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 starter activity Click to begin

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1  starter activity Click to begin
This is a government photo of life in the trenches. Watch the short film clip and make a note of all the things that were different according to soldiers who fought in them. Why are the two views different?

2 What was life really like in the trenches?
 Aims To find out about conditions in the trenches and why the government thought censorship was necessary

3 Study this cross-section for 2 mins.

4 What can you remember?


6 How were portrayals of life in the trenches back home and the reality of fighting different?

7 Exposure to the elements

8 Mud & water

9 Trench foot

10 Debilitating Injuries

11  Your task Read the sources your teacher gives you and answer these questions: How similar is the description of a trench in source 1 to the previous diagram? Read sources 2-4. Which source provides the most vivid and accurate account of trench warfare?

12  Plenary Go onto the BBC history website and have a go at the interactive task which your teacher shows you. The aim is to plan an attack on your enemy’s trenches using the weapons and soldiers available to you. You need to take into account any hazards you may face caused for example, by the weather or the strength of your opponents.

13 Letters home. What did soldiers write about in their letters home?
Life in the trenches Censorship

14  Your task Imagine you a re a British soldier writing home to a loved one back in ‘Blighty’. Write about the following things: Daily work Health Food Living conditions

15 Success criteria Satisfactory letter Good letter Outstanding
Mentions some not all of the following: daily work, health, food, living conditions Mentions all of the key categories, but some in more detail than others Mentions all four factors, but also draws on other evidence, e.g. from the video clip. Writes in the appropriate register.

16 Follow-up task your letter to a partner, who is a censor for the British government. Highlight in blue any information you would not allow to be sent. This was called ‘blue pencilling’ Insert a comment box explaining why you have blue-pencilled certain sections.

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