Brothers in Arms – a hopeful perspective of war

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.31.21 pmThese mist covered mountains

Our Perspectives unit in Year 9 (Stage 5) includes an examination of war poetry, though I have extended this to include perspectives of violence and war. We have been studying both song lyrics and music videos to explore the different ideas and themes of musicians, as well as discuss our own understanding of how our perspectives have been shaped. Students have shared a sophisticated awareness of the impact of social context and personal experience in recognising their own views. Despite being a small class, we have successfully collaborated throughout the process of writing a triple TEEEL paragraph.

Dire Straits released ‘Brothers in Arms’ in 1985, although it was written in the aftermath of the ten week long Falklands War in 1982. The 5 minute long music video uses rotoscoping, a form of animation which involves tracing over film footage frame-by-frame. Nowadays, this is more commonly achieved by computer. Images of the band performing the song fade into a symbolic narrative of soldiers at war.
Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.32.03 pm

Someday you’ll return to

Your valleys and your farms

We began our analysis by reading the lyrics and sharing our thoughts about meaning. We then watched the music video. This enhanced our understanding, before returning to the lyrics to annotate different language features.

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.35.06 pmScreen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.34.24 pmdifferent shots of soldiers in battle

We combined our ideas for both texts in a venn diagram represented by this image:

venn diagram

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.36.00 pmScreen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.36.13 pmcresting white water morphs into skulls

Next, we revisited the question and identified the key terms before suggesting synonyms. This should help avoid repetition which can limit the depth of your argument:

key term synonyms

 Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.37.31 pmlone sailboat in a storm

There’s so many different worlds

So many different suns

And we have just one world

But we live in different ones

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.38.10 pmbreaking free from conformist attitudes - think for yourselves

English Triple TEEEL ParagraphWe also reviewed our understanding of an analytical paragraph using the Triple TEEL format.

 Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.40.03 pm swapping guns for instruments
Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.41.45 pm'We are fools to make war on our brothers in arms'

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 12.42.33 pm

Before drafting and editing our final paragraph:

edited TEEEL paragraph

Related material (perhaps only sections are suitable for Stage 5) is the ABC TV documentary titled The Crater: a Vietnam Story that shares Australian and Vietnamese veteran’s perspectives. It also details the long struggle to recover the bodies of soldiers buried in a bomb crater.

‘Brothers in Arms’ was the soundtrack for the closing sequence of the second series finale of award winning American television series The West Wing. This episode was titled ‘Two Cathedrals’ and represents President Jed Bartlet’s struggle to make difficult decisions that benefit the country but come at personal cost. Snuffy Waldron, musical director for The West Wing explains these ideas in a podcast from the BBC’s Soul Music which went to air in September 2012.

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