How did the unprecedented death and destruction of World War I affect artists and writers? Specifically, how did volunteer service in the First World War shape the lives and perspectives of some American writers and artists, members of the “Lost Generation”?  These lesson plans invite secondary school learners to explore how the volunteer service of some of  the most famous U.S. American writers and artists—Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, E. E. Cummings, and Henry O. Tanner—was reflected through the aesthetics and themes of their work.  They also invites students to interpret the poetry, prose, and artwork of these individuals and to infer what they intended to convey about war itself.  

This topic is divided into three interrelated lesson plans that could be taught independently or as a whole, depending upon grade level, instructional objectives, and time:

  1. Activator, In Flanders Fields: One Writer’s Response to War
  2. Lesson, Lost Generation Artists and Writers: Volunteer Experience and Artistic Expression
  3. Extension Activity, Researching the Literature of War