2014 marks 100 years since the start of World War I (WWI).
To mark the Centenary, the British Red Cross has created a suite of eight primary lesson plans which support a CBBC ‘Operation Ouch WWI special’ film.
The suite of session plans includes classroom activities and discussion ideas, linked to the film.
The lesson plans encourage pupils to understand, conceptualise and reflect on the impact of armed conflict from a humanitarian perspective.
Each 40 minute lesson plan is linked to a specific area of the curriculum for 9-11 year olds.
Background to learning
The First World War began in August 1914. Fighting ended by agreement - a truce or armistice - on 11 November 1918. The official end of the war didn't come until ‘The Treaty of Versailles’, which was signed in June 1919.
It is sometimes called World War I, or just shortened to WWI. Another name is the Great War - signifying what a massive upheaval it was and how many soldiers and countries were involved.
The sides opposing each other were:
the Entente powers, or Allies, including the UK and Commonwealth countries, France, Russia, Japan and later the US, and
the Central powers, including Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey, or more accurately the Ottoman empire.
It is estimated that around 10 million soldiers and 7 million civilians died. Around 20 million were wounded. Disease caused a large proportion of the deaths.
The Red Cross
Between 1914 and 1918 90,000 volunteers gave their time and skills to help the sick and wounded. The Red Cross did everything from nursing and air raid duty to searching for missing people and transporting the wounded. Learn more about the work of the Red Cross during WWI here: http://www.redcross.org.uk/About-us/Who-we-are/History-and-origin/First-World-War
Throughout the lessons, pupils will be creating artwork and poems and other pieces of work linked to WWI. Why not set up a display board now that children can add to through the coming weeks?
This means play truant, or evade, it’s most likely from the French word esquiver which means to escape, avoid.
This means conceal or disguise, derived from the French word Camoufler which means disguise.
This replaced the English word “keepsake” as the primary word for memento. The French soldiers gave the British soldiers presents when they fought together in the trenches and called those presents souvenirs.
Introduce the CBBC ‘Operation Ouch WWI special’ film.
Play the film.
Ask pupils what they have learnt from this lesson
Which part of the CBBC Operation Ouch film did they like the most?
How important is language in making yourself understood?
Why did French words come into the English language during the First World War?
How do shared words make people feel?
What other forms of communication can help you make yourself understood if you don’t speak the same language as others?
How might you feel if you couldn’t communicate with someone else?
The Red Cross emblem is an international symbol of neutrality and protection. The principal users of the emblem are the medical services of the armed forces of each country. Did pupils notice the use of the Red Cross Emblem anywhere in the film?
Learn more about the significance of the Red Cross with an assembly activity: http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Teaching-resources/Assembly-kits/The-red-cross-emblem
Ask pupils if they can think of different ways in which the English language is evolving – e.g. through language of text messages, social media and gaming.
Opportunities for Assessment
Speaking & Listening
What worked really well in my lesson?
What do I want to focus on to improve future lessons?