Private Peaceful tells the story of two brothers and the exuberance and pain of their teenage love for the same girl, the pressures of their feudal family life, the horrors and folly of war and the ultimate price of courage and cowardice.
It is a gritty and realistic tale of love and death set in the fields of Devon and the First World War battlefields of Flanders, giving us a heartbreaking glimpse of the way we once lived – and still die.
Designed for students of English and history ages 11-14, the resource focuses on the film’s representation of war, and how the novel has been adapted to film. Offering a range of activities based on the film and original interviews with author Michael Morpurgo and screenwriter Simon Reade, these materials provide students with engaging ways into understanding this representation of the First World War. As well as reflecting on the style and purpose of this adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel, students are invited to consider how useful the film text is in understanding the period in history. English activities develop students’ skills of close reading and critical analysis whilst the history tasks introduce students to concepts of historical enquiry and authenticity.