Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
Performing Activities - Songs & Scores
Starter & Plenary Activities
Supporting Activities - Cover & Homework

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Britain Since 1930 from Musical Contexts provides a range of fun and exciting music activities and learning opportunities combining singing, performing, composing and listening and appraising with all of the resources you’ll need in one place!  Ideal for non-specialist music teachers (with a wealth of supporting media files to model tasks and a detailed scheme of work and lesson plans) and a wealth of fresh inspiration for music specialists.  This unit has cross-curricular links with the popular primary history topic of World War II.

​This unit explores musical styles in Britain during the 1930’s and 1940’s and focuses on music popular during the Second World War.  Pupils begin by exploring songs which were popular during WWII investigating their melodic shape and how melodies can move by steps and leaps.  Pupils then move onto explore how the stepwise movement of the Chromatic Scale can be used to reproduce the “sliding” sound of WWII Sirens and use this to create their own descriptive WWII soundscape.  Pupils then move onto explore the instrumental genre of Swing Music and Big Bands, moving to a piece of Swing Music and exploring how Theme and Variations is used in a piece of Big Band Music.

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Scheme of Work

Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson Plan (DOC)

Lesson Bundles (ZIP)

Download all the resources you need for each lesson (excluding video files) in a ZIP file.

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Lesson 1

Exploring British Music during WWII

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring Steps and Leaps in WWII Songs

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring WWII Sirens and the Chromatic Scale

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring WWII Soundscapes

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lesson 5

Exploring Swing and Big Band Music of the 1930’s and 1940’s

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson 5

Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

Exploring Theme and Variations

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle







Worksheet 1

Listening to Variations on Little Brown Jug

(uses Audio 3)

Worksheet 2

Exploring the Melody Line to

“We’ll Meet Again”

(uses MIDI 7)

Worksheet 3

Music in Britain in World War II


(uses Audio 13 & 14)

Worksheet 4

Listening to WWII Soundscapes


(uses Audio 10)

Worksheet 5

Evaluating WWII


Worksheet 6
Learning about Instruments in a Big/Swing Band


Video 2 - Instruments in Big Band








Starter/Plenary 1

Guess the Decade Quiz


(Uses Audio 2)

Starter/Plenary 2

Little Brown Jug Melodic Shape


(optional MIDI 2)

Starter/Plenary 3

Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Card Sort

(uses Audio 5)

Starter/Plenary 4

Listening to Music which uses the Chromatic Scale

(uses Audio 17)

Audio 11

Original WWII Piano Soundscape - Emma Short

Audio 12

WWII Sirens

‘Warning’ and ‘All Clear’

Starter/Plenary 5

Dancing to Swing Music


(uses Audio 15)








Starter/Plenary 6

Pitch Quiz


(Uses Audio 16)

Starter/Plenary 7

The Variations Lucky Dip Machine









Song Sheet 1 - We’ll Meet Again


MIDI 1 - melody line (repeated twice)

Audio 1 - Audio example performed by Vera Lynn

Audio 6 - Backing Track with Piano Chords

Song Sheet 2 - Little Brown Jug

Score 1 - Little Brown Jug

MIDI 2 - melody line of verse then chorus

Audio 4 - Karaoke Singalong

Video 1 - Karaoke SInglong with on-screen lyrics (46 MB)

Score 2 - Melodies for Variations

MIDI 3 - Twinkle, twinkle little star melody

MIDI 4- Frčre Jacques melody

MIDI 5- London’s Burning melody

MIDI 6- One a Man fell in a Well melody






Song Sheet 3 - We’re Gonna Hang out the Washing on the Siegfried Line


MIDI 8 - melody line

Audio 7 - song example

Song Sheet 4

Wartime Rap

A two-part Q&A/Call & Response Chant with optional actions.  Two parts modelled with pulse on MIDI 9

Song Sheet 5 - We’re Winning!

Sung to the tune of “John Brown’s Body”


MIDI 10 - melody line (repeated 3 times)

MIDI 11 & 12 - Vocal/Percussion Ostinato 1 & 2

Audio 8 - karaoke/singalong backing track

Song Sheet 6 - Cheap Veg Soup

Sung to the tune of ‘The Hokey Cokey’ with actions


MIDI 13 - melody line

Audio 9 - karaoke/singalong backing track





Score 3 - Performing WWII Siren Calls


MIDI 14 - “All Clear” WWII Siren

MIDI 15 - “Warning” WWII Siren

Score 4







Cover/Homework 1




Cover/Homework 2

Tones & Semitones