Shortly after my kids were born the movie War Horse came out. Being a fan of horses, and my husband being a fan of war movies, we went to go see it. We knew pretty much nothing about it going in, and in my post-baby hormone mess sobbed as the events of the movie unfolded. When I first started our book and a movie plan, I found out War Horse was based on a book and I mentally said, “I will never have a War Horse book club, because I cannot handle watching that movie again, and I’m sure the book will be that much worse.”
You know the saying, man makes plans and God laughs. I’m sure God was having a great laugh that day I said that.
I picked our reading assignments for the year to more or less line up with our history lessons at the time. I skipped any assigned books for World War 1 because all of the books I knew of were just too much, and so horridly depressing I didn’t want to read them. Instead I planned to skip ahead to the Roaring 20s and read The Great Gatsby. I don’t particularly like the book, but I think it’s useful to read.
But, my kids all rebelled. No, seriously. They all came up with many reasons why they shouldn’t read the book and all came up with new books to read. I lost that argument and Batman ended up reading War Horse.
Like I said, God was laughing his head off.
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War Horse book club
I refused to read the book, so Batman reported to me just what he learned from the book, AND why he thought it was useful to read.
That was their assignment since they’d all rebelled. They had to write a paper arguing for assigning their chosen book.
If you want to have an official discussion, check out these War Horse book clubs I found online:
- War Horse Questions from Schmoop– this is a lighter guided discussion
- Illinois War Horse Teacher Resources– I love when I find a state that has put together a resource for their students, I know it’s going to be a decent study guide
- Scholastic book club questions– The site lists them as Scholastic questions, but I wasn’t able to find them on Scholastic’s site
Side note, an interesting comparison might be to compare War Horse to Black Beauty, they both have a similar point of view.
War Horse snacks
I told Batman under no circumstances was I going to watch that movie again. He could go upstairs and watch it on his own, but I wasn’t going to pay to watch it, and I wasn’t going to subject myself to it again.
You may be rolling your eyes at me, but I truly hated that movie.
We compromised with another World War 1 movie, Sergeant York. Pretty much the only similarities between the two works was the setting of World War 1, and the Sergeant York movie focuses fairly equally on his life before the war, and his life during the war.
We watched this movie right around when we watched All Quiet on the Western Front, so I’ve got some of their snacks mixed up. They both have essentially the same ideas both being during World War 1.
- shovels- any soldier will have to dig a lot, and so of course we created shovels using a double stuffed oreo and pretzel stick
- grenade- we watched this during fall when the grocery store has loads of caramel apples, which I love, another options is to stick a pretzel stick in a marshmallow. At this time grenades were completely different from how we think of them now
- artillery shells- whoppers
- rations- a meal most everyone but me likes, hamburger hash (I can’t find a link to the recipe I saved years ago)
- trenches- while it might be more accurate to make chocolate cake and dig out portions, we decided to go for tunnel shapes with the Little Debbie Nutty Buddy (I always have to look up the official name)
- Alcohol- sprite (because let’s face it, soldiers always have alcohol
- Coffee- Dr Pepper, or it could be Coke (from everything I’ve read soldiers lived on coffee and alcohol)
That’s our War Horse movie night, where I refused to watch the actual War Horse movie.
More World War 1 lesson ideas
“DSC00400” by Moodycamera Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
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