WW2 activity 2: Put out that fire! ARP challenge
Pupils learn about the role of Air Raid Warden in Learn with Objects WW2 2: ARP Warden. Then undertake practical training, learning how to put out a small house fire caused by the bombing.
Increased knowledge and understanding of WW2 Home Front, and the role of Air Raid Wardens in WW2.
KS1-2 History (WW2 Home Front, Local Area Study).
As a whole class group investigate the job of Air Raid Warden by looking at Learn with Objects WW2 2: ARP Warden.
Mention that one of the jobs of an Air Raid Warden was to put out small fires.
Time required : 15-20 minutes
Location: Outside in the playground
Equipment: 3 buckets, each a quarter filled with water (or a quarter filled with sand if you prefer that no one gets wet), 3 pretend fires (made from strips of red, orange and yellow fabric or paper).
Set up: Line up 3 teams of approximately 10 children in straight lines with ample space between each line. Team members should be able to touch the shoulders of the person in front of them with their finger-tips.
The pretend fires are placed on the floor at the front of each line, and the bucket starts at the back. If uneven team numbers, the first team member can go twice.
OK, this is what’s happened…
As I’m sure you are aware, there’s been a bad air raid on Folkestone, and the Fire Brigade are busy fighting large fires elsewhere in town.
A bomb has fallen in your street setting a house on fire. The fire is small but is spreading.
What are you going to do?
Our 3 well-trained ARP Wardens (the person at the front of each line) have gathered teams of strong volunteers to put the fire out, by using buckets of water and forming a human chain.
Who can tell me what a human chain is?
It’s where a team of people line up to transport heavy objects hand to hand along a line.
Here’s the fire. One per team. [Point at fabric or paper fires].
You have already discovered the well-prepared householder has a bucket and there’s a working tap in a house across the street [point at buckets at back of lines].
It’s your team’s job to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible and save the house!
What you are going to do in your teams is to pass the bucket of water down the line from the back using two hands [demonstrate] with two hands under the handle of the bucket, passing it on to the next person, who takes it in two hands, turns round and passes it to the next person in the line, and so on, until it gets to the front.
The person at the front pretends to throw the contents of the bucket onto the fire.
They then take the ‘empty’ bucket to the back of the line for [pretend] refilling.
The process continues until each team member has had 1 turn each.
The last team member actually throws the water over the fire. [Adults stand well back!]
The team then shouts FIRE OUT! And sits down.
What are you going to shout? FIRE OUT!
It’s a race against the clock to extinguish the blaze.
Any questions. OK, no cheating. Start on my whistle.
[Blow ARP whistle to start]
At the end congratulate each team on their efforts. Tell the winning team they have saved the house, with only minor smoke damage!
Inform the second placed team they have saved the house, but weren’t quite quick enough, one room has been completely destroyed.
Admonish the third team, that they were too slow, and the house has burnt to the ground. Thankfully without its occupants inside.