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KS3/4 Geography: Filling the Gap (1942)

A WWII animation on food shortages provides a useful comparison to food imports today.

Main image of KS3/4 Geography: Filling the Gap (1942)
Author Rebecca Cramer, Lea Valley High School
Key WordsAgriculture, CAP, war shortage, imports
Curriculum links NC KS3 Geography
  GCSE Geography: Agriculture

A short, black and white cartoon urging the British public to grow their own vegetables at a time of war shortages.

Filling the Gap (1942) offers a good way into exploring the impact of war on food supply and government policy. It also offers an interesting starting point for looking at Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).



Play the cartoon to the pupils. They need to take notes on key facts and ideas. Less able pupils could be given questions to answer or a table to fill in.

Lead a brief discussion on pupils' initial reactions to the film before challenging them to re-write the first two minutes of the voice-over, updating the information to make it accurate for today. They will need to research how much food we import today, what different foods we import, the change in population size and the amount we import for our farm animals.


Some more ideas

Why not use Filling the Gap (1942) at the end of a unit on CAP? Show students this film as an example of how governments used simple animations to explain statistics in a more accessible way to a general audience. How might student explain CAP using a similar technique? Students will need to think about the key points to make and how they might be represented visually.

Video Clips
Complete film (4:59)

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Thumbnail image of Filling the Gap (1942)Filling the Gap (1942)

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Thumbnail image of Food Advice Centres (1941)Food Advice Centres (1941)

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See also