Crafting for Victory

Teachers' notes, activities and linked resources

This resource is part of a collection of cross-curricular resources intended to promote archival material relating to the First World War for use in Arts activities and as part of Arts Award.

Curriculum links:

KS2-3 Arts Award - To identify and experience a range of art forms
KS2 Art and Design – Art and design techniques; experimentation
KS3 Art and Design – To analyse and evaluate their own work and the work of others; The history of art, craft, design and architecture
KS2-3 History – Local History Study

Aims of resource:

  • To highlight the importance of traditional crafts during the war effort and the role of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp
  • To inspire children and young people to explore these themes through arts and craft activities
  • To encourage the use of First World War archival material in Arts and Arts Award activities.

Learning objectives:

Knowledge of home-made crafts during WW1
Understanding of how women and children contributed towards the war effort
Skills to analyse historical sources, explore and creatively interpret the material themselves

Discussion ideas:

  • How were clothing and accessories used to differentiate people’s roles in the First World War?
  • What did the WAAC do to help with the war effort?
  • How did the First World War affect children at school?
  • What did children get involved in to help the war effort?
  • Are craft skills used today in the same way they were during the war?
  • Why did knitting become such an important craft during wartime?
  • What other traditional skills became important during WW1?

Activity ideas:

  • Read the extract from Normanton Common Provided School (Boys Department) log book indicating how children and young people helped with the war effort by sewing cushions and knitting belts, hats and scarves.

  • Explore what impact the First World War had on children's lives - these related resources on My Learning and the links at the bottom of the page may help in your research.

Creative responses:
  • Take photographs of collections of trinkets / jewellery / things that are important to you. Could be done individually or each member of the class could photograph one item that is important to them and these could be grouped together to create a collective class ‘trinket box’

  • Identify a handmade garment or item at home or school and think about how it has been constructed – try to draw and label each separate piece to show how the item has been constructed
Other arts activities:
  • Create jewellery using old buttons
  • Hand sewing applique – making armbands / badges for a cause that is important to you
  • Knit/sew/crochet a giant ‘remembrance’ scarf or cushion – use scrap fabric as stuffing

View other relevant My Learning resources or s croll down for a list of related links and resources on this topic.

Document icon Learning article provided by: West Yorkshire Archive Service |  Arts Award Supporter | 
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