Imagine you are a soldier fighting in the First World War in 1915…
Your character could be in the trenches on the Western Front as: British, French or German soldier
a native conscript from one of the colonies in Africa or Asia a volunteer from a commonwealth ally like Canada or South Africa
Alternatively, your character could be:
a German or Russian soldier on the Eastern Front
a Turkish, British or Australian soldier in the Middle East
Your task is to write a letter home from the field of battle. This will be historical fiction, meaning that the character you choose will be invented, but the living and fighting conditions described in your letter will be based on historically accurate facts and details from your research. Remember to focus on the health conditions for soldiers in the war, both physically and mentally.
Things you need to consider:
Decide who you are writing to – wife, girlfriend, parents, grandparents? Remember to produce your letter in the proper way with a date and an address. Include your address at the front line and perhaps your regiment. Remember to end your letter properly. Describe as much as you can about life in the trenches and what you have been through. Don’t forget to describe everyday life, the health and safety problems of the trenches, and the community spirit of the soldiers you enlisted with. You might like to mention some weapons or ways of fighting (but you do not have to). You could also mention how you feel about your allies and your enemies. Don’t forget to use the language of the time – we should believe that your letter was really sent during the First World War. Censorship – every letter was read by an officer to make sure it did not say too much about names, locations or give anything away that would be useful to the enemy. Make sure your letter would get past the censor. You will be assessed on Criteria A (Knowing and Understanding) and Criteria B (Investigating). To get a good mark you will need to:
Show that you know what living in the trenches was really like. Include accurate, factual details and vocabulary terminology about what you would do all day, and the dangers you would face. Base your story on real situations and events. Research before you begin to write, and show evidence of proper research methods by creating an action plan and taking research notes from trustworthy sources. You will need to include a bibliography of sources used in your research, to prove that your story is historically based.
Criterion A : Knowing and Understanding
Students should be able to:
use humanities terminology in context
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of health risks and living conditions for soldiers in the First World War through developed descriptions, explanations and examples.
Achievement level Level descriptor 0 The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors given below. 1–2 The student: makes a limited attempt to use some relevant terminology demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of health risks and living conditions for soldiers in the First World War with simple descriptions and/or examples. 3–4 The student: uses terminology that is accurate and/or appropriate demonstrates knowledge and understanding of health risks and living conditions for soldiers in the First World War through adequate descriptions, explanations or examples. 5–6 The student: uses a range of terminology accurately and appropriately demonstrates good knowledge and understanding of health risks and living conditions for soldiers in the First World War through accurate descriptions, explanations and examples. 7–8 The student: uses a wide range of terminology accurately and appropriately demonstrates detailed knowledge and understanding of health risks and living conditions for soldiers in the First World War through developed and accurate descriptions, explanations and examples. COMMAND TERMS Use Apply knowledge or rules to put theory into practice. Demonstrate Prove or make clear by reasoning or evidence, illustrating with examples or practical application.