War and medicine
Medicine and war - medical improvements
An understanding of how warfare has often had a dramatic effect on the development of medical treatment.
Classroom activity - ‘which war?’ snap
Ask students to use the Brought to Life website to research the development of drug treatments and surgical techniques that emerged during or very close to wartime. Having done this they should then create a set of snap cards based on their findings. One set should have different wars on its cards and should match a set with the related medical techniques.
The object of the game is to win rounds by matching a drug treatment or surgical technique to a particular war.
Once the game has been played, use the set to create a timeline to show the progression and put it up in the classroom.
Medicine and war - ‘war syndrome’
Students will gain an appreciation of how attitudes towards people with mental health needs changed through history, in particular within the medical profession.
Classroom activity - diary of a shell shock victim
Ask your students to use the Brought to Life website to research ‘war syndrome’ and related areas, such as shell shock and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Based on this information, ask your students to write a poem, in the style of war poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon (a poem can be found by clicking on this link), describing the horror of life in the trenches during the First World War.
Alternatively, students could write an imaginary first letter home from a young soldier to his parents describing his feelings and fears as he attempts to adjust to life in the trenches. Unbearable stress and disease were just as much an enemy as the soldiers of the opposing army.
Students could create a week’s worth of diary entries written from the perspective of a 16-year-old soldier who, trapped in a First World War battlefield trench, has been under shell fire for longer than he can remember.