Children in World War II


Lesson plan Age: 13-16 45 minutes

Children in World War II

Abstract: This lesson gives students an opportunity to see the war through the eyes of children who kept diaries or have written memoirs. Through identification with the authors, students get a sense of the times, and can show empathy. Working in a group, the students will learn to read a historical source, and (through discussion) will get a feel for what life was like for a wartime child, and gain a better understanding of the everyday hardships of wartime.

Lesson plan Age: 16-19 90 minutes

Children in World War II

Abstract: The history of World War II will be viewed through the diaries/memoirs of children from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and Germany. Working in mini-groups, the students will learn to read personal documents, ascertain particular aspects of the author’s daily life, and compare everyday life in different countries. By creating a story about someone their own age, participating in discussion, and making comparisons with their own everyday lives, the students will be able to understand and feel the past. Working with children’s diaries/memoirs will help them understand how war changed children’s everyday lives.


Project Lead

  • Kristina Smolijaninovaitė, Civil Society Forum e.V., Berlin, Germany;

Pedagogical consultants

  • Jacek Staniszewski, Primary School and Secondary School of the Academy of Good Education, Warsaw, Poland;


  • Robert L, Russia;

Linguistic Editor

  • Richard Coombes, United Kingdom;


  • Jan Szkudliński, Museum of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland;

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