World War 2: A Child's Eye View from the Home Front

Block B - Dunkirk and the Little Ships

Prepare for the 70th Anniversary of VE day celebrations at the end of World War 2 in Europe by studying the start of the war, the Dunkirk rescue, the Battle of Britain, the D-day landings and finally the end of the war, all from a child’s perspective.

Learn about the Dunkirk evacuation, inspired by the story of ‘The Little Ships’ by Louise Borden. Learn what it means to be heroic and finally film a small world Dunkirk rescue, using the model and vessels made over these sessions, and share the films with an audience of family members.

This Topic is written for Lower Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Calling all fishermen!

Understand some of the events leading up to Dunkirk, why there was a need to evacuate soldiers and the role the little ships of Britain played in the evacuations; make an English harbour out of construction blocks.

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02: Arriving at Dunkirk

Consider what it would have been like for the soldiers and sailors of the Dunkirk evacuations; gain an understanding of the distance across the English Channel and the extent of the rescue efforts for all the small sailing vessels; add Dunkirk beach onto the Lego model and make little sailing vessels.

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03: Bringing home the soldiers

Imagine how the fishermen and their families would have felt to have been part of the Dunkirk evacuations. Consider what it means to be heroic; film a small world Dunkirk rescue, using the model and vessels.