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World War 2: A Child's Eye View from the Home Front
Dunkirk and the Little Ships

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.

Session 1 Calling all fishermen!

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of Britain, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Study an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – a significant turning point in British history.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe.
  • Name and locate some counties and cities of the UK.

Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To develop an understanding of the events leading up to Dunkirk and the feelings of some of the people involved in the evacuation.
  • To become familiar with the location of Dunkirk, in relation to the English Channel and the South Coast of England.
  • To make an English harbour, using construction materials.

Children will:

  • 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.
  • Begin to become familiar with the location of Dunkirk.

You Will Need

  • The Little Ships by Louise Borden
  • Lego
  • Trays
  • Cling film

Session 2 Arriving at Dunkirk

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of Britain, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Study an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – a significant turning point in British history.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps to focus on Europe.
  • Name and locate some counties and cities of the United Kingdom.

Design and Technology

  • Use research and develop design criteria to inform the design of innovative, functional, appealing products that are fit for purpose.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To consider what it would have been like to be a soldier rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk.
  • To research the distance across the English Channel and the extent of the rescue efforts for all the small sailing vessels.
  • To add Dunkirk beach onto the Lego model and make little sailing vessels using corks, cocktail sticks and paper.

Children will:

  • 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.

You Will Need

  • The Little Ships by Louise Borden
  • Lego
  • Trays
  • Cling film
  • Corks
  • Cocktail sticks
  • Card and pieces of balsa wood
  • Gym mats
  • Cones or skipping ropes
  • Metre sticks

Session 3 Bringing home the soldiers

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of Britain, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Study an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066 – a significant turning point in British history.

Computing

  • Select, use and combine a variety of software or a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To imagine how the fishermen and their families would have felt to have been part of the Dunkirk evacuations and to consider what it means to be heroic.
  • To understand the part Churchill’s speech played after the defeat of Dunkirk.
  • To film a small world Dunkirk rescue, using the model and vessels.

Children will:

  • 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.

You Will Need

  • The Little Ships by Louise Borden
  • Lego model
  • Videoing equipment