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					60th anniversary celebrations for the end of world war
Year Group

      • Year 3
      • Year 4
      • Year 5
      • Year 6

Key Subject: History

Cross Curricular

      • Citizenship

QCA Scheme of Work

      • What was it like for children in the Second World War?

Useful Equipment

CD or cassette player, OHP, whiteboard and markers, large cards with 1939 and 1945 written in
large letters, artefacts from World War II such as a ration book, a warden’s helmet or a gas mask.

Optional: laptop computer and data projector screen.

The second war was one of the most traumatic times in recent history. In 2005, Britain will
celebrate the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. Commemorations will take place across
the country on 10 July, a single day falling between the anniversaries of Victory in Europe Day
(VE Day) and Victory against Japan Day (VJ Day).

This year 3 6 assembly aims to:

      • raise awareness of key events during the second world war
      • recognise the contribution of those who fought in the services and the sacrifices made by
         the nation during a time of war
      • make connections between the second world war and world events today

Students enter the assembly to We’ll Meet Again, sung by Vera Lynn (see Resources section).

Challenge the children to guess what the assembly is about. Show a collection of artifacts
including a ration book, gas mask and signs displaying the dates 1939 and 1945 and ask what the
items have in common. Elicit the response ’the second world war’.

Ask about the significance of 1939 (the start of the war) and 1945 (the end of the war). Ask
whether the children can work out how long it is since the war ended. When the answer 60 years is
given, describe some of the events that will be held to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of
the second world war.

’World War II veterans across the country will be meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the end
of the war. There will be a service at Westminster Abbey, a veterans’ lunch in the grounds of
Buckingham Palace and events in Horse Guard’s Parade and The Mall in London.Sunday 10 July has
been chosen as the official date for celebrating this important anniversary.’

Main presentation
Explain that the 60th anniversary celebrations will be in the news in coming weeks, and you want
to find out just how much the children already know about the second world war. Choose two
children to take part in a quiz similar to the television show ’Who wants to be a Millionaire’.
Display the questions on the OHP or data projector screen.

Each child may make use of an ’ask the audience’ option on one occasion. If they choose to do
this, children in the audience are asked to raise a hand to indicate the correct answer. They also
have the option of ’asking a teacher’. Keep a record of scores (a small prize may be given to the
contestants at the end of the contest).

World War II What, When, Who?


1. When did World War II start?

a. 1937
b. 1938
c. 1939
d. 1940

Answer: World War II started in 1939.

2. Who was the prime minister when war broke out?

a. Neville Chamberlain
b. Winston Churchill
c. Tony Blair
d. George Bush

Answer: Neville Chamberlain was the prime minister when war was declared. At the time, Churchill
was First Lord of the Admiralty. It was only later, in 1940, that Churchill took over as wartime
prime minister.

3. The German leader was called Hitler, but what was his first name?

a. Andrew
b. Anthony
c. Adam
d. Adolf

Answer: Adolf

4. Britain’s allies in the war included France, Russia and which of the following other countries:

a. America
b. Germany
c. Brazil
d. Italy

Answer: America

5. Which of these airplanes fought against the Germans in the battle in the skies over England,
which came to be called the Battle of Britain?

a. jumbo jets
b. Spitfires
c. Tornados
d. biplanes

Answer: Spitfires

6. The sign of Hitler’s party, the Nazi party, was called a:

a. kebab
b. swahili
c. sahara
d. swastika

Answer: swastika. This was the symbol of the Nazi party and still causes offense because of its
association with Hitler’s policies.

7. What were the nighttime bombing raids on Britain called?

a. the Blitz
b. Fritz
c. the blast
d. the blaise

Answer: The Blitz. The German air force the Luftwaffe had targeted RAF airfields, but in 1940
Hitler turned his attention to destroying London in an attempt to demoralise the people. London
was a dangerous place to live and many children were evacuated to other areas for their own safety.

8. What was the nickname for the local defense volunteers who patrolled their town during the war?

a. Boys’ Patrol
b. Mums’ Army
c. Dads’ Army
d. Lads’ Army

Answer: Dad’s Army. Men who could not join the regular army because of their age or health formed
their own local army of volunteers to protect their town. The television comedy series called
’Dads’ Army’ was based on this.

9. Which place in the pacific was bombed in 1941?

a. Diamond Docks
b. Pearl Harbour
c. Pearl Port
d. Ruby Port

Answer: Pearl Harbour. A surprise attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 left 2,403 dead, 188 planes
destroyed and crippled the American Pacific Fleet, leaving eight damaged or destroyed battleships

10. How did Hitler die?

a. he shot himself
b. he was bombed
c. he fell out of a window
d. he was killed in battle

Answer: He shot himself. Realising that the war was lost, Hitler committed suicide on 30 April

11. When did World War II end?

a. 1943
b. 1944
c. 1945
d. 1946

Answer: 1945

12. When will the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War be held?

a. 10 July
b. 10 August
c. 10 November
d. 10 December

Answer: Sunday 10 July, a single day falling between the anniversaries of Victory in Europe Day
(VE Day) and Victory against Japan Day (VJ Day).

When the quiz has been completed, applaud the winner and present both children with a small prize.

’We all need to remember the end of the second world war. Though the soldiers we will see marching
in the 60th anniversary parades are all old, those who gave their lives were not. Many brothers,
young fathers, young men and teenagers were killed during the years of conflict: these were the
casualties of war. We need to remember war, to celebrate its end; we must never forget its great
cost in human lives.’

Light a candle of remembrance for all those who suffered and died during World War II. Give a time
of silence for quiet reflection. Alternatively, the following prayer could be said:

Dear God,

We remember the people from many nations and many faiths whose lives have been cut short by war.

Comfort those who grieve for them.
Help them to feel the strength of our support.

As we unite to remember the sacrifices made during World War II.


Additional notes
This assembly could be a start point for intergenerational events such as inviting veterans into
school to work with pupils on a World War II oral history project (see Resources section).

Extension/shortening tip
To shorten

        • Limit the number of questions asked in the quiz section.

To lengthen

        • Play a recording of Neville Chamberlain’s speech declaring war on Germany during the
           Introduction (see Resources section).
        • Show a series of images in the form of a PowerPoint presentation as a focus for reflection
           (see Resources section).

Recommended resources
Music on entry

We’ll Meet Again (Ross Parker and Hughie Charles), sung by Vera Lynn.


Neville Chamberlain declares war on Germany:

Ideas for intergenerational oral history projects:

Children in World War II contains images, radio and sound effects and information from a child’s

PowerPoint presentation on World War II:

Assembly brought to you by TeacherNet

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