Scientists, inventors and engineers created new technology to help win the war. Skies were filled with stronger, quicker and more deadly aeroplanes. Britain’s largest navy was being seriously damaged by German U-boat torpedo attacks. Help came in the form of the hydrophone which could help to find out how far away submarines were. World War One saw the invention and use of tanks by the allied army. The British Mark I tank was used in September 1916. It could hold ten men and reached speeds of almost four miles per hour. Telephones were used in the trenches because they could pick up and send Morse code between units. Wireless (radio) was also used, but this was more important at sea to pass messages from ship to ship.
Discuss with the class the idea that these inventions were "saving lives". Children could create a display with pictures of technology used and developed during World War One. They could include a timeline of technology development. Which existed before World War One? How many emerged during the course of the fighting? The timeline allows pupils to gain a chronological understanding of the war and to see how the pace of technological development was increased by war. Children could transmit a Morse message, perhaps sending it across the playground using mirrors or torches. Pupils could make a simple telegraph system: a battery-powered electric circuit with a bulb or buzzer and a gap in the wires which can be bridged by tapping on a paper clip. Choose one of the inventions or weapons developed during World War One and write a fact sheet about it.