Curator’s dilemma. Which 8 objects should we show to explain how Britain coped with the effect of war on the Home Front? SMART TASK KQ4

In this activity pupils are cast in the role of local museum curators specializing in the commemorating and interpreting of Life on the Home Front during World War Two. A new museum is being built and they need expert advice. The dilemma the pupils have is that there is very little space in the new museum, so hard choices will have to be made. Pupils work collaboratively in groups to decide what should stay and what should go. There are six distinct phases to the lesson which starts with Call MY Bluff and ends with pupils in role evaluating each other’s presentation.

Are the pupils ready?

This activity should come towards the end of a topic. None of the objects should need very much explanation, as the context should be known. Terms such as ‘make do and mend’, ‘black-out’, ‘Blitz’, ‘air raid’ and even ‘incendiary’ should be well-known and actively used by pupils when discussing the selection of objects. What matters with this activity is that pupils see history as a matter of interpretation that requires making choices and which is not neutral. By including objects in a museum that favour the contribution of one group of people over another

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