A First World War scheme of work – very early sketch of ideas

With this being the 100th anniversary of the war I’ve decided that I’m going to redo our First World War scheme of work. It needs to be more challenging and engaging and I feel inspired by the coverage in the media.

Below is a very early plan. If you read this blog I’d hugely appreciate your thoughts. Have I missed something? Is it in a stupid order? Do I need longer on anything? Any feedback gratefully received!

As you’ll quickly tell it’s VERY much note form at the moment so do take that into account.

WW1 scheme of work

Lesson 1: Why are people in Avonmouth digging up horseshoes in their gardens?
Link in with Avonmouth horse depot – local history hook
One Bristol man’s story from the front – narrative history
End on how did we get here. Use this as hook for causality
Will need simple narrative of war with numbers dead and injured. Macro and micro history

Lesson 2: Marxist interpretation – Imperialism
Rise of empire
Needs to cover Britain. Russia, Germany, etc.
End of splendid isolationism
Maybe alliance system here but not sure.

Lesson 3: Fischer interpretation – Germany
New power
Naval arms race

Lesson 4: Clarke interpretation – Serbia
Assassination of FF
Needs more here

Lesson 5&6: Assessment
Something about which interpretation is most accurate. Combining causality and interpretation.
Essay but with something more?

Lesson 7: Was Wilfred Owen correct about life at the front? (I want to use Ivor Gurney if I can find correct poem as more locally relevant)
Life during WW1 on the front.
Source based lesson. Something on source handling. Bit of sly prep for GCSE
Breadth lesson building on themes in lesson 1.

Lesson 8: lions led by donkeys? Needs full enquiry question.
Haig and Somme
Use Blackadder v funeral footage. Chance to question Blackadder a la Gove.
Depth lesson on one battle

Lesson 9: Did life improve at home during WW1? (Needs better enquiry)
DORA, conscription etc
Role of women

Shared from Google Keep

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5 Responses to A First World War scheme of work – very early sketch of ideas

  1. Dean Crumpton says:

    Hi Richard

    How you doing? Your scheme looks great. Love the way you work in the local history, the interpretations as per the current debate, and the lions led by donkeys? bit. There is a decent lesson on the TES resources website on this using the BBC WWI site that I’ve used. I will send you the PowerPoint I used if you like.


    Sent from my iPad


  2. Susan L-W says:

    I’ll be really interested to see how you get on with this as am currently finalising plans for a joint First World War scheme of work with our English department. Love the idea of your lessons on different interpretations of causes. I’d thought this Ivor Gurney poem would be good on life at the front but might use Owen as well.


    Written in February 1917.

    Pain, pain continual, pain unending;
    Hard even to the roughest, but to those
    Hungry for beauty . . . . Not the wisest knows,
    Nor the most pitiful-hearted, what the wending
    Of one hour’s way meant. Grey monotony lending
    Weight to the grey skies, grey mud where goes
    An army of grey bedrenched scarecrows in rows
    Careless at last of cruellest Fate-sending.
    Seeing the pitiful eyes of men foredone,
    Or horses shot, too tired merely to stir,
    Dying in shell-holes both, slain by the mud.
    Men broken, shrieking even to hear a gun. –
    Till pain grinds down, or lethargy numbs her,
    The amazed heart cries angrily out on God.

  3. William says:

    I stumbled across your blog on Twitter and thought these links might help you in your planning.

    I love the idea of historical interpretation, which is why I wrote this post: http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/waberry/2014/01/19/epic-rap-battle-of-the-great-war-michael-gove-vs-the-war-poets/

    Ultimately, I’m having the the students complete this assignment to discuss historical interpretation:

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