As you may already know I am obsessed with Historical Fiction books specifically from the World War II era and creating Literature Units to go with them. The War that Saved My Life has been on my Must Read list for years and I am so glad that I was finally able to read it.
This novel will definitely pull at your heart strings as it takes you into the life of a young girl named Ada, and her journey during World War II in England in the 1930’s.
Along with general comprehension discussions this novel lends itself to a deep and thorough character study. Discussing Ada’s motivation, the reason she said and did the things she did throughout this novel, will allow your child to really analyze her as a character.
- Character Analysis
- Character Motivation
- Genres: Historical Fiction
- Research both London and Kent in the 1930’s. Describe the terrain, lifestyle, culture, etc.
- Look up photos of Kent during World War II. Create a a diarama of the town using both photos and the details from the book. Use something creative like a pieace of flat bread or a decorated cake instead of a cardboard box.
- Using textual evidence, draw the scene at the top of the hill looking down on the village and sea. Go back and add textual evidence quotes to your scene to show how and why you drew it the way you did.
- Compare and contrast the town of Kent with the city of London, using details from the text as well as your own research.
- Create a lapbook of WWII specifically these events/concepts:
- Battle of Britain
- Evacuation of Children in London
- Create a timeline of major historical events that occurred both in and outside of this novel but that are still related (World War II, major elections, events, etc.)
- Create a paper airplane or several different models of paper airplanes. Experiment with the different models to see which one flies the farthest. Discuss the physics behind airplanes and how they fly.
- Since potatoes are mentioned through out the novel, take a look at ways that potatoes are used other than as a food source. Create a battery using potatoes. Check out resources for this project here and here.
- Potatoes were readily available during World War II when nothing else was. Find or create 5-7 different recipes using potatoes. Then, try them out on your family for dinner.
- Learn how to knit or learn a new pattern in knitting. Look here for ideas.
- Rations. Write an expository text explaining what rations are. Why did the people of England have to be rationed? What were rations like during World War II?
- Read another book that took place during World War II. Compare and contrast the characters, settings, conflicts, and how the war affected them. A few suggestions include:
- Plan a seven day trip for you and your family to Ashland, England.
- Create a budget for your trip.
- Then, determine where you would stay, and how you would get there? What activities can you do and still stay within your budget?
- Create a poster or Powerpoint describing your trip.
- Create a game or fun activity that would help Ada learn how to read and write. Think carefully about what she already knows when creating your game/activity.
Pinterest Board: The War that Saved My Life Literature Unit Study
I hope that you enjoy this unit. Please comment below if you have any other ideas as you work through this excellent novel with your child(ren). If you have suggestions for other Historical Fiction books please let me know.