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Can we tell what British Indian soldiers were really thinking and feeling on the Western Front?

Learning objective; to infer how people in a past period might have been feeling from analysis of original source material.

Learning outcomes pupils will;

  • Have speculated about how British Indian soldiers might have felt and thought on the Western front in 1914 and 1915

  • Analysed soldiers letters for particular thoughts and feelings at particular times

  • Revised their original inferences about how the soldiers might have felt and thought following analysis of their letters

  • Participated in debate about why it is difficult to tell what British Indian soldiers really felt and thought during the First World War.

This lesson could contribute to teaching about British Values where pupils are required to learn about mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. Its methodology also supports the aims of character education in considering the role of the ethics of soldiers from differing cultural backgrounds in determining their attitudes through pedagogy that encourages autonomy and reflection.  This lesson also supports the teaching of citizenship, in particular “to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.”

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