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Activities for Community Groups: Armed Forces
These activities are designed to be introduced by youth workers and other leaders of children's and young people's groups. They can be used as part of learning activities, drama presentations and community work.
These activities draw on story extracts from the Archive. Story extract titles appear in bold in the activities below, eg A Child Remembers the Outbreak of War. These extracts can be found in the Story Extracts file.
Divide the young people into groups of four. Ask the groups to read together the poem Night Flight to Turin in the accompanying Story Extracts file. Discuss where Turin is and why it would have been an important target for the Allies to bomb. Think about the fact that Turin was one of Italy's industrial towns, and that therefore the bombs could damage the enemy's war effort. Read the factfile about the Dambusters Raid in 1943 in the Timeline and tell the story as if it were an adventure story.
Split the young people into smaller groups and ask them to compose a song or write a poem to describe the feelings of the men in this squadron. The songs or poems could include details such as:
The groups can then present their poems or songs.
Now ask the group as a whole to agree on six or seven categories - like Bafta award categories - relating to what makes a good documentary film. You could consider categories such as historical knowledge, sensitivity towards subject matter, and the extent to which the documentary maintains the interest of the audience. Tell the young people that they are going to present their own documentaries in this activity, and that afterwards you will have a Bafta-style award ceremony (although acceptance speech time will be limited). Ideally, each group will then receive some type of prize or certificate.
Divide the young people into groups of four. Read the Tirpitz Sunk (1944) fact file in the Timeline and the stories X-craft, the Tirpitz and Inadequate Tow Ropes in the accompanying Story Extracts file. Then give each group the task sheet below.
Imagine you are the wartime prime minister Winston Churchill. Use the information from the extracts, the factfile and the additional story to write diary extracts he might have written about the sinking of the Tirpitz. You must consider the following points:
You will each be expected to read out a section of the diary extracts you have written as if you were reading them on a radio show. You could look at bbc.co.uk/history to find out a little more about Churchill if you wish, but the main purpose is to examine the sinking of the Tirpitz.
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