Leeds in World War 2

Teachers' notes

Curriculum links:

KS2 History:

  • A local history study
  • A study of an aspect or theme in British history after 1066

KS3 History:

  • A local history study
  • Challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day

Aim of resource:

To provide a local history study on life in Leeds during WW2 and give children an insight into life on the Home Front. 

Learning objectives:

Knowledge of the impact of WW2 on the lives of ordinary people
Understanding of how a locality changed over time, in response to the war
Skills to discuss and question critically visual and written information to develop ideas for independent work 

Discussion ideas:

  • If you were a child in the Second World War, what things do you think you would find scary?
  • In what sort of ways do you think the war would change your life?
  • What foods would you miss most if rationing was introduced today?
  • Why do you think rationing was needed?
  • Why was Britain bombed in WW2?
  • How do you think it felt to live in Britain during WW2?
  • What five things would you take with you to your family's Anderson Shelter (bear in mind that they were very small and had no electricity)?
  • Why do you think it was important to the people of Leeds that Winston Churchill visited the city?
  • Why did the city of Leeds give a party for returning prisoners of war?
  • When WW2 ended people celebrated with bonfires and street parties. How would you celebrate?
  • What symbols did people use in celebrating the end of the war?


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