Lesson Spotlight: W.W.1 Western Front

In this lesson, we took a look at life on the Western Front! Another history video means a return to my love/hate relationship with ‘Pixton’. Don’t get me wrong, the software does what it says it will do. The backgrounds are what are most lacking for me but maybe I’m alone in that thought! Anyways, on to the lesson…

The Lesson


W.A.L.T: Share the learning objective of the lesson with the group.

Direct Teaching: Explain the the next set of events that came in the First World War. Explain Germany’s invasion of Belgium and Britain’s entrance into the war. Explain how trench warfare worked.

Caption Writing: Provide the comic strip pieces showing events from the video. Write a sentence to explain what is happening at each point in the story of WW1. Use the video to help.

Trench War Simulation Game: Design and make a P.E simulation game that explains the main parts of Trench Warfare. Use the template to help create a game.

How Did It Go?

I have to say, I am really happy with how the World War One set of video lessons is going. Despite my earlier moaning about Pixton, it is doing it’s job nicely. It’s a very different style of video to the other subject areas I’ve been creating for. It definitely has a more ‘lighthearted’ feel to it that the others. I kind of struggled with this a bit, as I am a firm believer in the powerful lesson of empathy to be learned from history. It’s an essential element of the history curriculum really. In isolation, these videos do not do the horrors of W.W.1 justice. However, when explored in conjunction with drama activities, art activities and literacy activities it they give a more complete picture. I feel as though the lesson met its objectives. It served its purpose for sure.

The simulation game I have mixed feelings about. The skills the class used to design and make these games were higher order for sure but I’m not sure the activity really achieved much in terms of building empathy with people from history. I accept that not every lesson can do this but I feel as though the grueling life in the trenches should. With this in mind, I am going to change my original plans for the next lesson and put a more ‘life in the trenches’ spin on it to try build some of that empathy. Take a look at some of the game ideas down below!

What would I change?

I think this lesson is another one of those ‘best I can do’ given the restrictions of distant learning. If I was to do this lesson again, I think I would switch the order of the lessons. To set up the ’empathy’ based lesson before this one. To bring more voices from the trenches or from World War 1 into the lessons to counter the ‘lighthearted’ nature of the videos. Other than that, not a bad lesson!

Click Here For Lesson Resources and Plans

Rang Maher