Learning Activities

The following activities are designed for KS2 pupils. Each activity is related to information and resources contained on this website. All resources can be printed from the website or displayed on the interactive whiteboards.

1. Statistics Survey

Print out the information on Bristol at war. Divide the class into small groups and give each group a copy of the information. Pupils can work in pairs on a single page within the groups. Ask the pupils to list information about dates raids took place, casualty figures, the length of raids, number of houses damaged etc. Ask the pupils to collate all the information and choose a method for presenting the data in table form.

2. War Words

Print out the information on Bristol at war. Divide the class into small groups and give each group a copy of the information. Pupils can work in pairs on a single page within the groups. Ask the pupils to look for and highlight unfamiliar words in the information and try to suggest a definition. Pupils can use the webpage glossary or a dictionary to compare their definitions.

3. Plot the Raids

Ask the pupils to look at the photographs and list the locations. Using the Tramways map of Bristol ask the pupils to plot where the bombs fell. Encourage the pupils to suggest reasons why these areas were affected. Provide the pupils with a copy of a postwar map of Bristol. Focusing on the city centre area, ask the pupils to compare the two maps and look for post war changes.

4. Bristol Blitzed Trail

Ask the pupils to look at the photographs on the trail and the Tramways map. Print off the trail and copies of the map. Walk the route comparing the photographs and map to contemporary locations. Ask the pupils to record the changes that have occurred since the war. It would be useful to provide each pupil with a contemporary map of Bristol.

5. Art Attack

In small groups, ask the pupils to read through the memories of the Bristol Blitz, the Cane letter and look at the photographs. Ask the pupils to create a collaborative piece of artwork for display that imagines what Bristol looked like at the height of the bombing.

6. Descriptive writing

Ask the pupils to choose a photograph and produce a piece of descriptive writing to accompany the image.

7. The moment beforeā€¦.

Provide the pupils with one of the photographs. In pairs or individually, ask the pupils to produce a piece of writing describing what happened immediately before the photograph was taken. Compare the descriptions with the oral history accounts of the blitz.

8. Creative captions

Print out the photographs and divide the class into small groups. Provide each group with one or two images and related oral history accounts. Ask the pupils to create a caption for their images. Photographs and captions can be mounted for display.

9. Protect the public

Divide the class into small groups and ask pupils to read the information and oral histories about public shelters. Using a map of Bristol, ask the pupils to plot where the shelters were located. Discuss why some locations cannot be found on modern maps. Ask one of the pupils to design a flyer informing the public of the location of the shelters and the rules for its use.

10. Shopping

Ask the pupils to read through the information about food and clothes, Castle Street and the Dutch House. Ask the pupils to make a list of all the things you could buy. Discuss the differences in shopping then and now. Ask the pupils to create a piece of artwork visualizing what the Castle Park area might have looked like before the Blitz.

11. Imagining the Past

Divide the class into five groups. Provide each group with information about one of the following:

  • Castle Street
  • British Restaurants
  • The Blitz
  • Public Shelters
  • Military Offices

Ask the pupils to read through the oral history accounts and related information and choose one memory to role-play. Ask the pupils to create a character list, a list of scenes (if appropriate), a vocabulary list and a description of the set. Ask the pupils to create a role play based on their research and perform to the others in the class.

12. What do we know about Bristol in the War?

Divide the class into pairs and provide each pair with an oral history account. Ask the pupils to summarize what they have found out about Bristol during World War Two. Feedback the information and compile a chart. Ask the children to suggest headings for the chart and list information accordingly, for example,

  • Entertainment
  • Air Raid Shelters
  • Shopping
  • Buildings/streets destroyed or damaged
  • Buildings used for military or war purposes