Learners consider what they know about ‘evacuation’ during the Second World War, especially those evacuees who came to Wales, before they plan, write, perform and record a two minute audio sketch based on this theme. Learners carry out research to find information about evacuations and make notes and record ideas. They determine success criteria for ‘what makes a good audio sketch’ and use these and their research to write, edit and redraft a two minute audio sketch. After rehearsing, learners perform and record their sketch and use success criteria to peer assess the sketches of the other learners.
During this task, learners can participate in pairs, small groups and sometimes as individuals. There will also be aspects of the task that lead to whole-class participation. Due to the diverse nature of the task, it is envisaged that it will take several sessions for learners to explore it fully.
Each section of the task has a number of bulleted suggested questions that can be posed to learners to try and elicit their understanding and reasoning. These can be used either directly by the teacher or can be given to a group or pair of learners to structure their thoughts.
Links to the curriculum
History in the National Curriculum for Wales
Key Stage 2 Programme of Study
- Chronological awareness: 1, 2.
- Historical knowledge and understanding: 1.
- Interpretations of history: 1.
- Historical enquiry: 1–4.
- Organisation and communication: 1–2.
Resources provided with this task
- Web links relating to the task, e.g.
BBC.co.uk - Declaration of war: PM Neville Chamberlain announces Britain is at war (external link). This resource also provides similar information about other historical periods.
Resources provided by the teacher
- Computer and internet access.
What to do
During the task
Activating prior knowledge and understanding
Invite the learners to think about and discuss what they know about the process of ‘evacuation’ during the Second World War.
- Why do you think people were evacuated during the war? How do you know that?
- Who was evacuated? Why do you think that?
- Where did they go? How do you know that? Why do you think they went to these places?
- How do you think they felt about being evacuated? How do you think their family felt? Why?
- How do you think the people who gave homes to the evacuees reacted? Why do you think that?
Planning the group’s work
Explain to the learners that they are going to plan, write, perform and record a two minute audio sketch based on the theme of being evacuated during the Second World War. Ask learners to consider what steps they will need to take to complete this task. Discuss with them the need to carry out research, possibly source sound effects and so on. Prompt the learners to record the steps of their plan and to storyboard their plan. Encourage all group members to contribute to the planning discussion, agree outcomes and have roles to fulfil so that the group complete the task successfully.
- What will you have to do to complete this task successfully?
- What steps will you take? Why?
- What is the first thing you will do? Why will you do this first?
- How can you make sure you all contribute to the planning discussion?
- How will you make sure you are all involved in the task?
- Why do you need to carry out research?
- What sorts of information do you need to find? Why?
Locating, selecting and using information
Ask the learners to carry out their research to find information about evacuations during the Second World War. They are likely to want to search the internet during their research and a very useful web link is provided in the resource list. This contains audio of air-raid sirens, famous speeches, etc.
Encourage them to make notes and record ideas from the information they find that will help them to create their own script. They might also be encouraged to keep a record of any audio clips they want to use or recreate.
- What do you already know about evacuations during the war? How do you know these things?
- What information do you need to find?
- How and where will you look for this information? Why?
- What search terms will you use to search for information on the internet? Why use these terms?
- What will you do if these search terms don’t provide sites that have the information you want?
- Where in a library would you find information about evacuees? Why would you look here?
- How would you find this section of the library?
- How would you search a book for information? Why do it in this way?
- How will you use the information that you find?
- What experts could you ask? Why do you think they might know?
- Who else could you ask? Why might you ask these people?
Determining success criteria
Show the learners a script for a sketch or play – many short extracts of scripts are available online if required. Invite learners to consider and list success criteria for ‘What makes a good audio sketch?’. Encourage them to share their ideas and to use these as a basis for developing their sketch.
- What things are important for a good audio sketch? Why do you think that?
- How will you need to change a play script to create an audio script?
- How will you use your voice to convey meaning? Why will you use it in this way?
- In what other ways could you convey meaning to help the audience understand?
- How will you make sure the audience can understand what you say in the sketch?
- The audience will not see your performance. How will this affect how you record your audio sketch?
Planning the audio sketch
Explain to the learners that they need to use their ideas and the information they have gathered to create a script for their audio sketch. This could take the form of a radio play or a podcast, for example.
The evacuation of children during the war is an emotive topic. Encourage the learners to consider how they might ensure that the sketch draws in the audience and makes them consider the issues in more depth.
- What story does your script tell? Why did you decide to do this story?
- What sort of dialogue will you include? Why?
- How will you introduce the sketch? Why introduce it in this way?
- Will you include any sound effects? Which ones? Why have you chosen these?
- How will you make sure the sketch is two minutes long?
- How will you change your writing style for this task?
- How will you make the sketch interesting for the audience? Why will this make it interesting?
- What subject-specific words and phrases will you include? Why?
- Are there aspects of your sketch that will challenge the audience to think? Which aspects? Why will these make people think?
- How will you convey the emotion of the subject to the audience? Why will you do it in this way?
Performing and recording
Invite the learners to reflect on their script and to edit and redraft parts of it as they see fit. When they are happy with the end product encourage the learners to rehearse their two minute performance, including any introduction the sketch, sound effects, etc. Remind the learners that this is an audio performance and their sketch will not be seen but heard. Encourage them to consider how they will speak during the performance recording and, for example, how they will vary their expression, tone and volume to enhance the sketch. When the learners feel they are ready, the performance can be recorded.
- How will you edit the script? Why do it in this way?
- Are there parts you want to redraft? Why?
- What do you want to achieve in the redraft? How will you try and do this?
- How will you use your voice to make the sketch interesting? Why will this make it interesting?
Evaluating success criteria
Encourage the learners, especially those working at higher levels, to regularly review progress against their success criteria and to amend them as they discover what works and what is problematic. However, you will need to focus their thoughts on their criteria throughout the task and especially towards the end. You could pose questions such as the following.
- How well are you meeting/have you met each of your success criteria? How do you know?
- What adjustments do you need to make to ensure you meet each one? Why do you think that?
- How do you need to change your criteria? How do you know this?
Peer assessment and evaluating learning
When all groups have recorded their two minute performance, the whole class might listen to each group’s sketch. You could share one group’s success criteria with the class and then play the recording of their audio sketch. Encourage the rest of the class to listen to the performance and to use the success criteria to evaluate the sketch using, for example, three stars and a wish. The performances of each of the other groups might be reviewed in a similar way.
- What do you think of these success criteria? Why do you think that?
- How are they different and similar to your criteria?
- What things did you think were good about the performance? Why did you think they were good?
- What do you think might be improved? How do you think this could be improved?