One of the activities you may have tried was looking at some wartime luggage and using its contents like clues to work out which suitcase belonged to which person.
The children could try making a suitcase book, filling the pages with items that they would pack in their suitcase if they were being evacuated or having to spend time in an Anderson Shelter for an unknown period of time. What would they take with them and why? Can the other children use the contents of the suitcase book to guess who it belonged to? The aim of this activity is to show how clues can tell us about people from the past.
The children could write a diary account or produce a drama presentation about evacuation. This could either be from the point of view of a child who has been evacuated from the city to the countryside or from the point of view of a child living in the countryside who has an evacuated child/children come to live with their family.
Who am I?
Either by drawing pictures of themselves in costume or by using photographs taken during the visit of themselves dressing up, children could write a character profile of themselves as the character they became when they dressed up. What might their character’s name have been? How old were they? Did they have a job/what was their role during the war? Were they a rich person or a poor person? How did they spend their days? Did they have any family? If so, who? What effect did the war have on their lifestyle? How did the war make them feel? The aim of this activity is to consider how costume/dress can tell us a lot about a person from the past.
Gas mask boxes
The children could make a gas mask box using the kind of box that washing tablets (for washing machines or dishwashers) come in. The boxes can be covered in brown paper and string added to carry the box. They could research correct use and storage of a gas mask and write a set of instructions explaining to a school child how a gas mask should be used correctly.
The internet can provide instructions on how to store your gas mask, put it on and take it off, and put it away again.
The children could do a study into rationing. Why were foods rationed? What was rationed? What were people’s allowances of different foods? What meals became popular during this period due to rationing? Which foods would you miss if they were rationed and you weren’t allowed to eat them very often?