What was VE day really like? Advising the film producer KQ6

In this really varied lesson pupils are asked to offer first-rate historical advice to a film producer who is about to make a new movie in which scenes from VE day, May 1945 are played out. So the pupils must get it right. The scenes must be authentic, typical and based on evidence. So plenty of source comparison and weighing up of evidence, both pictorial and written.

Learning objectives

  • pupils compare written and visual sources, looking for areas of corroboration and disagreement
  • pupils make a judgement about what was typical; they also show that they are aware that not all people’s experience was the same.

Step 1

Set the scene by explaining that the first challenge will give the class a clue to the theme of the lesson. Have ready in a bag a selection of food items that link to rationing, e.g. a slice of bacon, loose tea, bread and a banana. Briefly discuss previous learning in order to establish links. Once children have seen all the items ask them to consider which is the odd one out and why. If needed prompt them by referring to rationing.

Step 2

Now that the class are thinking about food and

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