World War 1

Two stories amongst millions

Duration - from 90 minute tasters to full day and extended projects.
Audience age range - Primary and Secondary Schools.

The workshops delivered by 'Stephan Weisskopf' in the '20 years in our village' day of interactives includes writing as:-

  1. Self censoring soldier and/or parent/sweetheart/sibling (at home).
  2. Personal diary to record uncensored thoughts.
  3. War time new reporting.
  4. Post war political campaigning.

These are designed to deliver a deeper and broader response to the inter-school 4Mat literacy emphasis. The mobile museum will also provide added source material as it contains periodicals, postcards and letters.

As well as imparting a significant amount of Historical detail, (both major events and fascinating detail), workshops are designed to engage participants emotionally, creatively and to prompt discussion.

All workshop ideas can be tailored to give particular emphasis to design and technology, maths, art, literacy, geography, planning, research, team-work, citizenship, experimentation and testing.

Workshop content.

All work is tailored to your needs; the information below is a typical one day scenario for each of the characters.

A day with the soldier (Gemeine S. Weisskopft), will take the participants through the 4 years of war, (years 3-6) or 20 years in our village 1913 to 1933, (year 7+). Participants will develop their own character that will then experience the events in a series of tasks that will teach them about events and details of the period. As a group they will make up a small village and this story will develop over the day.


Individuals are persuaded or otherwise by a series of appeals to their sense of patriotism, family pride, friendships, shame, and eventually conscription demand. After they have all made their choice, the soldier discloses his and consequently, their nationality for the purposes of the workshop. (Workshops can include discussion of issues involved.)


New recruits are taken through a trench system to discover 6 major dangers of modern warfare.

Life in the Trenches

Personal kit and other artifacts laid out and some handled by the group to understand the day to day life of any soldier. These and additional items make up a 'museum' of objects that can inspire further research. Items include letters, postcards, magazines, money, food, medals etc.

Letters Home

Postcards, diaries and propaganda as differing writing styles and content.

The Casualties of War

Dead and injured are called out of group as a personalized experience of the statistics of the war.

The Aftermath

Resentment, revolt, economic depression, political extremism. (Participants write, discuss and role play the events affecting their community in the immediate years after the war.)

Other art based workshop ideas

'Picture boxes'/dioramas

Create small scenes of everyday life and major events as a diorama. Workshop to include research into possible scenes, the historical content and technical help with construction. The finished items can be made as a paper 'concertina' construction or placed in rigid cardboard boxes for display. Scenes viewed through appropriate aperture, e.g. periscope, key hole, window, eye glass etc.

'Trench Art'

Crafting a commemorative object in the style of items made from discarded materials by soldiers. Items made in fabric, wood and card to represent beaten metal, carved wood and mixed material items.



A day with the Camoufler
Monsieur Stephan Teteblanche (working in the 'Section de Camoufler')

Monsieur Stephan Teteblanche

Describes how artists invented the human technology of camouflage in 1915 using the latest art movement ideas, and employed it to hide and deceive; to save lives. (Screens, decoys, aerial reconnaissance, 'razzle dazzle', hidden roads and fake trees.)

A day of designing, tests and model making. Workshops can be developed for indoor or outdoor activities.


The application of camouflage to gain advantage in a war of long distance bombardment, aerial attack and new observation technologies.

Art History

examples of expressionism and pointillism

Impressionism/pointillism and cubism. How the techniques work to unify an object with its background.

Natural History

The principles of hiding

Visual Perception

Gestalt theory (older years only). Why camouflage works in confusing our brain.

Art and Design

Develop and produce an original camouflage. This can be done for use with models of hiding a large object or person indoors or outdoors.

Maths and Scientific Testing

Razzle Dazzle ships tested alongside standard ship. (Razzle Dazzle is a separate camouflage type and is an alternative to other workshops.)

In Depth Investigations of Camouflage Techniques

Razzle Dazzle

examples of Razzle Dazzle

Workshops to create and test 'Razzle Dazzle' (movement camouflage), using model ships and periscopes. Children will first design and paint and scheme and then experience the difficulty of interpreting the ship and its movement by observing the ships through a periscope while others move the scenery and ships.

Disruptive Camouflages

examples of disruptive camouflage

Based on the contemporary art movements of Pointillism and Cubism, participants will experience the process of using art as a different way of seeing and 'tricks of the eye' to blend, distort and confuse the reality of objects. Examples and practicals on colour, outline, form and shadow.

Reconnaissance and Deception - decoys and fake landmarks

2D and 3D experimentation including model making, photography, painting and drawing. (The scale of the work is very flexible and can be tailored to your needs.)

examples examples of decoys

Removing a shattered tree with a facsimile

to be used as an observation post (based on real life examples).

examples of decoy observation posts

Workshop references examples and challenges participants to plan and design their own solution. This work can include outdoor construction or remain classroom based with model making in clay.