Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by the Harris MuseumLancashire Infantry Museum and the Museum of Lancashire, with additional material provided by Leeds Library and Information Service.


Curriculum Links

  • KS3 and 4 Citizenship: Human Rights
  • KS3 Design and Technology: Cooking and Nutrition
  • KS3 History:  The First World War, Womens' Suffrage
  • KS3 PHSE : Healthy Lifestyles 

Discussion and Activity Ideas


  • Examine the health issues surrounding a reduced diet in WW1.
    - What effects did shortages have on the economy?
    - How might they have impacted on birth and mortality rates?
  • Discuss with students the different roles that women took in the First World War and the social impact this had on British society, both in the period leading up until the Second World War and today.
  • Many historians consider that the German Army surrendered because people were starving on the German Home Front. Discuss the morality of starving enemy civilians, using the links below to research Britain's blockade of Germany.
  • Think about the techniques that were used in propaganda posters to recruit volunteers to the Women's Land Army.

Design and Technology

  • Look at the ration allowance on the first page of this resource and in groups work out how you could make that last a week.
    - How would you divide it?
    - What meals would you make? 
    - Can you research any original WW1 recipes?
    - What other non-rationed ingredients could you add to make your rations stretch further?


  • Why was rationing was necessary in WW1? Were the reasons for its introduction the same as those behind rationing in WW2?
  • What happened to women who had done men's jobs, both during WW1 and afterwards?
    - Research the stories of famous (and ordinary) women who volunteered and worked for the War Effort during the First World War.
  • Play the interactive powerpoint quiz to find out which WW1 war job would have suited you best.
  • What is a blockade? Can you find other examples of occasions when blockades have been used in the last 50 years.
    - What methods were available to the British authorities in WW1 to deal with the German Blockade?


  • Do further research into the new roles undertaken by women in WW1, using the list from the previous page.
    - Discuss which of these jobs might have been considered more appropriate for women before and after WW1.
    - Imagine you are a young woman in WW1 and you have the choice between working in the Land Army or in a munitions factory - which would you choose and why?
  • Compare the food eaten by civilians with food eaten by soldiers in the trenches (use the supporting links in Resources to help you too).
    - Do you think men might have been healthier in the army than they were at home?
    - Why might army food have appealed to some less well-off men when they joined up? 
  • Try making this carrot soup recipe from WW1:
    - Do you think it might be more or less nutritious than a tinned soup today?
    - Why would the soup take less time to cook today?

How I would use this resource - KS3 History teacher

'Could be used as part of a look at the total impact of the war, i.e. the role of civilians. At KS3 and above this could then be considered with to what extent civilians should be targeted (starvation of civilians – does the end justify the means?)'.

This resource is part of a WW1 Centenary Project called Preston Remembers, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England. Other resources created:

Dick, Kerr's Ladies FC

Preston Takes in WW1 Belgian Refugees

WW1 Preston Free Buffet

WW1 Prisoners of War from Lancashire Regiments