On Thursday, Year 5 took over the hall to begin our new World War 2 focus. We are going to look at the events of Dunkirk and in particular Operation Dynamo, which is when hundreds of civilians sailed, rowed and tugged boats from England to France to rescue the British and allied forces, who had been trapped by the German forces. Dunkirk will be used to inspire our writing, history and even our science for the next couple of weeks.
Our opening began with listening to Churchill's speech. We pretended to be the civilians, waiting to depart for Dunkirk. We used our measuring and ratio skills in maths to map out the distance that it would have been to Dunkirk and worked out - using the distance and average mile per hour - how long it would have taken the men, women and children to get there. It has really excited us for our next bit of learning on Dunkirk. Pop back soon and see how we are getting on!
As part of our informal letter writing task, we decided to have a little look at the sorts of 'slang' expressions they might have used in the 1940s. We found quite a few that made us giggle (like chrome dome). Some, were easier to match then others. Do you what it means when everything is 'tickety-boo'?
Our new EPIC writing activity is going to be to send a letter as an evacuee being sent to the country during the war. We decided to begin our learning with some drama and mind mapping of all the emotions we would have gone through on our journey to our new homes. We used our class text 'Letters From The Lighthouse' as inspiration, and also looked at Michael Morpurgo's 'Friend Or Foe' and the evacuation scene at the beginning of 'The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe'. It meant we could really get into character for when we were given the information about our new homes. Even though we knew it wasn't real, we still got extremely nervous waiting for our envelopes!
Our first music project is learning to perform 'Living on a Prayer' by Bon Jovi. We couldn't believe it when Miss Gallagher played if for us. We started by practising how to find the beat. This meant moving in lots of different ways. This will help us be able to tap out the beat with an instrument later. We are hoping to be able to perform it for school when we've finished. Watch this space....
On Tuesday it was 5CG's turn to become evacuees for the day at Cannon Hall. We really got into character and we wore some fantastic costumes! The weather was miserable which actually added to the story atmosphere of being evacuated to the country (and leaving home). Joanne, our host, brought us to the scullery and talked us through the tasks we would have to tackle as guests at Cannon Hall during the war.
In 'Make Do and Mend' we looked at household artefacts from the 1940s. We found the irons to be very heavy and were very glad that nobody had the task of completing the ironing for the house! We found out that during the war even bath water was rationed. Do you know the depth of the water in an average bath during World War 2?
In this activity we also learnt how to darn socks and make rugs from old rags. Most of us found the task quite therapeutic and imagined spending evenings by the coal fire fixing our clothes (its very different to how we actually spend our evenings).
In 'Rationing' Joanne the cook showed us how little food was given to feed families during the war. It was interesting to find out how many meals a housewife could make out of just a little bit of meat. Not all the recipes sounded appetising though! We learnt how to make carrot cookies and were surprised at how delicious they were!
In 'Send the Message' we learnt how to write greetings in morse code. We also looked at war artefacts and propaganda posters.
Our final activity was 'Toys and Games'. We got to play the sorts of games children like us would have played during the war. There were some - like Jacks - we had never heard of before, but others - like monopoly - we had played lots of times. This linked with our history we had done previously when we learnt about 'contrasts and similarities over time'.
We had such a brilliant day, despite the rain, but were glad that our experience ended after one day (unlike many evacuees). We've been inspired by our journey today that we are going to stay in character for our next writing project. Watch this space...
We spent an absolutely brilliant day at Cannon Hall yesterday being evacuees!
The children participated in four different activities:
In "Rationing", we made carrot biscuits using our weekly rations. The carrots bulked them out, made them tasty, and were easy to get hold of because you could grow your own! We then learned about why things were rationed during the war, what was rationed and how people dealt with it. Did you know that it was illegal to waste food during rationing?
In "War Messages" we learnt all about Morse Code - how it was used, who invented it and how to use it ourselves. We decoded messages, changed messages into Morse Code, and used torches to send our own messages. We also looked at posters and slogans from the war and used these to design our own posters, which we will finish back at school.
"Make Do and Mend" taught us about how hard it was to get hold of new clothes during rationing. We made a rag rug and learnt to darn a sock, as well as looking at artefacts from the time.
In our final activity, "Toys and Games", we learnt how different entertainment was 80 years ago! Despite there being no tablets or phones, we actually really enjoyed playing with marbles, tiddlywinks, jacks and various other games, including Monopoly!
It really was a wonderful day, but we were very relieved to be told at the end that it was just a drill, and that we could go home to our families this time! What a wonderful place to be evacuated to though!
A massive thank you to all parents / carers / guardians who did fabulous jobs with the children's outfits. It really contributed to making the day more special.
Year 5 Blog
Miss Levitt, Mrs Mundy, Mrs Tadajewski, Mrs Alcock, Mrs Joyce and Mrs Bailey make up the Year 5 team.