This resource is intended to enable students to understand the details and conditions in the trenches, and also to imagine the conditions from the point of view of the individual soldier. It is hoped that this will create empathy and engagement that will inform extended writing tasks in History, and in English help to assist with active reading and historical context in books such as ‘Private Peaceful’ and ‘The War Horse’ etc.
There are also sub questions which can be asked during the session, for example, 'What were the physical dangers faced by Tommy and his follow soldiers in the trenches?' and 'What dangers did the soldiers face that were not from the enemy?'
A possible learning outcome for students of both English and History could be to write the proposed ‘obituary’ mentioned in the main task.
An alternative/additional outcome could involve the students being set the following task: ‘You are a reporter for a local newspaper. Your editor has asked you to look through the diary and some history books to write an article about the horror of life in the trenches.’