Description of the Year 5/6 History in the Literacy Hour activity

The first thing evacuees had to to after they had been billeted was to write a postcard home to tell their parents where they were billeted and that they had arrived safely. This activity uses a prepared file as a close exercise for the children to complete using information on the website in the Barbara Male section.

In this activity the children are being asked to:

They are going to:

  1. Minimise the Internet browser
  2. Start the word processor
  3. Open a prepared file and read the task
  4. Restore the Internet browser
  5. Look for the answer
  6. Restore the word processor
  7. Type in the answer
  8. And repeat steps 4 to 7 until the exercise is finished.

There is a downloadable worksheet called 'Introducing the year 5&6 biographical writing activity' which shows you how to do this and demonstrate it to the class. You can find this in the Download section of the Teachers' Zone.
There is also a 'How to copy & paste pictures' sheet to help the pupils add pictures and photography from the site to their work.

This is the text of Barbara's postcard:
Dear Mum and Dad
We left London at ***. The journey by train was very long. Some of the other children had *** to read. At about five thirty pm we arrived at * station. Some *** helped to carry our cases. We waited in the *** for some buses and they took us to a little chapel. We went inside and had ***. The next thing was to billet everybody, * children went first, bigger families last. It was about *** when we arrived at our billet. We were glad to get in and sit down and write *** Lots of love from your very tired daughter Barbara

The activity could contribute to the following aspects of the Y5 and 6 Literacy strategy:
T2 Text level 17 - to locate information confidently and efficiently through using ... (vi) CDROM and other IT sources
T2 Text level 19 - to evaluate texts critically by comparing how different sources treat the same information
T2 Text level 22 - to plan, compose, edit and refine non-chronological reports and explanatory texts, using reading as a source
T3 Text level 14 - to select and evaluate a range of texts, in print and other media,
T3 Text level 16 - notemaking: to fillet passages for relevant information and present ideas that are effectively grouped and linked are effectively grouped and linked

T1 Text level 14 - to develop the skills of biographical and autobiographical writing in role, adopting distinctive voices, e.g. of historical characters through … composing a biographical report based on research
T1 Text level 17 - to write non-chronological reports linked to other subjects
T1 Text level 18 - to use IT to plan, revise, edit writing to improve accuracy and conciseness and to bring it to publication standard, e.g. through a class newspaper, paying attention to accuracy, layout and presentation
T2 Text level 17 - to read and understand examples of official language and its characteristic features e.g. through discussing consumer information, legal documents……

In the Download section of the Teachers' Zone are a number of files related to this activity