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World War 2 - Please help!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Leasa, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Leasa

    Leasa New commenter

    I am starting the topic of WW2 next week with my year 3 class and i'm really looking forward to teaching it as got some good ideas from the TES website amongst others.
    Just one problem - how do I start my topic? I want to look at when and why the war started and my obvious activity would be to be to look at the countries on a map, discuss the events and place these on a timeline but I wanted to try and make this a bit more exciting so it kick starts the kids enthusiasm. Ne ideas?
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Do you have access to a church ( or turn yout clsssroom into one) & an old 'wireless? Ask the children to dress up in 30's 40's clothes? Gather them together in the church(a good place for people to gather to hear the announcement in those days) & play them the recording of Churchill's announcement.
    They can then think how they'd react to that statement. What sort of questions would they have?
    Then you could return to the classroom to discover what it was all about , the geography etc. just like the real children would have done-who wouldn't have understood the significance either.
  3. It might be a good and interesting idea to talk about alliances and friendships. Basically WW2 started because Hitler invaded other countries (or made them "friends" of his") and other countries said "Please don't do this" . Hitler said OK - I won't and then he carried on.
    At what stage would you step in? Why would you not want to step in? Can you relate this to bullies on the playground? Real life - you could get a good debate going in y3.

    And yes - I know there's a little bit more to the start of WW2 than this!!
  4. And of course, Churchill was warning about this during the 30s and urged Britain to rearm but he was ignored and portrayed as a war monger.
  5. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

  6. Leasa

    Leasa New commenter

    Thank you so much for these ideas - they're great. Can't wait to start teaching it.
  7. I did WW2 with my Y6 class last term and they absolutely loved it! I started with a Powerpoint presentation (downloaded from Primary Resources) called 'How Did WW2 Start?' It actually explains how WW1 began, and how the repercussions triggered WW2. To make it more interesting and interactive, I made flags of all the relevant countries, laminated them and hung them round children's necks as labels. As the history unfolded, I moved pupils around to show allied and axis countries, which we later identified on a map of Europe. It helped to give an overview before we went down the road of 'How did WW2 affect children?'
    Something else my class responded to really well was a visit from a local gentleman who lived through the war as a child. The class asked him lots of questions and he brought photos and artefacts to pass round. He even brought, for each child, a week's ration of sweets in a paper bag! If you have someone who could come and speak to your Y3's I'd strongly recommend it. Good luck with the topic!
  8. Love the idea of flags for the allies and 'enemies' - my Yr3 will hopefully respond to that a lot better than my original powerpoint! Thanks!
  9. elissag

    elissag New commenter

    If you google Nuffield Primary History there is a fab lesson about how Hitler rose to power. Is really powerful but I did do it with year 5/6 so you would have to analyse it. I loved the idea of the announcement and friendship.
  10. How you start it is up to you but we finished our topic with a V E day street party! All dressed up and we ate carrot cake and corned beef sandwiches ! It marked the end of the war and our topic! We made bunting and listened to Vera Lynn CDs , fond fond memories ! I think we started with a suitcase and all children were asked to bring in something that would be necessary for a trip! Our suitcase was soon full , then we looked at what would have been in an evacuee suitcase, one pair of pants, one change of clothes, one soft toy an apple etc ! We compared them, BBC has some fantastic resources our children buzzed for the whole duration ! Enjoy
  11. Some really good ideas and relating to bullying, friendships, weak and strong people all parts of PHSE really helped my Year 4 class.
    One thing that I was very keen not to say was the Germans did this the Germans did that, the Germans hated the Jews, and replaced it with Hitler or Hitler made the Germans
    I felt it was really important that the children understood that because the rest of the world decided to make Germany a scapegoat and tell them that they were rubbish (my words!) that when someone told the German people that he would make them strong, powerful and great again they had had enough and wanted to believe him.
    There is so much two wrongs don't make a right!
    My class were amazing, we had some great discussions 'who was the first ever person to mention war?' 'Why are the british fighting in afghanistan?' 'How would you feel if Htler came and invaded your village?' Some still do not get the concept of invading and taking people's land and cannot understand why someone would do that to someone else!!
    Something that helps to find out what they already know, or have picked up and take away the misconceptions straight away!
    There is a great book I read to them as well - Put out the Light by Terry Deary.
    What was also interesting was there lack of concept about not having certain technologies! No TV only cinema!! Try Pathe News as well for news clips.
    Imperial War Museum is good but best of all was the National Archives site - educational bit.
    Also on Teacher's TV ideas for an evacuee day. Wish I could post a photo of Year 6 boy in costume knitting it was amazing!
    The children still talk about my 1940's style strict posh voice, and I still have to use it sometimes to their amusement!
    Enjoy it is an amazing
  12. I did this topic with Year 5/6 last year and I began with a Blitz siren ( download bbc history) forgotten exactly where! Depending on the group ,you could adapt for Year 3 and perhaps join them in a shelter where you could take role of teacher/parent to support responses.
    I played the sound clip and told all children to get under their desks and keep very quiet and still.I was in role as ARP/safety officer and kept instructions very brief.I asked children to take their whiteboards/pens with them and they wrote down how the felt/thoughts/what they wanted to say etc.
    It was very effective and I received some quality responses from the pupils about feelings in an air raid .
    Hope this helps!
  13. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    Some lovely ideas here...anybody else taught WW2 with Year 2/3?

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