WWI – Operation Ouch!

This cross-curricular teaching package encourages learners to explore and reflect on the humanitarian impact of conflict.

First world war ambulance train crew
Teaching package, film

It has been over 100 years since the start of World War One (WWI). This series of eight primary lesson plans support a CBBC 'Operation Ouch! WWI Special' film, which looks at the impact of WWI.


Learning objectives

Learners will:

  • gain an understanding of the history of WWI
  • compare and contrast the past and present
  • express their thoughts and feelings
  • apply their learning to physical and emotional health and wellbeing.


Resource overview

The session plans include a variety of classroom activities and discussion ideas all linked to the film.

Each 40-minute lesson is linked to a specific area of the primary curriculum for 7–11 year olds.


  • Lesson 1: Film and French

Watch the “Operation Ouch! WWI Special” film and learn more about the origin of some common English words and phrases.

  • Lesson 2: History

See how far prosthetic limbs have come since WWI and write a letter to the Unknown Soldier statue on Paddington Station.

  • Lesson 3: PSHE

Think about what it means to improvise and how first aid techniques have developed in the last 100 years.

  • Lesson 4: Physical Education (PE)

Develop skills of working with others and demonstrating tactics within competition whilst learning about infection of wounds during WWI.

  • Lesson 5: English and Literacy

Use poetry to explore the physical and emotional impact of WWI on soldiers.

  • Lesson 6: Science

Experiment with the science of sounds and understand how explosions in WWI damaged soldiers’ hearing.

  • Lesson 7: Maths

Do quick mental calculations and start to understand the vast numbers of people affected by different events during WWI.

  • Lesson 8: Art

Make your own poppies to remember the soldiers who died during WWI.


Film: Operation Ouch! World War 1 Special

Watch the film here.

Password: Ouch


This resource was written by Helen Brooking and based on a concept by P J White. It was published in 2014. Operation Ouch! is produced by Maverick Television Ltd for CBBC.

The photo shows WWI British Red Cross volunteers (© British Red Cross).