WWI Trench Warfare

WWI Trench Warfare

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old


Students will use primary and secondary sources to create a World War I trench system in Minecraft.

avatar Submitted By: Trish Cloud

November 6, 2019


  • Citizenship
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

External References

Learning Objectives

  • Students will use resources to create a WWI trench system. Students will be able to explain the trench system and describe what it was like to live and fight in the trenches by writing a letter home to a friend or family member that includes photos from the trench. This lesson was written with Stacey Perrin from Kennedy Middle School, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte, NC

Guiding Ideas

The student will apply their knowledge and understanding of trench warfare and describe what it was like to live and fight in the trenches.

How did the trenches impact the soldiers?

The student will be introduced to trench warfare via reading materials, videos, and virtual tours. They will encounter NPCs in the Minecraft world who will guide them in their research and explain tasks.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe the key elements of the trench system
  2. Why are these key elements important to the trenches and for the soldiers?
  3. What do you think it would have been like to be a soldier in World War I? Why?
  4. Do you think it was easy for soldiers to come home after WWI and live a normal life? Why or why not? Keeping this mind how is it different or similar to soldiers coming home today?


Student Activities

  • Students will work in teams to build a trench system (the skeleton of the trench is already in the world map). The system must include the following elements:
    • Front line trenches indicated
    • Support trenches that include First Aid trench and Communication Trench
    • Bunkers
    • Bolt holes
    • Machine gun nest
    • Barbed wire
    • Sandbags
    • No Man's Land Marked on the world map
    • Sumps
    • Trench boards
  • Students will write a two to three-paragraph letter home to a family member or friend describing what life is like fighting and living in the trenches.
    • Students will use the Book and Quill in-game to write their letter and export the Book and Quill to their teacher after the student signs it for completion
    • Students will insert photographs from their experience in the letter home.

Performance Expectations

  • Design of the trenches should represent trench diagrams
  • Written narratives of key elements
  • Written description of life in the trenches (letter)
  • Group and class discussion of design and elements of the trench.


NC Essential Standards

  • 7.H.1.1 Construct charts, graphs, and historical narratives to explain particular events or issues over time.
  • 7.H.1.3 Use primary and secondary sources to interpret various historical perspectives
  • 7.H.2.1 Analyze the effects of social, economic, military and political conflict among nations, regions, and groups (e.g. war, genocide, imperialism, and colonization).


  • Citizenship
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity

External References