Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by Northamptonshire Archives and Nottinghamshire Archives


This resource communicates the dangers children faced in WW2 and help students relate to wartime experiences.


Curriculum Links

  • KS2 English: Speaking and Listening: group discussion; Planning, drafting and writing
  • KS2 History: A study of an aspect or theme in British history after 1066

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of different aspects of children's lives in WW2.
  • Understanding of the challenges faced by children in WW2 and the experience of air raids, evacuation and voluntary work.
  • Skills to interpret original sources and compare varied perspectives through examining different experiences of the same event.


Discussion Ideas

  • What sort of difficulties and changes do you think children faced during the war? 
  • Where do you live? In a rural area or an urban area? If you were alive in the Second World War would you have been evacuated, or would you have taken in evacuees?
  • How do you think you would have felt as an evacuee?
  • What might it have been like for 'foster families'?
  • Do you think any children benefited from being evacuated?


Activity Ideas

  • Read the 'complaint letter' and the 'letter written by a Northamptonshire evacuee'. Compare the experiences of the people who wrote the two letters. 
  • Children had many different experiences of evacuation. Read the two evacuee accounts by Donald and Gwen. Imagine that you are a child who has been evacuated to the countryside. Write a letter home, either as a child who is enjoying country life, or a child who is desperately homesick. 
    - What are you enjoying about your new life? 
    - What don't you like? 
    - How is living in the country unlike the town or city you are from?
    - How are the meals, smells, sights, and sounds different?
  • Evacuees had to make to do without many of their home comforts. Lots of things were recycled during the war to save materials. Use recycled fabric to sew your own evacuation teddy bear. Have a look at this photograph of some war teddies made by another class as an inspiration.
  • Look at the Air Raid Precautions for Schools document. 
    - Children are told to always have their gas masks with them and a label attached to their clothes. Why do you think this was?
    - Parents are told not to try to collect their children from school once the air raid siren has sounded. Why? Why do you think some parents may have tried to collect their children?  
  • Look at the death certificate of the twelve year old boy.
    - Can you find out where the boy died? 
    - How might his parents and friends have felt? 
    - What do you know about the Blitz and bombing raids on Britain in WW2?