Lest We Forget: How to Learn About the First World War in the Primary Classroom



The official start of the First World War recently saw its 100 year anniversary, and with the 11th November fast approaching (Remembrance Day) it's an excellent time of year to introduce a scheme of work based on the Great War in the primary classroom.

Teaching primary children about the World Wars can occasionally cause controversy; and some suggest that it's not a good choice of topic to be teaching students of such a young age. However, if approached in the right way, it's a fascinating historical topic with often resonates deeply with children of all ages.



Great World War One Resources

When teaching younger children about war, it's important to steer clear of the brutality and frightening side of it, whilst also acknowledging the seriousness of the event.

Teach your students about important figures in the war, such as Lord Kitchener, Edith Cavell and Sergeant Stubby (children will love to hear about this plucky dog who fought in the war!), and focus on exploring what life was like in that time, both for soldiers and for those back home.

Children tend to be visual learners, so make sure to decorate the classroom walls with plenty of school posters. Allowing your class to listen to recordings of air-raid sirens will also really help to bring the event to life for them. If you've been blessed with a class that love to act, then ask your students to recreate scenes from the war, getting into character as soldiers in the trenches, or mothers at home, working out rations for the week.

Road to War Low Res Timeline med_res WWI Powers Map mid_res

Free Resources at Classroom Capers

If you're looking for some great primary resources to use in the classroom, then visit the Classroom Capers site. We've got a wide range of free photos, posters and even a map, to help bring things to life for younger learners.
Click here to view all Classroom Capers Free Resources.

For KS2 students, we also have a remarkable educational school poster, detailing all the major events of the Great War. The poster is an exclusive collaboration between Classroom Capers and the highly regarded Britain at War magazine.