History Lesson: World War 1- life in the trenches

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History Lesson: World War 1- Life in the trenches

  • develop an insight into life in the  trenches during World War One (1914 and 1918)

CLASS: 5th / 6th class


  • Then will be watching video about WW1 to arrest their attention e.g.

  • Collect Previous Related Knowledge- The children will make KWL charts on their tablets in their groups. Brief discussion: What do we want to know about the trenches?  

Task 1: Researching Life in the Trenches. The children will be given a list of websites . They will also be given history books. What were the trenches like? They could use iMindMapping to record their ideas on a separate tablet.

Task 2: Each group will be given an image teacher of the trench cross-section on a A4 page. The will be given the same image again but this time it will be cut randomly into ‘jigsaw’ pieces. The children will have to have to take a photo of the completed jigsaw on their tablet. They will also be given labels to label the parts. They can use the table to aid them.

Task 3:They could prepare a list of questions that they would ask a soldier in the trench by recording them on the tablet in their groups.  Then hot seat a solider from WW1 (to develop empathy) and they could audio record the response. Then they could put on VoiceOvers.  

Task 4:Visualising and drawing: Before the children write about a day in life of a soldier in English. They will write up a character description of the solider. i.e. visualising what he is wearing, what colour and length of hair he has etc. . The children could research pictures of the soldiers to aid them and then draw their solider.

Closure: The children will fill anything they learned on their KWL chart.

In English, The children will be researching a day in the life of a soldier in the trenches in WW1. They will be drafting, editing and re-writing a diary entry (done over a serious of lessons). The children will then write up the diary entry. They will then record themselves reading it using their tablets.

Extra task will be provided for early finishers


App: First World War –Kids history

Work on the geographical features of where the trenches were during war. They could label a map of Europe: http://www.neok12.com/diagram/World-War-I-01.htm. And they could use their atlas/GoogleMaps to fill in a blank map of Europe.



As well as developing ICT Skills , the following history skills will be developed....

  • Change and Continuity-develop an understanding of change and continuity by exploring similarities and differences.

  • Time and chronology- Putting WW1 on a timeline.

  • Empathy- imagine what it was like to live in past.

  • Using evidence- examine pictures and stories from the past in their groups.

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