World War 1 Soldier’s Tale

The First World War, told through social media as if it were today. Walter is a fictional but authentic character, created from a range of historical sources, checked and verified by independent historians. Everything that happens to him is firmly based in historical fact and contemporary accounts. Walter tells his life story for the duration of the First World War, in real-time – 100 years to the day from when it happened.

Resource Intentions
  1. To capture the imagination of 13-18 year olds using a medium they know, understand and use; that will make it feel more recent and more relevant;
  2. To provide teachers with a welcome starting point to get pupils thinking about and seeing World War 1 from different perspectives;
  3. Importantly, to research and provide relevant links to collections, archives, museums and other resources which can provide more detailed information;
  4. To encourage people to think about the issues of today i.e. the role of the Reserves, the effect of the Great War on communities, the role of women, the impact on Service families, the badly injured – but in a balanced way which includes lighter moments;
  5. To paint, through the differing opinions and experiences of our characters, a broad picture of life at the time: social, economic, political and cultural; and
  6. To reflect the impact of the conflict on other countries and nationalities including Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Areas of Learning

Environment and Society

History

Objective 1: Developing pupils as Individuals

Explore how history has affected their personal identity, culture and lifestyle.
(Personal Understanding)

Objective 2: Developing pupils as Contributors to Society

Investigate the impact of significant events/ideas of the 20th century on the world.
(Cultural Understanding)

Critically investigate and evaluate the power of the media in their representation of a significant historical event or individual.
(Media Awareness)

Learning for Life & Work

Local and Global Citizenship

Diversity and Inclusion

Investigate how and why conflict, including prejudice, stereotyping, sectarianism and racism may arise in the community. Investigate ways of managing conflict and promoting community relations, reconciliation.

Human Rights and Social Responsibility

Investigate local and global scenarios where human rights have been seriously infringed.

Language and Literacy

English with Media Education

Objective 1: Developing pupils as Individuals

Engage, through language, with their peers and with fictional and real-life characters and situations, to explore their own emotions and develop creative potential.
(Personal Understanding)

Explore and respond to others’ emotions as encountered in literature, the media, moving image and peer discussion.
(Mutual Understanding)

Develop the ability to use language (including body language) effectively in communicating with and relating to others.
(Mutual Understanding)

Explore the use of language and imagery in conveying and evoking a variety of powerful feelings.
(Spiritual Awareness)

Objective 2: Developing pupils as Contributors to Society

Explore how different cultures and beliefs are reflected in a range of communication methods.
(Cultural Understanding)

Explore the power of a range of communication techniques to inform, entertain, influence and persuade.
(Media Awareness)

Irish with Media Education

Objective 1: Developing pupils as Individuals

Engage, through language, with their peers and with fictional and real-life characters and situations, to explore their own emotions and develop creative potential.
(Personal Understanding)

Explore and respond to others’ emotions as encountered in literature, the media, moving image and peer discussion.
(Mutual Understanding)

Develop an understanding of the power of languages (including bi-lingualism and body language) to communicate and empathise with others.
(Mutual Understanding)

Explore the use of language and imagery in conveying and evoking a variety of powerful feelings.
(Spiritual Awareness)

Objective 2: Developing pupils as Contributors to Society

Explore the power of a range of communication techniques to inform, entertain, influence and persuade.
(Media Awareness)

The Arts

Art and Design

Objective 1: Developing pupils as Individuals

Investigate and respond to works of art that inspire and relate to their lives and experiences.
(Spiritual Awareness)

Objective 2: Developing pupils as Contributors to Society

Make an informed and critical response to a social/environmental issue.
(Citizenship)

Investigate and respond to the use of visual language, logos and catchphrases in advertising.
(Media Awareness)

Cross Curricular Learning

Using ICT

In order to make the material more relevant to pupils, the project embraces the use of social media, which inspires them to engage with the material, think more creatively and encourage discussion. Using social media means that World War 1 Soldier’s Tale is not just told through words – there are hundreds of images which can illustrate the story – photos from the frontline, postcards, newspaper clippings, maps and posters.

The project could inspire tasks that would support experiences in Desktop Publishing, Presentation, Researching, Working with Moving Images and Working with Images.

Communication

The resource provides pupils with the opportunity to develop their talking, reading and writing skills through independent learning and shared experience.

Opportunities to develop Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

Using the content pupils can analyse patterns and relationships in the information with which they have been provided. They also have the opportunity to investigate and discuss the historical perspectives of meaning, ideas and attitudes relevant to the period.

As they learn about the issues and ideas of the time, students are encouraged to understand and manage not only the information available to them but also their emotions and reactions.

Providing students with the means to research new information and ideas allows them scope to take the initiative and make choices as they steer their own course through the learning.

Possible Task?

Record a podcast from the frontline

What happened that day? What are the conditions like? What would you like to say to loved ones back home?

Areas of Learning

  • The Arts (Drama)
  • Language and Literacy (English/Irish with Media Education)

In partnership with The Nerve Centre