The Battle of the Somme in 1916 was a tragic turning point in World War One for British and Empire forces. There are many on-going commemorations planned from 1 July to 18 November. And the British Legion, British Council and other organisations have prepared excellent tools to help teachers use this theme in the classroom. We’ve made a selection for you here.
These teaching resources about the Somme provided by the British Council and the Académie d’Amiens are bilingual, and therefore very useful for preparing EPI projects with your History-Geography colleagues for example.
There is an B1 audio recording with interactive comprehension activities about the Battle of the Somme in the Banque de ressources anglais cycle 4:
Audios > A1+ > École et société > Interviews > “Remembering World War One”
It is an interview with a museum curator about presenting historical objects like a whistle used as a signal in the Battle of the Somme, to school groups, and the effect they have on the audience.To see the resource, register now or log in.
The British Legion looks after wounded and disabled soldiers and their families, and organises many remembrance commemorations. They have provided a teaching pack on the Somme centenary. It includes this spoken word poem which beautifully illustrates the idea of “pals battalions” going off to fight – and die – together. The language is fairly simple for the most part, certainly manageable at B1 or even A2+ in parts. And the video provides an interesting the contrast between the words and the modern-day images. Ripe for class discussion!
Lives of the First World War is a project from the Imperial War Museum. It focuses on individuals’ stories of the effects of war, and has some excellent profiles of men and women involved in fighting and medical care.