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World War 2: A Child's Eye View from the Home Front
WW2: How it began

Introduce the historic events that led to the outbreak of the Second World War. Place events on a timeline that will grow throughout the topic and build understanding of the chronology of the war. Look at and experience through role play the early events of the war from a child’s perspective.

Session 1 Britain declares war!

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and World history.
  • Address historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity, difference and significance.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries using maps to focus on Europe, concentrating on countries and major cities.

Teaching and Activities

Discover what was happening in Germany in the 1930’s and why this eventually led to war. Know which countries were involved locate them on a map of Europe.

Teaching outcomes:

  • To understand the events surrounding the outbreak of war and what this meant for children.
  • To use geographical knowledge and skills to locate countries that played a part at the start of WW2.

Children will:

  • Learn about the events that led up to Britain declaring war on Germany in 1939.
  • Place significant events in a timeline.
  • Begin to learn the locations of countries in Europe and the part they played at the start of WW2.

You Will Need

  • Coloured pencils, crayons, pens

Session 2 Gas masks and blackouts

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and World history.
  • Address historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity, difference and significance.

English

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debate.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the precautions put in place to keep people safe when war broke out including gas masks, blackouts and ARP wardens.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the precautions put in place to keep civilians safe at the start of WW2.
  • To investigate through role play and drama the experience of children in WW2.

Children will:

  • Make a gas mask box and discover why gas masks were needed.
  • Experience a gas mask drill.
  • Find out about blackouts and investigate the role of the ARP warden using drama.

You Will Need

  • Large ball of string
  • Scissors, glue sticks, masking tape
  • A large space for the drama phase of the lesson

Session 3 Bomb shelters and The Blitz

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British and World history.
  • Address historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity, difference and significance.

Teaching and Activities

Discover why people needed bomb shelters in World War 2 and what it was like to experience an air raid during the Blitz.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the preparations that were made to protect people from enemy bombing and what it was like to take shelter during the Blitz.

Children will:

  • Find out about bomb shelters and The Blitz.
  • Role play an air raid in the classroom using sound effects, tables made into bomb shelters and the teacher in role.
  • Make a cardboard Anderson shelter and design the inside to prepare for aid raids.

You Will Need

  • Several large cloths
  • Silver corrugated card
  • A sheet of A4 card
  • Shelter template on card
  • An A5 sized template of an Anderson shelter with door