Teaching Exchange

Teaching the Great War Through Peace

Contributed by Troy Paddock, Southern Connecticut State University

In November 2011,Troy Paddock and Catherine Shortell, academic staff at Southern Connecticut State University published an article exploring ways to teach a particular episode of the First World War to American High School students. Paddock acknowledges that the Great War is much more ‘present’ in Britain compared to American society and culture. However, the article may be of interest to UK teachers. + Read the full post…

Researching a local war memorial in 5 lessons (KS3)

Contributed by Ruth Cavender, Learning Officer, War Memorials Trust

Local war memorials offer a fantastic focal point for thinking about the impact of the war on individual communities and the different ways in which the First World War was (and is) remembered. They also allow for a teaching of the war that is tailored to local needs. The War Memorial Trust has put together plans for 5 individual lessons, accompanied by helpsheets for teachers, for use with Key Stage 3 pupils. The lessons and materials can be used as they are or adapted to individual needs as required, and have been created with the current KS3 curriculum in mind. You can access the lesson plans and additional information on the Trust’s website.

Using The National Archives educational resources

Contributed by Andrew Payne, Head of Education & Outreach, The National Archives

The National Archives provide a number of excellent free educational resources related to the First World War that allow pupils of different ages to critically engage with source materials and consider some fundamental questions about the war. Suggested projects and exercises cover controversies as to the interpretation of the war, reasons for Britain to declare war, the trench experience, changing opinions on officers and generals, an exploration of the peace treaty of Versailles, and the changing face of remembrance.

Pupils researching pupils in the First World War

Contributed by Simon Kinder, Gresham’s School, Norfolk

At Gresham’s every pupil in Year 9 has to research a former pupil from the school who died in the First World War. The pupils research the press, old school magazines, our school archive and web resources to produce a piece for display. Here are the results from one class produced in 2012. From next year we plan to extend the research to look at survivors and those from the community of Holt. While Gresham pupils are lucky in that they can draw on the school archives, similar projects are possible in most local communities by using local archives or family papers. Below are examples of some recent outcomes of this research project.

+ Read the full post…

Working with drafts of Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est”

Contributed by Rachel Yarrow, Abingdon School, Oxfordshire

This is an exercise that encourages students to think about the creative process, editing and the development of a text. It requires them to think about changes made and reasons for these changes, and at the same time prompts them to think about the conditions of gas warfare that Owen writes about. Depending on pupils’ ability, this will work for year 9 or potentially year 8. The worksheet includes images of the drafts, courtesy of the First World War Poetry Digital Archive.

Dulce et Decorum drafts lesson