Get to grips with First World War trench warfare by examining evidence in our object handling collection and first-hand accounts of wartime experiences, including letters and photographs.

Classes: S1–6
Cost: £75
Timings: 10:30/12:30 (75 mins) (check your booking for timings and arrive at the museum at least 15 minutes before the start of your workshop)
Dates available: Available on Thursdays

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How should I prepare my class for this workshop?

If you have booked the morning session, a member of staff will meet your class on the Esplanade, outside the Castle around 10am. We advise a prompt arrival to ensure you can start at 10.30am due to the time taken to walk to the War Museum from the Castle entrance.

Afternoon sessions will meet our staff at the War Museum and can arrive for a general visit around the Castle in the morning.

This workshop takes place in our Wartime Life Room with museum staff leading your session. After or before the workshop, you will have the opportunity to look around the museum and castle. Maximum capacity 20 students.

What will my pupils do in the workshop?

Use real and replica artefacts to find out what objects can tell us about life in the First World War trenches. Pupils will use a range of primary and secondary sources and visit the museum’s exhibits.

Pupils will:

  • Discuss the nature of evidence and the difference between primary and secondary sources.
  • Investigate first-hand accounts of wartime experiences, including letters, photographs and objects to discuss what evidence can reveal about the past.
  • Answer a describe/explain question and present their findings.

Useful resources and activities

Curriculum links




Social Studies


I can use my knowledge of a historical period to interpret the evidence and present an informed view. 

SOC 1-01a

I can evaluate conflicting sources of evidence to sustain a line of argument. 

SOC 4-01a


I can describe the factors contributing to a major social, political or economic change in the past and can assess the impact on people’s lives.

SOC 3-05a

I can present supported conclusions about the social, political and economic impacts of a technological change in the past. 

SOC 4-05a

I can evaluate the changes which have taken place in an industry in Scotland’s past and can debate their impact. 

SOC 4-05b

I have investigated a meeting of cultures in the past and can analyse the impact on the societies involved. 

SOC 4-05c

Explore more

National War Museum

Within the walls of Edinburgh Castle, the National War Museum tells the story of Scotland at war.

First World War

1914 brought war to Scotland on what would prove to be an unprecedented scale. Delve into the stories behind those who fought in the First World War here.
Contact Us

National War Museum
0131 247 4041

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