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Blitz Night

Heather is a Primary Teacher from Canada who is currently working in London through Protocol Education. Getting children inspired to write can be challenging at times, however, given an engaging experience, clear objectives and working together it's rewarding what can be produced. Heather shares with us a recount her class wrote for their school newsletter.

Last term, my class was asked to produce an excerpt for the Newsletter recounting our experience at Blitz Night. Applying our knowledge about ‘pitching’ to a target audience (the parents, and future students of year 6), we wrote with a hint of persuasion while discussing the powerful words we could use to make the reader feel as though they were present for some of the evening’s events.

As the teacher I sat at the front of the class, and while maintaining eye contact (much to the students surprise), together we discussed what elements were effective in explaining our experience, and what made our writing weaker. As we want to improve our writing as a whole class, this was an excellent model for the students on how to go about analysing their own work. We read and re-read for meaning and intent. This is what we came up with as the final article published in the school newsletter.

Blitz Night

On Thursday November 28th, the children of year 6 spent a night at the school. Over the past few months, we have been studying World War II, and specifically, have concentrated on ‘The Blitz’ in our history lessons.

Just like in real life, when we arrived, we were given identity and ration cards as well as a tag which would be similar to those given to the evacuees during the war. We tied these onto our bags, and proceeded to the upper school hall with mixed emotions.

While we chattered with excitement and anticipation for the events ahead, we were gathered together and mesmerized as Mr. Ginsberg shared his experience and knowledge of the blitz. This included his description of the cramped shelters, the lack of food, several stories of bravery and perseverance, and even the display of several personal items acquired by individuals during this tragic time.

Separated into groups, we then began several different activities which entailed cooking eggless cakes, dancing to gay gordans, playing board games, and making decorations using wool and lolly sticks. We each had varying preferences, because each was unique and had echoes of  what we believed the war to be like.

After several year group activities and a bedtime snack, we got ready for bed and turned in for the night. All in the hall, it proved to be very difficult, especially when we were surprised with a midnight air-raid siren, which spooked even the most daring of our peers. The siren itself raised goose-bumps and screams from several students. We were guided to a blacked out area where we were reminded that if we revealed any light the Germans might spot our location. Thus, our torches went out.

While falling asleep was a challenge in such a close environment, we made it through the night and were even able to use our ration cards once more. For breakfast we munched down squash, porridge, and toast before going home to catch up on our sleep that we missed the night before.

This night was highly effective in establishing a sense of what the war was like. We learned even more about the emotions and the ways of life faced by the people of London during the war. Furthermore, we were able to share this experience with our friends and classmates and practice our independence through learning. The Blitz Night was an unforgettable experience as history became a reality.

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Tags: Heather, Canadian-trained, teacher, blitz, history, experiences, newsletter, recount, target,

Category: Australian Teachers

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