History KS2: W is for Women

Newsreel of women working on the land and in factories is accompanied by a commentary from schoolchildren with key facts about the war work done by British women.

There’s a particular focus on the munitions factories, which employed more than 1 million women in the war years.

A dramatic monologue introduces Ida Petch, 22, a munitions worker.

She describes conditions in the factory and the hazards of working with explosive substances.

These chemicals caused blisters.

They also left the women’s skin tinged with yellow, earning them the nickname ‘canary girls’.

Ida shares her feelings about her work.

She’s glad of the money and proud to help with the war effort.

She also relishes her new-found independence and swears to maintain it once peace comes.

This clip is from the series WW1 A to Z.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could find out about a range of jobs taken on by women on the Home Front during the war.

Using books and websites as sources, pupils could script their own dramatic monologues for a woman war worker.

The women could describe her day, her thoughts about her job and her hopes for the future.

Curriculum Notes

This short film might be useful for teaching history at Key Stage 2 / Second Level or above.

More from World War One A to Z

V is for Victory
X is for Xmas Truce
Y is for Your Country Needs You