Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

This resource was created by the London School of Economics.

We’d like to thank the staff and students of Frith Manor Primary School for their involvement with this project and their brilliant art work. With thanks to LSE Festival 2021: Shaping the Post-Covid World for funding.

This learning story makes a comparison between the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-19 and COVID-19 with reference to a scrapbook recording events in a military hospital. The emphasis is on understanding that pandemics have happened before but are rare. Recording things that happened is important to historians and to people to help them live through difficult experiences.



Talking openly about the effects of the pandemic on pupils' lives will help pupils to understand how the pandemic has affected them and that other people will have had similar or different experiences. It is important to talk about the practical and emotional impacts of the pandemic in a supportive environment. You may wish to talk about ground rules with the class, and be aware of each individual pupil's experience and whether they lost a friend or family member during the pandemic, in order to provide the relevant support.


Curriculum Links

The lessons embed Recovery Curriculum principles through encouraging discussion and reflection. It is an interdisciplinary mix of history, visual literacy, art / craft and PSHE.

It is aimed at upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6) but could be adapted for early Key Stage 3 (Year 7).


Discussion Ideas

  • People were sad and worried through the influenza pandemic. Is that how people feel now / during COVID-19?
  • What do you think are the similarities and the differences between the worries? Note a few down.
  • What things can’t we see?
    • Germs
    • Viruses
    • Peoples’ thoughts
    • Peoples’ feelings
    • Sometimes, whether someone is ill or not
    • Sometimes, whether people have a disability
  • How do we remember things?
  • Can you think of any famous diaries? Could use Anne Frank or (fiction) Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Tom Gates as prompts. . .


Activity Ideas

  • Artist Becci Kenning made films showing different techniques that can be used in the scrapbook pages, poster making and drawing a map. A sheet of ideas supplements these films.
  • 1. Designing Text and Using Printed Letters
    • In this video, artist Becci Kenning shows some simple techniques for designing letters and using them for collage, in posters and infographics. This video can be used to support the teaching of the following activity ideas.
  • 2. Collage and Text
    • Create a collage from found materials and add text to tell a story / show appreciation / share your thoughts. The video below helps to support this activity.

  • 3. Mapping Your Community 
    • Create a map of your local area and community to record the places and people important to you. There is a downloadable worksheet and a video (below) to help support this activity:
      • Are there people you helped with shopping or even just by waving at them through a window?
      • Are there people who helped you?
      • What walks did you do?
      • Did you notice animals more?
      • Did a local place become more important?

  • Use the downloadable activity sheet 'Looking Forward' to think about the activites you are most looking forward to doing, or things that you think should change going forward.
  • Design a questionnaire and gather data to turn into an infograhic. Download the powerpoint of infographics designed by artist Becci Kenning as inspiration.
  • Design a poster on how to stop COVID-19 spreading. There is a downloadable activity sheet to support this activity.
    • Look at existing posters. What do you like about them, and what do you not like?
    • Can you come up with a unique design to encourage people to stay safe during the pandemic?
  • Create a memorial to a person that you have lost or missed. There is a downloadable worksheet to support this activity. Teacher note: This activity will need careful framing and support for pupils who have lost friends or family, especially during the time of the pandemic. 
  • Did pupils explore a new hobby or develop a new skill during lockdown? Use the downloadable activity sheet to share any positive outcomes of more time spent at home.