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Teacher Resources

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Commissioned by The Story Museum and 14-18 NOW.

Resources

Welcome to our Resource Page. Here you will find five inspiring films of Incredible Journeys – unique stories about the animals who fought in the First World War, specially commissioned by The Story Museum for 2016. You can also download lesson packs for each one, providing background context and overflowing with teaching and learning ideas for you and your class.

For useful, interesting or offbeat links to external resources from the story world, visit our online Resource Room.

Incredible Journeys

Incredible Journeys, created by The Story Museum with support from 14-18 NOW, tells stories of the First World War – from the point of view of animals from all around the world!

Based upon true stories, these films offer a unique way for students to engage with a tragic and fundamental period in our history. Each lesson plan offers a wealth of cross-curricular links, including Literacy, History, global diversity topics, Art, Drama and more besides.

Browse your favourite animal or story and teach it to your class taking ideas from the accompanying lesson plan – or teach all the stories as a wide-ranging and thought-provoking scheme of work.

“I love the films – stories told beautifully and very powerfully – and each lesson has lots of varied ideas which can be adapted as needs be.” – Year 6 teacher.

How to use this pack
Introduction and credits

Lesson 1: Introductory Lesson 

From the Arabian deserts to a child’s encounter with an Indian circus elephant in Sheffield, these fables imaginatively and entertainingly explore the countries, cultures and creatures caught up in the First World War far from the Western Front.
Click here to download the lesson plan

Lesson 2: A Very Gallant Gentleman: Pigeon 

A carrier pigeon flies through torrential weather, just in time to save lives at sea.
Video coming soon.
Click here to download the lesson plan (ages 7+)

Lesson 3: Lizzie the Elephant  

As the First World War brings about great changes on the home front, a young girl named Flo recounts how an elephant named Lizzie was sold by her circus to replace the working horses sent to the Western Front.
Click here to watch the video.
Click here to download the lesson plan (ages 7+)

Lesson 4: Ali Pasha, The Tortoise Who Travelled Far

The tortoise veteran of Gallipoli was smuggled on-board HMS Implacable, bound for urgent duties in the Mediterranean.
Click here to watch the video.
Click here to download the lesson plan 
(ages 7+)

Lesson 5: Far From Home, Koala

A shell shocked koala enters a dream state in which he rediscovers how he came to be the mascot of his Australian regiment.
Click here to watch the video.
Click here to download the lesson plan (ages 10+)

Lesson 6: El Shimla, War Camel

A camel taking tourists to see the pyramids reminisces reprovingly on her experiences during the war.
Click here to watch the video.
Click here to download the lesson plan
 (ages 10+)

Lesson 7: Spider’s War

Anansi, the Caribbean “spider-man,” answers the call of the Motherland, but with prejudice rife in an age of empire and imperialism, the battle for acceptance will be just as hard-fought as that of the Western Front.
Click here to watch the video.
Click here to download the lesson plan (ages 10+)

Lesson 8: Compare and Contrast 

A chance to reflect on the six stories we have experienced, and to consider their similarities and differences in both form and content.
Click here to download the lesson plan

Lesson 9: My Own Animal Story

The students will examine other stories as inspiration for their own retelling.  They will then create their own story using the knowledge and skills, especially storytelling devices, gleaned throughout this scheme of work.
Click here to download the lesson plan


Further reading
Glossary