World War II: Intro to The Blitz

World War II: Intro to The Blitz

Subject

Unit

None

Level

Duration

60 minutes

World War II: Intro to The Blitz

Student Pre-Work

None

Opener:

Intro to The Blitz (5 mins)

Video

London’s Biggest Blitz (2:50)

 

Class Activities

The Story of The Blitz (10 mins)

It was 1940. World War II had been ongoing for a year, and Nazi Germany was attempting to invade Britain. The Germans had to attack by air, as Britain is an island with no land borders for troops to cross.

The Luftwaffe (German air force)  began bombing our airfields to try and wipe out the Royal Air Force. Once they felt they had bombed enough of our planes, they began bombing British cities. This bombing campaign became known as ‘The Blitz’ (from the German ‘Blitzkreig – meaning lightining war). The campaign continued from September 7th 1940 to May 10th, 1941.

London was bombed for 57 consecuive nights from the start, but our other large, industrial cities, were badly hit too.

By the end of May 1941, over 43,000 civilians, half of them Londoners had been killed by the bombs.

Bombings around the UK (15 mins)

Group Activity

In small groups of 2-3, students read through The Blitz Timeline, collecting information about the locations that were bombed.

They should also spend a few minutes doing online research to find out how cities and towns in their local area were affected by The Blitz. Which were bombed? Why?

Mapping the Blitz (20 mins)

Class Activity

With the class, the teacher creates a Google Map, marking the affected locations. Ask each group to contribute a location to the map.

Teachers’ Instructions

  1. Go to My Maps on Google Drive
  2. Click ‘Create a new map’
  3. Zoom in on Great Britain
  4. Click the ‘Add Marker’ button – your cursor will become a crosshair
  5. Click on the city/town on the map where you would like to add a point

Once all of the groups have contributed a location, ask the students if they have any other locations to contribute.

Discussion

Taking a look at the map you just created, what can we observe about The Blitz?
What types of cities were targeted?
Why do you think the Luftwaffe chose these locations?
What do you know about these locations in the present day?
Do any reminders of The Blitz exist in these locations?

 

Closing Response

Quick Quiz (5 mins)

The name of ‘The Blitz’ comes from a German work ‘Blitzkreig’. What does this word mean? — Lightning

Which British city was most heavily bombed during The Blitz? — London

In what year did The Blitz begin? — 1940

Why did the German army attack Britain from the air? — Britain is an island/no land borders

 

Homework

Do you have anyone in your family (a grandparent or great-grandparent, most likely) who remembers The Blitz? Ask them what memories they have of this period in their life. How did they feel? What happened to them? Were they evacuated? How did they know that bombings were about to happen?

If you don’t have someone in your family, have a look online to see if you can find the story of someone who experienced The Blitz and try to gather similar information.

Subject

History

Unit

None

Level

Key Stage 3, Secondary

Duration

60 minutes

Curriculum Points:

Geography (Key Stage 3)

  • challenges for Britain, Europe and the wider world 1901 to the present day
  • the Second World War and the wartime leadership of Winston Churchill

Materials & Preparation

Assets

The Blitz Timeline

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