History KS1 / KS2: I is for In Flanders Fields

Newsreel, photographs and commentary about Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian field surgeon who served on the Western Front.

He wrote a famous poem, ‘In Flanders Fields’, on the death of a comrade.

Extracts of the poem are read, over footage showing aerial views of war graves today and images of death and burial during the war.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Key Stage 1

Ask pupils to list special days in the year when we remember specific people.

These might include birthdays, mothers’ and fathers’ days, some festival days and other anniversaries.

Explain that on November 11th, people wear poppies to remember soldiers hurt or killed in war.

Pupils could look for and photograph local war memorials and plaques.

Key Stage 2

Pupils could read together the full text of McCrae’s poem.

Why do they think it is still so well-known today? What do they think the message of the poem is?

The children could go on to compile a digital slideshow of images from a range of sources to illustrate a poem of their own choice by another poet of the First World War.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching History at primary school ages for Key Stages 1 and 2, or First and Second Level.

More from the series WW1 A to Z

H is for Home Front
J is for Jutland Jack
K is for Keep The Home Fires Burning