Kaisha and Oliver are specialising in Key Stage 2 (later years) whilst Jenny is studying early years (to age 7).
This blog post was written by them.
The 1940s housewife workshop is popular with Year 5 and 6 classes. It offers an alternative insight to learning about the Second World War by focussing on daily life for a lady and her children living in Ossett, a small local town. Children (and teaching students) are surprised by how little food was available under rationing, demonstrated in a very stark way by ‘Dorothy’, Louise’s character for the workshop (and her real life grandma!). It was fascinating to see how children responded to the effects of war when told from a local perspective, when much of what they had absorbed so far had been about dates and important figures. After speaking to Dorothy children had the opportunity to look at real ration books, identity cards, gas masks and other papers and paraphernalia associated with life at that time. Oliver and Kaisha were inspired to create a series of handouts to accompany each item for teachers to use in future lessons.
|World War 2 Ration book, identity card and Women's Voluntary Service scarf and hat (below) used in the workshop|
|John Bull and the National Debt - one of Waterton's crazy creatures|
|Children get to handle a real crocodile skull as part of the workshop|
Working with children in an unfamiliar setting may appear daunting, but if the topic is something you are deeply engaged in, the time flies by. I’ve spent more time talking about a Kit-Kat wrapper to year 6s than I ever thought I would. Yes, that sounds incredibly tedious and boring but if history is your interest you’d be surprised! In short, if history or anything you know is at the museum that interests you, go for it, you might just learn that Kit-Kat wrappers were blue in the 1940s due to the shortage of milk and thus the colour change indicated that the traditional milk chocolate was temporally changed with dark chocolate. - Oliver
|Oliver and Jenny at the Museum Store - looking at a WWI diary with curator, John|
As a self-confessed history geek, the opportunity to handle artefacts spanning from Ancient Egypt to World War Two was something I couldn’t imagine passing up. On the very first day genuine tears were shed over a Victorian prison cell door because I was so fascinated by it and I imagine I probably cried more than any prisoner who ever had the misfortune to have been held behind it.
But that is the magic of museums for me, as through my time here I have loved being able to connect with a random miscellaneous object from the past and imagine the story behind each artefact. The handling collection contained a Victorian iron and a few wooden pegs, which could easily be overlooked or discarded by someone who was disinterested. Instead, the time we could spend with each artefact on this placement allowed my mind to wander and imagine who these items could have once belonged to.