What to do
Ask the group if they have heard the phrase ‘never again’? Why do they think people say this on Remembrance Day?
Ninety years ago, people first started wearing white poppies to hold on to this message, ‘never again,’ because of the terrible effects of the First World War. Show the group a photo of the women who invented the white poppy in 1933.
Discuss the wide-ranging effects of war, both immediate and long-term, past, present and future. Ask the group who they think is affected? How does war change people’s lives?
After the discussion, get a pin board or a large piece of paper. In the middle of the board/paper, add a piece of paper with the message ‘NEVER AGAIN’
Ask the group to use paper, pens and other craft materials to create white poppy shapes from paper.
On these shapes, the participants should write down as many consequences of war as they can think of: things which you think should never happen again. Encourage the group to think of less obvious consequences that are often overlooked.
Pin these cut outs onto the pin board around the central message.
Make time for discussion and reflection afterwards, standing in front of the display. What have people written? Have some of the less obvious effects of war been included, such as famine, disease, pollution or poverty?
To end on a note of optimism, show the group the photo of the women who invented the white poppy again. They believed in their message: ‘never again’. Who is continuing that struggle today? Who is trying to create a more peaceful future?
Take it Further
This activity was created by the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) to encourage remembrance of all victims of war, including those often forgotten. The PPU is one of the UK’s longest running pacifist organisations.
You can find a range of peace education resources for all age groups on the PPU website at www.ppu.org.uk/education