Students in this lesson will identify, understand and be able to explain how Winston Churchill, through his speeches in 1940-1941, contributed to the formation of a collective British resolve to continue fighting during the Blitz, a critical time period when Britain was alone in fighting Germany.
English / Language Arts
Winston Churchill, Prime Minster of the United Kingdom for most of the Second World War and its aftermath, inspired many of his countrymen who were then in the darkest days of the war against Germany. In his speech before the House of Commons in June 1940 he uttered one of his most famous quotations…
… we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…
In doing so, Churchill set the tone for the entire population to follow, one of defiance and self-sacrifice in the face of what seemed like overwhelming odds. Over the course of the war and its aftermath, Churchill time and time again used his office and his oratory powers to inspire and encourage the British public as the war against Germany dragged on and the dead piled up. Students here will understand the basic ideas behind England’s decisions in the days before the war (including Parliament’s foreign policy decisions that some historians believe may have stopped Hitler before 1939), Britain’s decision in 1940 to hold out against the Luftwaffe in the face of overwhelming odds, and finally how Churchill’s speeches before Parliament and his radio addresses helped contribute to the formation of a collective resolve strong enough to help the UK through its darkest times of the war.
By an in-depth analysis of primary and secondary sources, students in this lesson will identify, understand and be able to explain how Winston Churchill, through his speeches in 1940-1941, contributed to the formation of a collective British resolve to continue fighting during the Blitz, a critical time period when Britain was alone in fighting Germany.
To view resource web pages, download the lesson plan PDF above.
While on tour, students can visit the Imperial War Museum on King Charles St. in London (a couple of blocks from Parliament in the basement of a Whitehall building ) to see for themselves the Churchill War Rooms Museum. Here they can see for themselves the actual rooms that the British War Cabinet worked and lived in during the Second World War. The museum contains many artifacts and has been restored to as it was during the Second World War. It’s almost as though Churchill himself should be around every other corner. Highly recommended for Churchill fans or anyone who wants to know more about the British government during the war. Adults 16 and over are £17.50 each, but children under 16 are free. Special group rates and private tours are available.
passports Educational Group Travel partners with teachers across the United States to provide high-quality educational travel experiences to their students. Educational tours visit destinations around the world - primarily France, Italy, England, Spain and Costa Rica - at low, guaranteed prices.
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