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World War 1 Topic

Discussion in 'Primary' started by TheGazMan, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. TheGazMan

    TheGazMan New commenter

    I was wondering if any Year 5/6 teachers have ever taught World War 1 as a theme? My Autumn theme is this and it's not something I've taught before. I've scouted around google and found a few websites, including BBC schools. Has anyone any resources, websites, ideas etc they can recommend?
  2. I had to do a week on the first world war a good few years ago as part of a school celebration project. (I found it father difficult!). There is a good book which I can't at the moment remember what it is called however it is about a football match between the two sides and on Christmas day both sides came out of the trenches and played a game of football and there was peace over Christmas - might be a nice angle to go in with. Or there is Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo which is a lovely book and set in the first world war.
  3. just googled and the football book is called "the best Christmas present in the world" by Michael Morpurgo.
  4. FriedEggs

    FriedEggs New commenter

    Just finished doing the same with year 5 and 6 at my school. Really enjoyed it - as with any war, it's not all palatable, but you can work into it. Just avoid the obvious (poetry, millions dead), and focus on individual stories.

    We did it because we trying out 'experiential writing' with the class, where we wrote based around real experiences. We 'dug up' some artefacts in the older part of the school which appeared to come from the trenches (and were actually on loan from a museum). This gave us a fantastic opportunity to go 'off curriculum' and write to the head to persuade her to let us create a museum based around these objects.

    A lot of what followed was standard enquiry based history, using e.g. video and newspaper from the time - there is a lot of video around, e.g. Pathe newsreel, suprisingly.

    We also used some age appropriate story books to lead us into the topic. We went with 'One Boy's War', 'War Game' (the Channel 4 film as well as the book) and eventually 'War Horse' (in anticipation of the upcoming film). We used these texts to hang a lot of writing on as well as to develop the history side.

    The text side worked really well, especially the 'War Game' film. We borrowed some other resources from the museum including period newspapers (fascinating but quite hard to read), and reproduction recruitment posters (these were good).
    We did a lot of acting in role (following the 'Power of Reading' approaches to texts) and this led to writing in role. We also linked in to Art and even re-enacted some trench warfare on the field (the Christmas Truce, rather than a battle).

    If you want some more specific sights or even planning, I will dig them up.

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