Victory in Europe Day – Wednesday 8th May

Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) commemorates Tuesday, 8 May 1945, the date when the Allies of World War II formally accepted the Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. (The formal surrender of the German forces occupying the Channel Islands did not occur until the following day, 9 May 1945). It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Many schools choose to commemorate the day through assemblies or by undertaking research in class. We hope this blog will support you to explore how people reacted at the end of the war in Europe and how the British celebrated on the Home Front with your pupils.

To introduce the day perhaps you could use the BBC Sound Effects resource. You could explore which sounds your pupils recognise from the “mystery sounds” you play. There are many sounds to pick from including: Doodle Bugs, gunfire, air raids and tanks.

Then to explore and learn more about WWII, the Widgit resource has WWII ‘Books’ and ‘Activities’. The titles in the books include: World War 2, The Blitz, War in the East, Life at Home and Life for Children. These short books contain simple sentences and pictures, with each covering a separate topic. Each book is available at 5 different levels and has relevant vocabulary cards at the back and has an activity pack (with six activities – matching activity, missing vowel, quiz, sentence matching, spelling and wordsearch) to download also. 

Busy Things has a ‘World War 2 warfare’ resource which explores the question, “What was it like for soldiers to fight in the war?” In addition, you could use the new Comic Strip resource in BusyThings with your pupils. They could storyboard the announcement that the war was over, the way people celebrated VE Day or even the causes of WWII by choosing from the preprepared templates for comic strips. The example was completed in BusyThings in English>composition>storytelling and poetry.

Should you want to explore the work of women as code breakers during WWII then our resource ‘Women in Computing’ aims to recognise and promote the achievements of women in British computing within the social context of the time. The pupils can learn about the important role they played in the eventual victory of WWII.

To explore the Holocaust and Nazi era in greater depth, you could use the Documenting the Holocaust resource. LGfL has been given unique access to the Wiener Library’s collection (a world leading and extensive archive on the Holocaust and Nazi era). This powerful resource is aimed at Key Stages 2-5 PSHE, Citizenship, History and R.E.

The M Room resource from LGfL gives exclusive access to secret World War II listening sites where the British Secret Service bugged high-ranking German Military prisoners. The resource features an interview with one of the original secret listeners and extensive primary-source material from the Ministry of Defence, relatives of those involved, and The National Archives.

Further resources not hosted on LGfL which are free to access can be found below: 

The War and Peace Shed from the Literacy Shed, has a range of short films that could be used when looking at the theme of World War II (including ‘German in the Woods’, ‘The Piano’ and ‘Beyond the Lines’.)

Visit the Imperial War Museum site for “What you need to know about VE Day” and the “10-photos of VE Day Celebrations”.

In addition, you could play Winston Churchill’s announcement below:

We hope this blog proves useful, should you be exploring VE Day with your pupils. If you complete any of the activities why not share what you did on our Twitter or Facebook accounts?

Augmented Reality updates

Apple have just released iOS 11 to the public, with so many exciting new features, one of the features you may have missed is the inclusion of ARkit a software development kit to enable the creation of new Augmented Reality Apps.

Bridging the gap between the virtual and physical worlds, Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are “augmented” by computer-generated or extracted real-world sensory input, AR changes the way we see, imagine, and learn about the world around us.

AR in education allows students to interact with objects and concepts that they could never do without the aid of technology. Though it might be a buzz term in education circles, don’t assume that AR is just another fad. After all, profound learning occurs when students create, share, interact and explain by working with the environment around them.

LGfL have been at the forefront of using AR and have partnered with the AR experts at Computeam to create augmented reality apps for the Cold War (KeyStage 3/4), First

World War (Key Stage 2/3) and Maya and Prehistory (both Key Stage 2), and newly released this week Vikings (Key stage 2) Find out more at ar.lgfl.net

Here is what Phil Birchinall from Computeam  thinks about AR and the latest iOS11 update:

“We know that pupils react well to augmented and virtual reality stimuli. It creates a moment that they will remember. So, if that moment is structured within robust learning resources, that cognitive trigger and memory becomes associated with the subject or learning. We’ve learned a lot during our partnership with LGfL and have seen how pupils absorb and relate to this technology and how it can accelerate and deepen learning.

iOS 11 is a significant step forward. With ARkit we can now move away from trigger images (where appropriate). For example, in the LGfL WW1 resource, it’s possible to virtually drive a Mark 1 tank from 1916, but only triggered from an image (make sure you update your app!). With ARkit, that tank could be on any flat surface and could also be made to appear life size”

If you are still wondering ‘Why Augmented Reality?’ you may want to read this LGfL feature article on AR in teaching & learning.

 

How has AR in your classroom helped support learning?