PS/IS 686 | Brooklyn, NY

Grade 8 Humanities: Week of 3/5/2018 In The Trenches


The last living veteran of WW1 was Florence Green. Florence Green was a British woman who served in the Allied armed forces, and who died at age 110 on February 4th, 2012

Dear Families,

We  have left behind the horrors of The Jungle only to discover the horrors of The Great War! World War 1 changed American life in ways that still profoundly affect us today, and an examination of those effects continues to be revelatory. From the common expression many of us use, “over the top,” (adopted from trench warfare) to the dilemma of every new technology eventually becoming just another weapon, we see how the modernity of the 20th Century ushered in a new way of life that was a turning point.

Our upcoming unit, The Jazz Age, could be interpreted as a direct rebuke of the devastation of the war. The excess and excessive consumption in The Great Gatsby seems like proof. It is notable that while the characters in Sinclair’s The Jungle did not have enough money and things, our protagonists in Fitzgerald’s Gatsby have too much. The result is that the texts have a startling sameness as we witness characters like Tom and Daisy Buchanan sigh and yawn through a life more dead than alive.


Ms. Sacilotto


Some class notes . . .


Exploring Wilson’s Fourteen Points . . .


Reading war poetry and using the “Blackout Method” to create our own . . .

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke

If I should die, think only this of me:
  That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.  There shall be
  In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
  Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
  Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
  A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
  And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Screenshot 2018-03-04 at 4.38.28 PM

I die in some corner of a foreign field

Forever be dust

Us who gave love

Her body, breathing

Ash by the rivers

By home.

His heart, mind, no less

Give back the sights and sounds; dreams

as day ends; hearts heave.





“The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.” — Woodrow Wilson