WWI Education Resources for Teachers
We hope that the content of our greatwar.co.uk website will offer teachers and students a range of useful information for study on First World War topics, that it will help to point you in the right direction for further study and will show you photographs, locations and visitors' information for making visits to the battlefields of the Western Front in Belgium and France.
The content and photographs on our website are our copyright (unless otherwise stated), nevertheless we are happy for teachers and students to use text and images for written work in projects, presentations and so forth. We do request that they are not directly reproduced in a website format.
The information given below comprises a list of organizations with WW1 related education programmes, websites of good reputation and school battlefield tour travel companies. The list is intended to provide helpful pointers for teachers looking for resources for personal experiences of the First World War, the 1914-1918 Home Front, the meaning of “Remembrance”, planning for Remembrance Day assemblies and projects, and preparing for visits to see the battlefields of the Western Front.
We make suggestions in good faith, but if you have any cause to find a problem with any organization or resource we have suggested, please let us know.
- WW1 Related Education Programmes & Resources
- WW1 “Living History” Groups (Uniforms & Props)
- WW1 Battlefield Tour Companies for Students & School Groups
- Visiting the First World War Battlefields
- Selection of Related Reading for Young Readers
- WW1 Museums & Archives
- WW1 Remembrance Projects
- WW1 Virtual Online Exhibitions
WW1 Related Education Programmes & Resources
- Birdsong Play: Learning Resources Pack
- British Library: Resources for Teaching World War One
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission Education Resources
- Durham County Record Office: The Learning Zone
- Free History Resources for Schools
- Guards Regimental Museum, London
- Historic Newspapers: Free WW1 Newspaper Book Resource Pack
- Imperial War Museum Duxford: Learning
- Imperial War Museum London: Learning
- Maritime Archaeological Trust
- The Muddy Choir (Touring show): Resources for Teaching
- The National Archives, Kew
- National Army Museum, London
- National Maritime Museum, London
- National Railway Museum, York
- Never Such Innocence: Poetry & Art Competition, Free Resource Pack
- Poppy Image for Use by Schools
- Remembrance Image Project
- Royal Air Force Museum Hendon, London
- The Royal British Legion
- Spartacus Educational
- The Staffordshire Regiment Museum
- The Tank Museum, Bovington, Dorset
- Trench Brothers
- UK War Memorials Archive
- Virtual WW1 Exhibitions Online
- War Horse Educational Materials
- War Memorials Trust Learning Programme
- World War 1 Toolbox
Birdsong Play: Learning Resources Pack
An education pack including a variety of topics, lesson plans, resources and images. To download the pack as a pdf and for an email contact to ask for more information go to the Birdsong The Tour 2014 website:
Website: www.birdsongthetour.com Learning
British Library: Resources for Teaching World War One
A new website launched in January 2014 for teachers containing over 500 historical sources from across Europe. The British Library has worked with 11 partner institutions in 7 European countries to collate the sources. The site examines key themes and provides teachers' notes.
Website: www.bl.uk World War One
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has produced a wide variety of free online and downloadable documents, presentations, classroom resources, Easy Read leaflets and advice for teachers with relation to the subject of the study of the First World War, visits to the military cemeteries in the care of this organization and the theme of “Remembrance”.
Ideas for assemblies to commemorate Remembrance Day, aspects of commemorating those who have died in battle and free publications, DVDs and CDs available to schools and scouts from the Commission are included in a comprehensive section on the CWGC website devoted to education resources.
Main features of the CWGC's education section include web-based and sound archive resources:
- War Graves App
- Virtual Cemetery
- School Visits
For details about the CWGC and its education services visit the Learning and Resources section of the CWGC website at:
Website: www.cwgc.org Learning & Resources
Durham County Record Office offers an education service to teachers and students including visits to the Record Office, outreach visits to schools, workshops and resource packs from Key Stage 1 to 5 and web units.
Telephone: Educational Archivist on 0191-383 4210
Website: www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk Learning zone
Free History Resources for Schools
A website specifically designed to help teaching staff easily find a wide range of websites and organizations which offer free resources for teaching history. There is no subscription fee to search the site or request the resources you find. All the organizations featured on the website provide free resources to either be downloaded or sent by post. For further information see the website at:
The Guards Museum is very keen to encourage school visits and help with education resources for teachers and young people. For more information visit the website at:
Website: www.theguardsmuseum.com Schools & Education
Newspapers are a wonderful way to teach children about World War One, as each newspaper is filled with stories from eyewitnesses who were present at the time, making it a pleasurable way to aid learning and engage interest and imagination.
The World War One newspaper book can be used to discuss the changing nature of conflict, the cooperation between countries, the shift of alliances and the lasting impact of the war on national, ethnic, cultural and religious issues. To find out more, to download newspapers as pdf files or to request a free hard copy of the World War One Newspaper Book visit the website:
The Imperial War Museum Duxford provides a learning programme suitable for all ages. This includes workshops, illustrated talks, tours, handling sessions, role-play, talking with veterans and Special Days. These activities can be joined by organized group visits or informal self-directed tours on a visit to the museum.
Information on resources for teachers and educational visits to the museum is available at the Imperial War Museum Duxford website:
Website: www.duxford.iwm.org.uk Groups and Schools
The Education Department at the Imperial War Museum London (IWM) offers group visits, events, teaching programmes and film showings. In addition, there is a range of learning resources available to buy from the museum shop including education packs and books.
Website: www.iwm.org.uk Learning
The Muddy Choir (Touring show) Teaching Resources
The story of three young soldiers in the Durham Light Infantry whose love of music might be their ticket away from the front, or their downfall. To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War the show is touring to 11 venues and over 40 schools to November 2014.
Education resources have been produced to assist teachers:
Website: www.theatre-centre.co.uk Education Resources - The Muddy Choir
Maritime Archaeological Trust
The Maritime Archaeological Trust has an imaginative interactive, cross curricular activity for schools based around a virtual archaeological dive titled First World War - A Shipwreck Story. The kit includes: session plans, powerpoints, activity sheets and teacher's notes on a CD. A CD enables teaching staff to take students through a realistic process of archaeological and historical investigation. It is a hands-on and practical programme. For more information visit the page on the website at:
Website: www.maritimearchaeologicaltrust.org WW1 wrecks
The museum is closed for a major refurbishment. During this time the museum will be offering outreach programmes. For information see the website:
Website: www.national-army-museum.ac.uk Education
The National Archives at Kew brings history to life with a variety of resources both online and as taught sessions. A range of records held at the archive can be accessed for different periods in history from medieval to the present day. The First World War is covered within “Early 20th Century 1901-1918”. Themes for this period include: Liberal reforms, suffragettes and the First World War.
Resources are available for teachers and for students, with advice on how to visit the archive and use the resources, activities, Key Stage related topics and news bulletins. For information visit the Education section of the National Archives website at:
Website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk Education
The museum caters for group visits, guided tours and UK school groups. Information for schools and teachers, adult learning, families, community development, students and tutors can be found on the museum website at:
Website: www.nrm.co.uk Schools
The museum caters for student visits. Resources and activities available for students and teachers in relation to the role of railways in 1914-1918, ambulance trains, railwaymen Rolls of Honour, posters, art and much more are detailed on the museum's website:
Website: www.rmg.org.uk Resources
Never Such Innocence: Commemorating the Men & Women of the Great War
Never Such Innocence (NSI) is a registered charity (number 1156148) in England and Wales. NSI is a unique project aiming to ensure that young people are inspired, informed and included within the scope of the many and varied activities during the 2014-18 centenary. Never Such Innocence includes the following key projects:
- 2015-16 Poems & Artwork Competition
- Free resource pack to download
For more information and full contact details visit the website:
Poppy Image for Use by Schools
Photographer Carl Scott has offered this Remembrance Day image of a poppy and the In Flanders Fields poem by John McCrae. Carl will be pleased for schools to use this image with a credit to him as the photographer. It is available at the following webpage:
Remembrance Image Project
The aim of this project is to create a library of creative photographs documenting key sites associated with the First World War. Where possible the photos will be taken at a point in time close to the 100th anniversary of a battle action in the same location. By publishing the images it will create an archive for future generations to see and reflect on and discuss.
Free resources for students and community groups will be made available by the project. Students are encouraged to take photos and share their thoughts on a Twitter feed and facebook page.
For more information see the website:
Information about educational activities for individual visitors and groups of children at all levels is available from the museum website at:
Website: www.rafmuseum.org.uk London/Learning
The Royal British Legion produces a free learning pack to help and advise teachers and leaders of young people's organizations on how to introduce themes related to “ Remembrance” to young people. The pack supports learning in the National Curriculum from Key Stages 1 to 4. Posters are available and the pack can be downloaded.
There is also information about the scheme called Postcards to Veterans and advice on planning a battlefield tour.
For further information to to the Remembrance: Schools and Young People section of the Royal British Legion website at:
Website: www.britishlegion.org.uk Schools and Learning
Spartacus Educational is an online active learning resource produced by John Simkin, BA, MA, MPhil.
The encyclopaedia of the First World War on the Spartacus Educational website is created in sections, these being: Chronology, Outbreak of War, Allied Armed Forces, Central Powers, Important Battles, Technology, Political Leaders, British Home Front, Military Leaders, Trench War, The Soldiers and Major Offensives.
First World War Poetry Digital Archive
The website also includes the First World War Poetry Digital Archive. This is an online repository of more than 7,000 items for teaching, learning and research. They include text, images, audio and video.
For more information about the Digital Archive and its contents and this comprehensive resource visit the website.
Website: www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk First World War
The Staffordshire Regiment Museum offers a range of visits for schools and student groups. Visit the website for more information about curriculum-based visits for Remembrance Day and the First World War.
Website: www.staffordshireregimentmuseum.org Curriculum
The Tank Museum in Dorset is an established centre for learning with activities supporting the National Curriculum. The museum offers services for individuals and groups wanting to learn about the subjects of warfare, history and the Royal Armoured Corps regiments. There is an excellent walk-through trench experience. For information about the services for teachers, schools, students in higher education and access to the archive resources go to The Tank Museum website at:
Website: www.tankmuseum.org Learning & Research
HMDT Music is an independent music charity which has set up a project for primary schools called Trench Brothers. It commemorates the achievements and contributions of ethnic minority forces in the First World War. Delivered in partnership with the National Army Museum and Little Angel Theatre, it offers artefacts and Costumed Interpreter sessions, puppet making workshops for students to make their own force of Trench Brother soldiers and a composition session setting students’ Letters Home to a given soldier to music. With access to an Education Zone, offering 90 lesson plans and activities in every subject mapped to the new curriculum, it culminates in interactive performances in each school of a new music theatre work.
To visit the Education Zone for information about the historical context, lessons and activities and an image gallery go to:
Website: www.hmdt.org.uk Trench Brothers Education Zone
To find out more and sign up your school go to the website or contact HMDT Music by phone.
Website: www.hmdt.org.uk Trench Brothers
Telephone: 020 8882 8825
TThe Imperial War Museum is compiling a list of over 60,000 war memorials in the United Kingdom.
You can search for a memorial and its location. The project is working to also compile a database of the names featured on the United Kingdom war memorials, which was started in conjuction with the Channel 4 programme “Lost Generation”.
Website: www.iwm.org.uk UK War Memorials Archive
Virtual WW1 Exhibitions Online
See our page for links to virtual exhibitions online, which will be useful for family history, battlefield visitors, researchers and students of World War One.
War Horse Educational Materials
The story of War Horse, by Michael Morpurgo, has elements which can be used by teachers, students or researchers for English, History and Drama studies. The award winning War Horse stage show offers free resources in the form of a downloadable Resource Pack and a Scheme of Work on its website. There is also an interactive map to find out about the role of horses in the First World War.
Website: www.warhorseonstage.com Education
The War Memorials Trust has developed a Learning Programme which aims to involve young people in the history behind many hundreds of war memorials located across the United Kingdom, and help them to preserve the memory of the people they commemorate. In so doing, the Trust intends to inspire a desire by the younger generation to continue its dedicated work in the care and preservation of these memorials.
The War Memorials Trust encourages young people to get involved and will offer every assistance to teachers and group leaders wishing to know more about how young volunteers can help and how the Trust's resources for learning can be used.
To find out more about the Learning Programme for Primary and Secondary age students and youth groups, visit the website at:
World War 1 Toolbox
Online resources for Key Stages 1 - 4 for history or cross-curricular lesson planning.
WW1 Living History Groups (Uniforms & Props)
The Great War Society is a non profit making organisation. It is a society based in the UK. It was founded in 1984 to provide an opportunity for practical research into the uniforms, weapons, equipment, training and everyday tasks of Great War soldiers, both of the Allied and Central powers.
The founders of Khaki Devil, Taff Gillingham and Kev Smith, are both collectors of uniforms and equipment, providing historical advice for a long list of film, television and theatre productions.
In addition, for those groups with a very limited budget they have also established a service specifically aimed at schools, amateur dramatic societies and community theatre. Khaki Devil can help to provide uniforms and props for a number of popular productions, such as Journey's End, Oh What a Lovely War and Private Peaceful.
For details see the Khaki Devil website.
Email: Contact Taff or Kevin at email@example.com
Telephone: + 44 (0) 1473 712 723
Fax: + 44 (0) 1473 716 363
Time Bandits: Bringing History to Life
Experienced Living History historical interpreters and reenactors in costume. Based in the North East of England the team offers sessions on WW1 themes for schools, museums or private groups.
See our page at:
For information about WW1 sessions email John Sadler or visit the website:
WW1 Battlefield Tour Companies for Students & School Groups
Our website provides a listing for a number of companies which arrange tours to the First World War battlefields of Belgium and France specifically for schools, students and youth groups.
We offer the listing in good faith, based on their reputation known to us and the information supplied by these companies, but if you wish to report any problems please let us know.
For our listing of tours for educational groups see our page at:
Visiting the First World War Battlefields
Our introductory page for visiting the battlefields will point you to our numerous pages across this website which contain photographs, descriptions, locations and more for the following:
- visiting a grave or memorial
- attending a ceremony, for example Last Post at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres
- accommodation, including hostels for groups
- tourist information
- battlefield remains
- The Western Front battlefields by region and what you can visit there
Go to our page at:
Selection of Related Reading for Young Readers
A selection of books and a facsimile documents pack are suggested here as suitable for young readers to introduce them to the subject and help them with projects.
The First World War (Usborne True Stories): In Association with the Imperial War Museum (hardcover)
by Ruth Brocklehurst and Henry Brook
World War I (Eyewitness Series) (paperback)
by Dorling Kindersley
Photographs and stories about the people and their experiences of the First World War. Published by Dorling Kindersley. Re-issue edition (1 July 2011).
The Frightful First World War (Horrible Histories) (paperback)
by Terry Deary, illustrated by Martin Brown
Highly recommended by young readers and adults too. Full of facts about the horrors and hardship of a terrible war, made memorable for young readers by the clever writing and illustrations.
The Trenches: A First World War Soldier, 1914-1918 (My Story Series) (paperback)
by Jim Eldridge
An account of a fictional British Army soldier and his experiences of the First World War.
Road to War - a First World War Girl's Diary 1916 - 1917 (My Story Series) (paperback)
by Valerie Wilding
An account of a fictional girl who joins the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and experiences the war from the perspective of a girl involved in the care of wounded servicemen and driving the ambulances.
One Boy's War (paperback)
by Lynn Huggins-Cooper, illustrated by Ian Benfold Haywood
The story of a sixteen year old boy who enlists in the British Army underage. His experience of war and death in the trenches of the Western Front is told movingly through his letters home to his mother.
Archie's War (paperback)
by Marcia Williams
Written and illustrated by Marcia Williams, this is an unusual and fascinating visual portrayal of a young boy living on the home front in London during the First World War. World events and family relationships are portrayed by Archie in his collection of scrapbook images.
Where the Poppies Now Grow (paperback)
by Hilary Robinson (author) and Martin Impey (illustrator)
Nominated for the 2015 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals 2015. A highly recommended book aimed at children 4-11 years. A book written in tribute to the many friends who went to war in 1914-18. The book is written in rhyme, in homage to the war poets, and offers a stepping stone into centenary commemorations for young children. Themes explored in the book include peace, friendship and resilience. The story follows childhood friends Ben and Ray throughout their wartime experience, as they both make the decision to serve their country. 36 pages.
The Christmas Truce: The Place Where Peace Was Found (paperback)
by Hilary Robinson (author) and Martin Impey (illustrator)
Finalist Educational Resources Book Award 2015, Shortlisted Sheffield Children's Book Award 2015. A sequel to the highly recommended book “Where the Poppies Now Grow”, this book follows the friendship of Ben and Ray as they take part in a few moments of peaceful friendship between the warring sides in a Christmas truce on the battlefield. Aimed at children 4-11 years. This is a book written in tribute to the many friends who went to war in 1914-18. 36 pages.
World War 1 - Memorabilia Pack
Good quality facsimile documents. The pack includes a leaflet for Joining the Ranks, a Kitchener postcard, medical report, ID card and recruitment cards.
WW1 Museums and Archives
For information and links to museums which have collections, battle remains or archives with a focus on the First World War, in the United Kingdom, on the Western Front battlefields and around the world, see our page at:
WW1 Remembrance Projects
See our page listing a wide variety of projects which cover the fighting and the home front. These projects vary in scope and content, some are local, others are national. Many are carried out by volunteers, and some have received funding during the First World War centenary so they can carry out important educational work. They are valuable resources for the stories of men, women and children's lives in WW1.
Virtual Online Exhibitions
See our page listing online exhibitions for First World War topic which will be helpful for teachers and students to explore.
Contact us at greatwar.co.uk
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