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In September we remembered the 70 th anniversaries of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain At 4: 56 pm on 7 September 1940, the air raid sirens wailed as the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, launched a massive raid on London. Why do we need to remember the Blitz and the Battle of Britain? It happened a long time ago. Are people today interested? What do you think? St Paul’s Cathedral, London World War Two was a really important part of our history. Some people think that many young men lost their lives to keep us free from Nazi control.
1715 Hawker Hurricanes 1583 Supermarine Spitfires Never was so much owed by so many to so few! The ‘few' were 2 353 young men from Great Britain and 574 from overseas – pilots and other aircrew who are officially recognised as having taken part in the Battle of Britain.
It’s in the News! Teachers guide On 7 September we remembered the 70 th anniversary of the beginning of the Blitz during World War Two, and on 19 September there was a service commemorating the 70 th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. World War Two is a topic covered in many schools in England so we thought this would be a good time for It’s in the News! to cover it. You could incorporate some of the ideas on these slides into your topic work to engage the children in some mathematics related work, if you would find that helpful. Before you use the slides you might find it helpful to look at the following websites for further information: photos of blitz damage in London cabinet war rooms the Blitz cabinet war rooms underground shelters BBC WW 2 Battle of Britain … continued on the next slide
… continued These slides give opportunities for work on mathematical concepts including time, measurement, money, fractions and percentages. They also provide cross curricular links to history. There a wealth of mathematics opportunities here. If you made use of most of the ideas you could have a one- or twoweek project and teach all of your maths, literacy and other areas of the curriculum through this theme.
1 st spread: The Blitz! ● Ask the children to work out the year in which the Blitz took place. You could ask them to plot it on a time line and add other dates that are special to them such as their year of birth, the year they started school and also other significant times in history over the last 70 years. Ask questions which involve counting along the number line to find differences between these dates. ● You could print out copies of the WW 2 timeline from Woodlands Junior School and ask the children to find ten dates that they think were significant to the UK during the war, including the Blitz. They could then plot these on a time line and work out the differences in time between their chosen events in days, week, months and years. ● Focus on the time when the Blitz started. Can they find this time on a clock, can they think of other ways to say the time e. g. 4 minutes to 5, 04: 56? You could ask some questions for example if it had started one hour, half an hour, 15, 10, 20 minutes earlier/later what time would that have been? ● Blitz is a shortened form of the German word 'Blitzkrieg' (lightning war). You could play around with this word, encoding it using various alphabet codes for example A=2, B=4, C=6. Codes were an important part of the war. Take a look at the ICT article in Issue 24 of the Primary Magazine for more ideas. The Enigma code was used by the Germans: codes and ciphers. NRICH has an article The secret world of codes and code breaking, which could form a basis for further work. ● London was bombed every day and night, apart from one, for 11 weeks. Ask the children to work out how many days and hours this was. ● One third of London was destroyed. You could use this fact to explore fractions. Draw a rectangle or circle on the board to represent London and ask volunteers to come to the front to shade a third. They could draw some 10 x 6 cm rectangles on squared paper and find as many ways to shade a third as they can. …continued on the next slide
1 st spread: Please save us!! continued… ● You could make up some numbers to represent buildings in parts of London and ask them to find a third of these. ● London was the first city to be hit by the Germans. On the first night over 350 bombers flew across the Channel from airfields in France and dropped 300 tonnes of bombs on the docks and streets of the East End of London. Ask the children to find different ways to make 350. Encourage them to challenge themselves to use multiplication, division, fractions, percentages etc. Can they find all the factors of 350? How about exploring digital roots? What other numbers have a digital root of 8? You could repeat this for 300. ● The Germans used three types of bombers during the Blitz, they were mostly Junkers 88. The other two were Heinkel 111 and Junkers 87 Stuka. You could use this as an opportunity to work on fractions, percentages, ratio and proportion, e. g. if 4/5 of the 350 bombers on the first night of the Blitz were Junkers 88, how many Heinkels and Junkers 87? If 8% of the bombers were Heinkels, how many were there? ● Focus on the weight of the bombs dropped on London on that first night. Ask the children how heavy they think 300 tonnes is. How many kilograms, grams in 1 tonne, 10 tonnes, 100 tonnes, 300 tonnes? You could give an example of something they might relate to for example an elephant. The average weight of an adult is between 4. 5 and 6 tonnes. How many elephants would be equivalent to 300 tonnes? You could weigh an item of classroom furniture on a set of bathroom scales and work out how many of these would have been equivalent to the weight of the bombs. If 350 bombers carried 300 tonnes of bombs, you could ask the children what approximate weight each one might have carried. …continued on the next slide
1 st spread: The Blitz! continued… ● Focus on St Paul’s Cathedral. St Paul’s suffered some damage during the Blitz but remarkably wasn’t destroyed. You could ask the children to research the cathedral and make a mathematical fact file about it and then think of some questions to ask the class. For example the latest building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, he was given the job in 1668, the first stone was laid in 1677 and it was declared finished in 1710. How long did it take to design and build? Another opportunity for plotting numbers on number lines and finding the difference by counting on! ● Focus on the comments of the two children. What do your class think? You could display their thoughts in a Carroll diagram with the criteria remember/not remember. ● Nearly 2 000 people were killed or wounded in London's first night of the Blitz. Ask the children to imagine how many people that would be. You could liken it to the number of people that might go to a sporting or musical event or compare with the size of your school. If nearly 2 000 were killed what could the exact number be? You could ask them to make 2 000 using digit cards and explore place value. They could add 100 and then 50 and 6, read the new number, then make it 1 000 less, 50 less, talk about zero as the place holder and so on. ● You could give them a 10 x 10 grid on squared paper and ask them to work out the number sequence that will make it end with 2 000. You could ask them to explore the number and write down some facts about it e. g. how many factors it has, using the rules of divisibility find out if it can be divided by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 25 and 100, give four multiples, find 10%, 5%, 35% etc. ● During the first month, German Air Force dropped 5 300 tons of high explosives on London in just 24 nights. What is that as a nightly average? …continued on the next slide
1 st spread: The Blitz! continued… ● People were warned of a likely air raid by loud sirens, positioned in different parts of towns and cities. During the Blitz, they became an almost daily part of life. You could also explore decibels. Which of these decibel measurements is most likely to be that of an air raid siren? Near total silence - 0 d. B A whisper - 15 d. B Normal conversation - 60 d. B A lawnmower - 90 d. B A car horn - 110 d. B A rock concert or a jet engine - 120 d. B A gunshot or firecracker - 140 d. B They were reported to be 138 decibels. You could listen to what one sounded like from this sample. After listening, you could ask the children to draw a line graph to show the siren getting louder, then quieter and louder again, going through the number of decibels from 0 to 138 over a period of two minutes. What would be the best scale for the vertical axis? ● During the Blitz 60 000 civilians were killed and 87 000 were seriously injured. You could explore these numbers as described above for 2 000. ● Two million houses (60% of these were in London) were destroyed in the Blitz. If the two million destroyed in London is 60%, how many houses in total were destroyed? What is this as a ratio, as a proportion? ● One in every ten bombs that fell was a 'dud'. which meant that it did not explode on impact. You could use this fact to explore ratio and proportion e. g. if 30 bombs were dropped, how many duds, what proportion is that as a fraction, can you reduce that fraction, what is that as a ratio?
2 nd spread: How people tried to keep safe during the Blitz ● Discuss what people did to try to escape the dangers of the Blitz. Begin with the Underground, ask the children if they have been on an underground train. You could display this information on a Carroll diagram using the criteria underground/not underground. Ask them how it must have felt to be staying in one of these stations overnight. You could explore the underground system and find out which lines were open during WW 2. They could work out the possible number of platforms available for people to sleep on and work out possible numbers staying there, if for example 750 slept on each platform. Knowledgeoflondon. com is a useful website to explore. ● In Bethnal Green Station on 3 March 1943 there was a panic rush during an air raid, in which 1 500 people stampeded down the stairs, someone fell, causing 173 to die in ninety seconds. You could explore the date, numbers and time in this fact. ● Aldwych station was first called Strand station: during the second world war it was closed and used to house the British Museum treasures including the Elgin Marbles. It reopened in the 1940 s then closed for the last time in 1994. You could plot these dates on a time line and work out how long it was reopened for. Can the children find out the date it opened for the first time and plot that on the timeline? ● Stockwell station opposite the Oval Cricket ground was used as a hostel by American GIs. The children could find out how many GIs came to England during the war. ● Focus on evacuation. You could ask the children to find out where the children were evacuated from and to, plot these on a map of England work out the distances they travelled. You could ask them to find our why people went to the countryside. …continued on the next slide
2 nd spread: How people tried to keep safe during the Blitz continued… ● The government had overestimated the demand for evacuations. Only half of all schoolaged children were moved from the urban areas instead of the expected 80%. There was enormous regional variation, from 15% of children in some places to over 60% in Manchester and Liverpool. Overall 1 474 000 people were evacuated. You could explore these numbers as previously described and also percentages. ● Focus on Anderson shelters: they were designed to accommodate up to six people. The shelters were 6 ft high, 4 ft 6 ins wide, and 6 ft 6 ins long. They were buried 4 ft deep in the soil and then covered with a minimum of 15 ins of soil above the roof. Ask the children to convert these measurements into metric. You could use the conversion 1 inch = 2. 54 centimetres, 1 foot = 30. 48 centimetres, or round them. Older children could convert using the grid method, any that can’t, or younger children, could use a calculator. Once they have made their conversions, they could scale down these dimensions and build one using balsa wood or something similar, measuring accurately of course! ● You could look at rationing. Discuss the imperial measures of pounds (lb), ounces (oz), pints (pt). Compare and convert to metric. You could ask them to estimate and measure the different items allowed so that they can see for themselves how little people could buy. Compare with a weekly shop these days. You could use these rations to work from: Butter: 50 g (2 oz); bacon and ham: 100 g (4 oz); margarine: 100 g (4 oz); sugar: 225 g (8 oz); meat: to the value of 1 s. 2 d (one shilling and sixpence – about 6 p today) per week; milk: 3 pints (1 800 ml) occasionally dropping to 2 pints (1 200 ml); cheese: 2 oz (50 g); eggs: 1 fresh egg a week; tea: 50 g (2 oz); jam: 450 g (1 lb) every two months. Dried egg: one packet every four weeks; sweets: 350 g (12 oz) every four weeks. ● Compare costs of food today with the cost in 1945. Look at the money they would have used: £sd. Look at the coins (real if possible or photographs from the internet) and compare the values to each other and to our present coinage. Do some + and – calculations using these. A little bit of history in Issue 9 of the Primary Magazine has information about the development of our money which might be helpful.
3 rd spread: Some cities of the Blitz ● Slide 3 show some of the cities that were bombed during the Blitz. Ask the children to find out others. ● Together identify the cities mentioned on the map of the UK. You could ask them if they have visited any of these places and make a pictogram, bar graph or pie chart to show this information. ● Give pairs of children a copy of the map and ask them to circle the cities mentioned. Find the distance from one city to another and then, using that information, estimate the distances from London or the city closest to where your school is situated in both miles and kilometres. ● You could tell them that the bombers flew at approximately 340 mph and ask them to find the time it would take to fly from city to city. ● If you are doing a project on WW 2, you could enlarge this map and highlight the different cities ‘blitzed’ and then mark on bomber planes with the distances and times labelled.
4 th spread: The Battle of Britain ● Ask the children to tell you the dates when this battle was and plot these on a time line. Discuss the number of days in each month and then work out how many days and weeks it lasted. ● Use the newspaper headlines as a basis for discussion. ● Five different types of British plane were used during the battle, the two featured were the most common. Can the children find out the names of the others? ● Focus on the two planes, the numbers show many were used. How many more Hawker hurricanes than Supermarine spitfires? ● You could give these details of the two planes: Hawker hurricane Powerplant: One 1 030 hp Rolls-Royce Merlin III twelve-cylinder liquid-cooled engine Span: 40 ft 0 in (12. 19 m) Length: 31 ft 4 in (9. 55 m) Max Speed: 328 mph (529 km/h) at 20 000 ft (6 095 m) Supermarine spitfire Span: 36 ft 11 in (11. 25 m) Length: 29 ft. 11 in (9. 12 m) Max Speed: 362 mph (584 km/h) at 19 000 ft (5, 790 m) Focus on different elements of these facts for some mathematics, e. g. how fast they flew. How long would it take to fly from London to Glasgow in each? Which is the faster, and by how much? ● They could make a scaled down drawing of each one and then perhaps a model. …continued on the next slide
4 th spread: The Battle of Britain ● The children could research the other planes involved in the Battle of Britain from the internet and make up a fact file for each one. They could use these to pose mathematical questions to each other. ● Focus on the map and ask the children to give you information from it, e. g. how many areas and fighter stations were attacked? ● Ask the children to find the distances across the English Channel that the German planes flew to the different areas that they attacked. Use this as an opportunity to practice converting from miles to kilometres. ● Ask them to research the achievements of Sir Winston Churchill and the different things that happened during his lifetime. They could plot these on a timeline from his birth to his death. ● Discuss the ‘few’ he was talking about and work out how many there were in total. ● They could find out about the different services and events that have been held in the UK to commemorate the 70 th anniversary of this event.
4 th spread: The Battle of Britain continued… Other things you could do: ● Plan WW 2 day, VE-Day party or similar. Vote on what activities to have, what music, games etc. Make sure they fit with the 1930 s and 1940 s! Decide on appropriate food. Cost the party, you could use internet shopping or brochures from your local supermarket. Work out how much this would have cost in the money of that time. You could work out timings for your event. ● You could plan a trip to the Imperial War Museum in London or war museum close to you – transport, costs, timings to get there and back? ● You could collect the data about the war from Espresso and represent in alternative ways e. g. pie chart, line graphs. Then find modes, ranges, means and medians of the information as appropriate.