Life as an Evacuee

Key questions:

What was daily life like for children during World War Two?

What did children and adults have to do differently because of the war?

 Curriculum Map KS1 Life as Evacuee Curriculum Map KS2 Life as Evacuee

Session overview:

Pupils will find out what life was like for children their age during World War Two by handling objects, documents and information from the time, visiting a recreated air raid shelter and talking to someone who was a child during the war. There will be three parts to the session: a whole-class object-handling session followed by two parallel activities for half of the class at a time.

Object handling – in small groups pupils will be given an object from the time (some are replicas e.g. the incendiary bomb!) and challenged to look at it, feel it and try it out to determine what it is made of, what it does/did and why it was needed as part of everyday life during the war. Having become experts, they will then have to find a way to explain this to the rest of the class.

Air raid shelter – pupils make their way down into the cellar where our Anderson shelter can be found. They will get the opportunity to explore it, to discover and discuss how time would have been spent during air raids and imagine the combination of fear and boredom involved.

Reminiscence – this is your chance to talk to a volunteer who was a child during the war so make sure you come with lots of questions.

Additional information:

Please note that the air raid shelter is not accessible for wheelchair users and may prove difficult for those with restricted mobility to access. It may be possible to substitute the air raid shelter activity with another activity so please contact us to discuss options and alternatives if necessary.

We always plan to have a volunteer who was a child during the war available for the reminiscence part of the session but please be aware that this may not prove possible on the day, in which case we will run a rationing challenge activity in its place. 

Session links:

To enhance what pupils have learned during the Life as an Evacuee session, consider adding this session to your visit.

WWII Evacuee lesson – life and schooling had to go on despite the war. Why not find out for yourself what lessons were like for evacuees during the war? Learn how to spot different types of aircraft, use dip pen and ink to write a postcard home to Mother and put a gas mask on correctly.