Year 6 World War Two Workshop

Students stood with someone running a WWII workshop

Yesterday, the Year 6 children had the opportunity to participate in a World War Two workshop. They were greeted by the piercing sound of an air-raid siren as they quickly made their way into the workshop. During the session, they demonstrated their understanding of air-raid shelters, including Anderson, Morrison, and Public shelters. To help them remember these shelters, the children used their bodies to represent them. They also learned that evacuation during the war was a choice, not a requirement by law.

The children engaged in discussions about the purpose of gas masks during that era and contemplated how they would feel wearing them during activities like PE at school. Some described feeling suffocated yet safe simultaneously. It was surprising to learn that gas masks were once referred to as ‘Mickey Mouse’ masks to make them sound less frightening for younger children.

Utilising their listening and reflective skills, the children analysed the potential messages conveyed by a young boy’s postcard to his parents. They also listened to a heart-wrenching poem written from the perspective of an evacuated boy, discussing the emotions they might experience if they were in the same situation.

In an interactive game called ‘Ten Second Pictures,’ the children used their bodies to recreate various aspects of wartime, such as fighter jets, Anderson shelters, and Public shelters.

Students partaking in the WWII workshop
Students partaking in the WWII workshop
Students partaking in the WWII workshop
Students partaking in the WWII workshop
Students partaking in the WWII workshop

Subsequently, the children devised a dramatic piece showcasing items children might have taken with them if they were evacuated. They presented their creations to the class, considering whether real evacuees could have realistically brought those items. Ideas ranged from frisbees to photographs and skipping ropes.

Furthermore, the children had the chance to participate in wartime singing, learning songs often sung by evacuees. This activity fostered empathy for families affected by evacuation.

The workshop ended in a dramatic performance where the children enacted scenarios depicting the journey and experiences of an evacuated child. This exercise encouraged them to be open-minded and gain a deeper understanding of the realities of evacuation during World War Two.

Reviews from the children: 

  • Dara – ‘The workshop was entertaining and we played many games to visualise what it was actually like to be an evacuee during World War Two.’
  • Rose – ‘The workshop was amazing! I would really recommend this workshop as there were lots of fun facts and you really felt like an evacuee.’
  • Tenzin – ‘Today, we learnt about the importance of gas masks and what rationing is. Also, we pretended to act out what we would bring if we were an evacuee.’ 
  • Oscar – ‘The workshop was an enjoyable experience where we engaged in activities to learn about the history of World War Two’.