History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

How can we use Charlie Byrne’s diary to challenge misconceptions about the Western Front?

This enquiry is a great way of developing students’ understanding of what it was really like for ordinary soldiers in the trenches of World War One.

It challenges some of the common misconceptions that seem to have become widespread about trench warfare.

At the centre of the enquiry is the diary of soldier Charlie Byrne. He fought in a number of key conflicts on the Western Front before publishing his memoirs many years later.

Students engage with extracts from Byrne’s diary, using this as evidence to counter (and substantiate) misconceptions about trench life.

A recall activity helps students to consolidate their new knowledge, before students are tasked with writing a blog post with an accurate account of life on the Western Front.

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  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

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