Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by York Museums Trust.

This resource uses an original artefact to help pupils to understand the idea of morale and activities undertaken on the Home Front to respond to the difficult experiences undergone by soldiers.

Curriculum Links

  • KS3 Citizenship – Dealing with conflict, types of conflict
  • KS2 History: Local history study
  • KS3 History: WW1, local history study

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of the type of gifts sent to soldiers in WW1 and why they were sent
  • Understanding of the importance of morale in WW1 and the sort of activities undertaken to encourage servicemen
  • Skills to analyse historical artefacts as sources 

Discussion Ideas

  • You could start by asking pupils what they think is in the tin and why the soldiers might have liked the tin itself.
  • What do you think it was like for serving soldiers and their families when they had to spend Christmas apart?
  • How might soldiers have felt when they received the chocolate tin?
  • Why do you think a chocolate tin was chosen as a present for York soldiers?Why do you think the tin is decorated with flags?
  • Which countries are these flags from and what role did they play in WW1?
  • Look at the wording on the tin: Why do you think the list of names of important people was used on the tin?
  • What do you think the phrase ‘serving their King and Country’ means? Do you think it might have extra meaning in wartime?

Activity Ideas

Research: Children could use the internet to search for other examples of gifts - either personal or from groups/organisations sent to soldiers in WW1. They could start off by looking at another My Learning resource on Christmas gifts for troops.
Design a gift-giving project: 
Children could come up with ideas of different groups of people - either historical or current - they feel could be helped in some way by being sent a gift. 
Points to think about might be:

  • In what ways would these people benefit from gifts?
  • What sort of presents would you send them?
  • What type of packaging would you use?
  • Would you decorate the packaging?
  • How would the money to buy and send the gifts be raised? 
  • What methods would they use to publicise the project (eg. posters, online presence, events)? 

Make a ‘Box of Memories’:
Use this British Postal Museum & Archive downloadable worksheet to create a box of memories, inspired by real WW1 soldiers’ memory boxes.