20) Packing Presents
Buying gifts can be difficult, but sending something to your family member who is on the front line could mean all the difference. Discuss what soldiers had provided to them by the army and what might make a suitable gift. Link to the needs other people have today and consider sending a real parcel to those in need via one of the many shoebox appeals.
During the First World War, all armies went to extraordinary lengths to see what the other side was doing and this often means getting high-up. Aircraft and balloons were used to take photos of the enemy trenches and their movements. Explore this with your class by using a cheap sports camera (See uked.chat/ww1camera £20 on Amazon) or an old mobile phone to take images high above the ground. The device can be mounted to a helium balloon tethered to the ground by a kite string. Use the video function so the camera doesn’t need any human control while in the air.
Create an enemy trench system using mymaps.google.com and the drawing line tool. Copy this for each group of pupils, who will attempt to place their own trenches, based on their knowledge and the terrain, in the best possible positions. Discuss why choices were made and compare between groups.
Use Minecraft or the free version at minetest.net to create trench systems, no man’s land and the towns and villages behind the lines. Your pupils should use their knowledge of the war to recreate an accurate representation. Your pupils can think about what infrastructure would be needed to support the troops on the front lines, such as air-strips for aeroplanes, buildings for HQs and hospitals for the sick and injured.
24) First Aid
While battlefield medicine may be a little advanced, use the opportunity to cover elements of the science healthy living part of the curriculum and learn some basic first aid from your school first-aider, or your friendly neighbourhood health professional.
Is was reported at the time that the large artillery guns used during the First World War could be heard in England. Yet, technically this wouldn’t be ‘at the time’ as sound travels at around 330 metres per second in air. Ask your pupils to explore this idea by observing a loud event (you are probably spoilt for choice in most schools!) and noting the difference in time between what is seen and what is heard. A PE starting pistol or musical cymbals crashing are two possibilities. Next, calculate the possible distance between the guns in northern France and Belgium and the south coast of England. How long would the sounds take to arrive?
Photos are an important way in which we view the war. Ask your pupils to study photos from the First World War use your camera to recreate scenes of trench life and images from the home front using the sepia or black and white setting. Discuss how photos can be used as propaganda and how photos can be staged. Use this as the basis to explore current e-safety issues and the notion of fake news.