Description of the Year 5 and 6 activity

Before you consider doing this activity, look at the activities in the Y3/4 section. You may feel that some of them would be relevant and easily adaptable to the needs of your children

Year 5/6 whole class activity - a Newspaper on "London during the Blitz"

The children as a whole class exercise produce a number of pages for a London weekly newspaper for a period during the Blitz of September 1940 to January 1941. the week 13th to 20th September 1940.

This could be in a desk top publisher or assembled from printouts and word processed text onto an A0 sheet. There should be at least one page for each section

Possible introduction activities
You may feel that some of the downloadable worksheets in the Y3/4 section, or the Y6 History in the Literacy Hour activity might serve as a useful introduction to the topic for all or some of the children in the class.

Producing on paper
Poster and photographsPoster and photographs can be printed out directly from the site. If you want the pictures to be bigger, you could expand them on a photocopier or copy and paste them into a word processor and then resize them
Producing the storiesThe stories could be written by hand or on a word processor. If done on a word processor use the Format Columns command (if you have Word) to change them into newspaper-style columns
Assembling the pageThis is a straight scissors-and-paste job, cutting out the photographs and text and arranging it on the A0 sheet

The end result should be a giant five page newspaper on London in the Blitz which makes an excellent wall display

Producing on a desk top publisher
In the Download section of the Teachers' Zone, there is a 'How to' worksheet telling you how to set up the page, type in text and copy and paste pictures from a website. It is for Microsoft Publisher only.

Organizing the activity
Divide the class into 5 groups. Each group will be responsible for collecting the material and producing one page in the newspaper. Below are some suggested topics for each group and page

Group 1: the front pageThis group should choose a couple of relevant topics from the Air raid section as their lead stories. For example, the bombing of Marble Arch tube or the aftermath of the raid on Oxford Street whch almost destroyed the John Lewis store. The front page needs to be dramatic!
Group 2: coping with an incidentThis group will focus on telling the story of how the civil defence people coped with an air raid by using the sequence of 10 photographs in the An Incident section of Air Raids. The theme of the page would be 'public information' writing with a patriotic bent.
Group 3: evacuationThe focus of this page will be to produce pictures and text that act as propaganda, encouraging parents to send or keep their children out of London. The emphasis is on writing for persuasion. There are two propaganda posters in the Children and The War section as well as 18 photographs of London evacuees, with suitable captions from the Ministry of Information, which could all be used as part of the newspaper. There is also the story of Mrs Carter and her children.
Group 4: shelter lifeThis group should focus on how Londoners coped with life during the air raids using resources from the Shelters section of the site. This contains many pictures of how Londoners sheltered during the Blitz as well as parish newsletters from Rev Mackay as background information
Group 5: Daily lifeA 'Business a Usual - We will win through' page, looking at some aspects from the Daily Life section such as Dig for victory, rationing recipes etc