World War 2
Dear Diary – An Evacuees War.

A focus on WW2 through the eyes of the children.

 

Summary

Duration: This is a half term project, designed for half a day of focused time per week. Each week we will focus on a different event in 'The Evacuees War'. There are plenty of cross curricular opportunities for curriculum enrichment.

Age range: Can be adapted for all KS2 year groups.

Creative conclusion: A shared piece of written work, 'The Diary of an Evacuee' will form the basis of our creative conclusion. This work can then be presented as an immersive drama performance on a large or small scale, as well as components of the work being filmed and recorded.

Topics

Creative

After the study and investigation of photographs, letters, video evidence from World War 2, the children will be immersed into the lives of the WW2 Evacuee through role play, improvisation and immersive drama. They will use both facts and their imaginations to develop detailed character studies of the Evacuees they discover.  

The children will explore and experience the lives of the Evacuees, creating scenes inspired by events of WW2 and it's impact on the evacuees. 

Dance, Creative Movement and Song.

There will be a physical element to every session. The group will explore movement ideas based on the Blitz and discover how to express emotion through movement. This enables all children to explore and express their ideas, using physicality as their language. 

Each week part of the session will involve learning War time songs and discussing their themes.

These elements will be woven into the Creative Conclusion. 

Literacy

The main Creative Conclusion will be in the form of a DIARY. 

Each week the class will write their diary entries for the character they have created either as an individual, a group or a class. The immersive creative drama will inspire thoughts and feelings and the pupils will be encouraged to describe events in detail from the perspective of their character.  The facilitator will encourage vocabulary by listing 'buzz' words  throughout every session.

The diary entry can take the form of a letter (see week 4). One half of the group will be the evacuees writing to their parents, the other the parents in the city writing to their children in the countryside. 

Poems, rhythms and rhymes will be explored using the sounds and smells of The Blitz as a stimulus. The work can be recorded and used as part of a soundscape in the final presentation.  The poems will be interpreted physically, allowing EAL pupils to play a full part in expressing themselves.

Books will be used as a stimulus; Goodnight Mr Tom - Michelle Magorian, Warboy; A Wartime Childhood - Michael Foreman and Bombs and Blackberries - Julia Donaldson. 

Research and ICT

The class will be encouraged to seek out their own primary evidence. 

The children will use recording and film making equipment. Recording one another's voices reciting their poetry and filming their classmates work creatively. 

Group Work

In every aspect of the sessions the children's creativity and imagination is at the forefront of the work. They will be guided to devise much of the work, as part of small and large groups.

The combination of these groups will change throughout the unit of work. Allowing the children to develop their team work and social skills, to be inspired by different children and to be given opportunity to lead.

Creative Conclusion.

'The Diary of a WW2 Evacuee' will be created by every pupil by the end of the unit. It will detail our Evacuees journey, from peace, to war and back to peace once more. Elements of our work will be filmed and/or recorded and can be used on the school website. 

In addition to this we can provide a creative presentation of all the childrens work, as the DIARY is brought to life before their eyes. The performance can be on a large or small scale  and will be immersive and interactive.  The audience will arrive in a black out, experience an air raid siren, see scenes as the evacuees leave by train for countryside, take part in a role play, hear recorded original poetry and have a singsong at a VE Day Celebration Party.

 

Schedule

Week 1

Home Life

Freeze frames will be built from our primary evidence. In groups, characters will be brought to life through discussion and improvisation. Scenes and events will be explored which will inspire the children to write their first DIARY ENTRY based on our characters pre war 'Home Life'. 


Week 2

The Blitz

In this session we will focus on soundscapes, rhyme and rhythm. 

After exploring the sounds, smells and emotions of 'The Blitz' through drama a 'Word Map' will be collated. We will then write a poem together that describes and captures the experience.

The poem will be recorded and then interpreted physically with creative movement. 

Week 2's diary entry will explore the characters experience of The Blitz. 

 

Week 3

Evacuation.  

Using excerpts of Julia Donaldson's 'Bombs and Blackberries' and Michael Foreman's 'Warboy' we will explore the evacuation process.

We will use role play to allow the children to empathise with the evacuees and experience first hand what it might have felt like.  

Week 3's diary entry will describe the experience of evacuation.  

Week 4

Country life.

We will continue with our literary stimulus and through drama, explore the differences of the city and country during the war. 

We will write letters home in groups that explain these differences and describe our experiences.

Week 5

VE Day and homeward bound. 

Exploring the events that lead up to and the experience of VE DAY using primary evidence. 

The creative drama will revolve around the events and emotions of returning home.

We will explore the celebrations VE Day and create our own VE day party with songs from the period we have learnt during the half term.  


Week 6

Rehearse, Conclude and Plenary.

The final week will be used to either rehearse or record/ film final sections for our creative conclusion.

The children will discuss their work, creations and experiences in a thorough plenary session.