WW1 - Jack's Bag
The mystery begins when Year 6 are given the task of sorting through Lost Property. During this chore, pupils come across something out of place: an old WW1 kitbag...
"A fabulous way to start a project that was engaging and interesting"
- Teacher Feedback
"We found that a lot of the children who are normally quiet in class spoke up with enthusiasm much more, when we were discussing the items found"
Nicola Chapman, Year 6 Teacher, Arunda Primary School
The day begins when Year 6 are given the task of sorting through Lost Property. During this chore, pupils come across something out of place: an old WW1 Kitbag. Pupils open the bag to discover that it is filled with the wartime belongings of a soldier called Private Jack Brigham. Following an online trail, pupils make contact with Jack’s grandson, Jim Brigham, and invite him to come and collect the bag. Jim explains that Jack suffered from shellshock after the war and died before he was born, he says he would love to know more about who his Grandpa really was…
Spurred on by this, pupils work with their teacher to explore Jack’s story and create presentations and short scenes to ‘introduce’ Jim to his grandpa. They also discover Jack’s unfinished war poems and complete them in their own words. The adventure ends when Jim comes to the school a few days later, gets to know his grandpa through pupils’ presentations, hears their war poetry and, ultimately, is presented with Jack’s lost bag.
The kitbag: At the heart of this adventure is the kitbag itself. This has been created by KIT’s designer Kirsty Harris and contains authentic replicas of WW1 artefacts such as a 1914 newspaper, a soldier’s cap, a gasmask, a biscuit tin (complete with ancient biscuits), cigarette cards, sign-up documents and a WW1 soldier’s handbook. Alongside these are Jack’s diary, letters from Jack’s family and Jack’s book of unfinished war poems. Year 6 and their teacher explore this narrative content, piecing together Jack’s story from the different sources (and learning about WW1 in the process).
Literacy: Writing rhyming & non-rhyming poetry, speaking & listening, reading comprehension, delivering presentations
History: World War 1 – life in the trenches & at home
Resources provided by KIT: 1 Actor, Lesson plans covering activities leading up to the visit, kitbag prop (left at the school for a minimum of 3 days).
Resources provided by school: Internet access, access to a phone, stationery.
"They were really intrigued by the items (and) they were so excited when we managed to organise the visit as there was a real purpose to their presentations.”
- Teacher Feedback