We had a great time studying how World War II affected England. We kicked off our study of England by watching 1940's House. This is an awesome PBS special. From the show, we were able to decide on the things we wanted to learn the most about England.
One thing that fascinated the kids was incendiary bombs. It is hard to imagine that everyone was trained how to remove them from their homes and workplace in the event of one crashing through the roof. We studied how they removed the incendiary bomb and put it out. Then, we replicated this lesson using a smoke bomb. The kids found it much harder to pick up than they expected it to be. Realizing that the real thing would have caught on fire within a minute or two was a frightening thought!
We then practiced using a fire extinguisher. I had one that had been left outside in very cold temperatures this winter. I just didn't feel confident that it would still work properly and figured it was better to practice with it instead of just throwing it away. The kids enjoyed this activity. Sure hope they never have to use one for real!
We also learned about some of the games and activities people did during World War II to pass the time. We tried our hands at Tiddlywinks. This game is much harder than it looks (at least for those of us who lack eye hand coordination). We only learned the simple rules which is to take a squidger and propel the winks into a cup before your opponent squops your winks. I just love English words. They crack me up!
We also tried SPAM. Yes, I managed to get to 41 years of age without having had it. But Spam was a real lifesaver to the British during the war years. It was a popular food during the ration years and even up to current times. We fried our Spam and ate it with noodles. It was salty and I will probably not race out to buy it again. However, it was not at all as bad as I expected it to be. But it sure isn't the grass-fed meat we usually put into our mouths.
We also made a model of an Anderson bomb shelter in lieu of the real thing. I just wasn't willing to dig a deep hole in the back yard. What kind of a homeschool mother am I anyway? LOL!! This was a much easier way to learn about how a shelter was constructed and then we bombed it with rocks. The kids had a fun time bombing it while it lasted.
We are done with school for five weeks so I will pick up on our studies of World War II when we return to school. We still have the home front (America) and Japan to go. I also may do a bit more with the African countries that were involved. So far, we only listened to an audio tape that was set in Africa.