Life for women changed dramatically during the First World War because so many men were away fighting. Many women took paid jobs outside the home for the first time. By 1918 there were five million women working in Britain. The money they earned contributed to the family's budget and earning money made working women more independent. Thousands of women answered the call to work in munitions factories making bombs and missiles. Many women were ready to do the work, not only to help the war effort but also because it was better paid than most women's jobs. By the end of World War One around 20,000 Women’s Land Army volunteers had filled the gaps left by men, alongside some 250,000 other women working as labourers on the land. Find out what life was like for many when Vicky Johnson has a cup of tea and a chat with her neighbour, Albert, who reads her a postcard sent from his wife in the country.
Children could make a list of jobs women took on during World War One and go on to draw comic strips showing a woman's day in the war years. You could ask pupils to research from books and websites where the main industries were located in Britain during World War One. They could add sketches around the map to illustrate the roles women played in keeping these industries going in wartime. Each sketch could be linked by a thread to a location on the map. Children could study examples of wartime posters that encouraged women to take on work outside the home. They could produce their own versions of these posters or design their own to encourage the mothers and sisters of World War One Britain to go out to work.