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Features for Teachers: The First World War

Posted on 23/10/2015 in Features for Teachers

If you’re a teacher with a World War I project coming up, we’ve got some ideas and resources that might help! There are so many different aspects of the Great War that you could focus on, but here are just two that could help bring this period of history alive for your students.

The Reluctant Time Traveller is a fictional novel set in the Scottish borders in 1914, just before the onset of the First World War. Saul and Agnes have time-travelled from the twenty-first century and encounter the realities of life on what will soon be the home front. The book introduces children aged roughly 8 to 12 to the fascinating detail of life in 1914, but it does it through the eyes of modern children who your pupils can relate to and engage with.

Soldier’s Game offers a great way to engage football fans in your class with the Great War because it brings the two subjects together into a gripping fictional novel for 8 to 12 year olds. Ross’s primary school football team loses almost every week, but then he’s given his grandfather’s old football boots… As Ross learns more about his grandfather’s professional career at Heart of Midlothian Football club, he also finds out about the Hearts Battalion – players and fans alike who joined up together, and fought at the Battle of the Somme.

The book interweaves the present day life of an ordinary football-mad boy with a story of young men who volunteered for war. The author focuses on the friendships that develop as the lads play football and learn to become soldiers together, making this remarkable story enjoyable and really accessible for young people.

Activity Sheets

Packed full of ideas for class and individual activities, our activity sheets offer fresh approaches to bringing the First World War to life in your classroom.

Download an activity sheet based on The Reluctant Time Traveller

Download an activity sheet based on Soldier’s Game

Author Visits

Janis Mackay (author of The Reluctant Time Traveller) and James Killgore (author of Soldier’s Game) are both extremely experienced presenters and have done many engaging primary-school visits. Either of them can talk to your students confidently and knowledgably about the First World War, drawing on aspects that are featured in their books.

>> For more on arranging an author visit, go to our Author Events page.

>> For more on how we work with schools and teachers, visit our Schools and Teachers page.