppies’ by Jane Weir

KS4 Curriculum References: 1.1A, C, 1.2B, C, 2.1D, 2.2M, 2.3A, J, L, 4.1G, 4.2E, H, 4.3C, D.


This lesson plan introduces the theme of conflict, explains the difference between conflict and war, briefly looks at the causes and types of conflict, and provides example poem suggestions as well as poetic techniques. Conflict is a sensitive subject and this lesson plan aims to provide pupils with information and an understanding of conflict that will inspire them to write their own unique poem.

Main Teaching Activity

Plenary (5-10 minutes)

Ask pupils to work in pairs or small groups and to read their poem to one another. Peers are to feedback something they like about the poem and something they think could be improved.


• Challenge more advanced pupils by asking them to include all the poetry techniques mentioned here in their poem or writing in a specific poetic form. Alternatively, you can provide them with a type of conflict they are to write about.

• Split the class into two groups and give them a situation to write about. For example one group have to write about being the victim of conflict and the other group the instigator of the conflict, such as a bully and the victim. Can they understand the different points of view?

• Less able pupils can work in pairs or small groups on their poem and focus on including one or two techniques. Adults can scribe for pupils, if necessary.