World War One

The children of East Dorset and their contribution to the war effort.

Find out about the fascinating history of children’s lives in East Dorset during the First World War, through pictures of original artefacts, documents, photos and oral history. The learning pack contains a range of suggested activities, including class discussion ideas and individual and group work, which support local history and heritage learning as well as cross-curricular links. It details the many areas in which children were expected to “do their bit” towards the war effort, through school, home life and extra-curricular activities, such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, until it became an intrinsic part of their everyday lives.

The pack offers opportunities to develop skills and learning experiences through debate, practical tasks and creativity and will prompt conversations regarding the day-to-day lives of children during the 1914-1918 conflict. We also aim to encourage deeper thought about how the lives of children and attitudes towards children have evolved through the years to today. You can choose to work your way through the whole learning pack or simply pick elements from it, depending on your needs. The related required templates, worksheets and role-play scenarios are also downloadable.


  • A local history study and a period after 1066.
  • Significant historical events, people and places in their locality.
  • Challenges of Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to present day.
  • Identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods.


Upper primary and lower secondary: KS2 and KS3.


By the end of this set of activities students will:

  • Have a better knowledge and understanding of what life was like for local people and children during the First World War.
  • Gain an awareness of where food comes from and the impact of the seasons on food supply and farm work.
  • Gain an understanding of Britain’s need for everyone to “do their bit” during the First World War and how this was the first “total war.”
  • Produce creative work and explore ideas.
  • Explore the use imagery and symbolism.
  • Participate in discussion in order to learn; elaborate and clearly explain ideas.
  • Develop an awareness of different writing styles and techniques for different audiences.
  • Develop listening skills.
  • Develop empathy and understanding through drama and role-play.


This learning pack can be used in conjunction with our WW1 – Children and the war effort resource activity box.