Designing WW1 military uniforms

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

Aim of resource:

To encourage the use of First World War archival material in Arts and Arts Award activities.

Discussion ideas:

  • Why do you think scarlet was chosen for British Army uniforms?
  • What words would you associate with the colour scarlet?
  • Why was scarlet changed to khaki?
  • How does First World War army uniform differ from uniform worn by modern soldiers?
  • What changes do you think have been made and why? 

Activity ideas

  • Create a montage of military uniforms, either from paper images or on a computer using images from online research. Label each image, writing down: how each feature may be useful on the battlefield; how you think the uniform could be improved; and how it differs from modern military uniforms.
  • Design army uniforms for First World War and modern soldiers. Write down why you have chosen particular features (eg. Colour, protective helmets, type of fabric) and why some things might be the same or different. These could be created on paper, as cut-outs, or using scraps of fabric. Produce colour wheels of the various shades used in different military uniforms.

  • Textiles: Students could try weaving small pieces of fabric to learn how fabrics are manufactured. This resource could also be used as a starting point to investigate the construction of fabrics and garments or the dyeing and weaving processes.

  • Local History: Pupils could use this resource as a starting point for further investigation of the role of industries in their own local area in supporting the war effort.

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

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