This topic was a lot of fun to educate the children with. It was nice to see them learning something that was relevant and meaningful.
I wasn’t really sure how to teach them this so I started by looking online. I went onto Pinterest and searched WW1; there were endless resources and printables for the children to do. The first things I printed were poppy pictures for them to paint to incorporate art - I managed to find a ‘we remember’ poster along with a cross and poppies. I then thought: how will I go about covering the other subjects and how I could include them?
My teenager suggested to me to bake a trench cake as she had made one before in secondary school. I went onto Google to have a look at the images to see what a trench cake was and found some fantastic cakes. I found the recipe for a simple fruit cake. The children loved making the fruit cake and getting their hands messy. Once the cake had baked and cooled we went about creating their trench cake. We dug out the inside of the cake to show the depth of the trenches. We then made sandbags out of marzipan and a ladder out of the trench was made with icing. My son loved this so much he created a little soldier out of marzipan and icing to put into the trenches.
This topic was stretched out over a week as to fill the children’s time. I noticed, online, that some people were making their own Christmas wreaths which I thought could be adopted to make a poppy wreath. So the children made poppies out of felt sheets (again, I found a template on Pinterest). Once they made their poppies we used a glue gun to attach them to the polystyrene wreath. The fun part was going on a leaf hunt. We went for a walk to the local park to find all different shades and types of leaves and twigs which we glued to the wreath.
During the topic we took a trip to The Museum of Somerset in Taunton as their military museum is fab. The children looked at the medals on display to get some medal inspiration for their own creations, I also got them to go around and write down 5 facts that they could find me within the military museum. While we were there they got to try on three different types of army attire which they loved doing – of course they gave me their best poses!
I looked online and found a few WW1 worksheets like a ‘fill in the missing vowels in the military related words’ and a WW1 word search. To end the week we looked at poetry about WW1. We printed ‘Flanders Field’ and talked about its meaning and how, because red poppies thrived in the broken ground of the battlefield, the writer included them in the poem as symbols of the fallen soldiers buried there.
All in all the children had a fantastic week and I really feel like we’ve achieved something. It’s the first time since home edding began in September that I’ve done an actual topic and the children loved it. All the completed work went on a topic board on the wall and they enjoyed being able to see their achievements for the week.