Hampshire Cultural Trust

Children in World War Two session plan

The session is linked to Unit 9 of the QCA Scheme of Work for History at KS2, “What was it like for children in the Second World War?”


  • During the session you will need to divide into 5 groups and these will rotate around the activities.

  • When doing group work the Interpreter-Demonstrator will oversee the session but adult helpers will lead each individual group.

  • It is useful for the Interpreter-Demonstrator if your pupils are wearing name stickers.

Session objectives

  • To give pupils the opportunity to explore aspects of everyday life in Wartime Britain through visual, audio and kinaesthetic means.

  • To use a range of resources – objects, photographs, sounds and smells to find out about the life of a child in Britain during the Second World War.

  • To give pupils the opportunity to handle objects from the Wartime period.

  • To enable pupils to ask and answer questions and to select and interpret information.

Outline of session


  • Welcome to Aldershot Military Museum and the session.

  • Explanation of the session objective - to find out about different aspects of children’s lives during World War Two.

  • Introduction to the activities the pupils will be engaged in.

  • Run through of health and safety, facilities and the handling rules for our collection.


Pupils will then divide into their five groups and rotate around the following activities. As the groups are moving from activity to activity they have the chance to spot highlighted relevant items from the museum collection.

  1. Evacuees
    Pupils will explore objects connected with evacuation. They will have the opportunity to discuss the feelings of evacuees, their parents and host families. They will then take a look at an evacuee’s suitcase to find out about it’s owner – who they are and what evacuation would have been like for them. There are no right and wrong answers with this activity.
  2. Rationing
    Pupils explore the impact of rationing on the everyday lives of children. They will handle a variety of objects related to rationing and look at what a week’s ration meant. Pupils will imagine that their street is holding a VE Day party. Rationing means that it will be difficult to make enough party food unless everyone shares their rations. Pupils will be given sets of rationing cards that they must pool together in order to make the party food.
  3. Air Raids
    Aldershot was extremely lucky throughout the war as it suffered very few bombings. However, air raid warnings and practises were a fact of life for the population. In this activity pupils will use a variety of primary evidence to think about how children’s lives were affected by air raids. Pupils will then decide what objects they would and would not choose to take into an Anderson Shelter.
  4. How Children Helped
    In this activity pupils look at a range of sources connected to children’s involvement with the Dig for Victory, Make Do and Mend and Salvage campaigns. They will be able to consider how they would have become involved in these campaigns and look at some of propaganda methods used to encourage people to take part in these activities. Using a magnetic collage pupils will design their own WW2 poster to encourage children to take part in the War Effort.
  5. People We Meet
    Many people wore uniform during the Second World War and this activity will introduce children to the various people that they may have met whilst out in the street. The pupils will have the chance to dress up in original and replica outfits, and match objects from WW2 to various characters. We ask that you bring a camera for this activity to take photographs of the children in their outfits.


The class will then come back together with the Interpreter-Demonstrator for a plenary. They will discuss what they have learned about life in WW2 and what they have found particularly interesting.


You will shortly be visiting Aldershot Military Museum for two hours to support the delivery of a session called Children in World War Two. This session has been devised and developed especially for KS2 pupils.

You will be leading a small group of pupils as they try a range of activities in the museum; an Interpreter-Demonstrator will oversee the session and support you.

On arrival the Interpreter-Demonstrator will meet you. They will give you and the group a quick tour of the museum and a brief introduction to the activities you will be involved in.

Your group of pupils will rotate around the following activities in any order. Each activity has a brief instruction sheet with it. Your Interpreter-Demonstrator will be on hand to offer support.

  • Evacuees
    A chance to explore objects connected to evacuation and to unpack an evacuees suitcase and use it as evidence to find out about that child.
  • Rationing
    A look at the difference in diet between then and now, and the chance to work as a team and pool ration cards to gather enough ingredients to hold a VE Day party
  • Air Raids
    Use a range of evidence to consider how the threat of air raids effected people and choose what to take into an Anderson Shelter and why.
  • How Children Helped
    The chance to look at what children did to help the war effort and then design your own posters to encourage children to do their bit.
  • People We Meet
    An opportunity to explore uniforms and objects belonging to key personnel on the Home Front.

At the end of the session the class will come back together with the Interpreter-Demonstrator for a short plenary.



Aldershot has been the home of the British Army for a long time; discuss this with your pupils and see if they think people were evacuated to the area or away from it.

Ask your pupils to imagine that you are going to be evacuated as a class, as many children were. How could that help you in your new life in a new area? Do they think it was a good idea for classes to be evacuated together? Why/why not?

If they were evacuated, how could they keep in touch with their families – list all the different ways. Which of these methods of communication were available during WWII?


Make Do and Mend is a famous wartime slogan – you can discuss what it means and whether you think it was a good idea during the war. Is it similar to Reduce Reuse Recycle today? You can look at www.recycling-guide.org.uk/rrr.html to compare the two ideas.


Important information

This is a two hour session for one class (up to 35 pupils) of KS2 children.

We request 5 adult helpers for this session.