Little Ships Rescue Mission to Dunkirk, WW2 Maths Lesson


Such such an exciting investigation for children to work on that involves History and Maths! Children had already learnt about the Little Ships rescue mission to Dunkirk during World War 2, and this lesson brings it to life. I started the lesson by getting the children to use map scales to calculate the distance between Ramsgate and Dunkirk.  I love a bit of role play, even with the older children so as this starter activity came to an end, I had set up an old fashion telephone ring, I role-played answering the phone in the ‘War Room’ and receiving information about a new mission that we had to undertake as a class (I was able to use the telephone again later in the lesson to add new layers to the challenge.) I explained the mission to the class, and gave a folder to each group (the contents of which were differentiated for different ability table groups) which had a stamp of ‘top secret mission’ on. The children were already so excited and buzzing before they’d even opened their mission folders! Their mission was to work out how many ships they would need to take to bring back xxx amount of men, this was also extended for the more able groups to work out the time it would take based on speed and distance in order to work out what time they should leave England. You can download each ability groups’ mission here. In order to complete their mission each group needed the stats of the boats that went on the mission which included how many men the boats carried and the speed they travelled. Their mission folders included a top-trumps style card for each boat (using info from the actual Little Ships) which you can download here . The children loved calculating this mission and it was really interesting to see the different ways they recorded their calculating. Or if you’re in the UK you may prefer to download them here on the TES website.

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