If Britain was only a few days away from defeat in August 1940 how on earth did she win the Battle of Britain a month later?

PLEASE NOTE – This lesson was aimed at Key Stage 3 but should be capable of being used with minimal adaptation with Y6 at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 too.  For Junior/Primary Subscribers you can access this in the KS2 Second World War section of the site.

This active lesson on the Battle of Britain starts with a puzzling conundrum which pupils have to explain by the end of the lesson using 3 key learning strategies: gallery – the unfolding of clues in a differentiated way; explanation builder (using the US technique of opening Up the Text) and spanner in the works. The accompanying PowerPoint provides carefully-chosen range of clues in two batches to create cognitive tension.  The lesson finishes with pupils having to create a 60 word Wikipedia entry showing that they can link and prioritise.

Learning objectives

  • Pupils can confidently explain a seeming paradox by reference to a range of clues
  • They can sustain an argument when presented with opposing ideas
  • They can grasp that historians’ views change over
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