A hand drawn rainbow on the inside of a window

Fading Rainbows

As the rainbows faded, how did the children feel?

Explore our art, history and wellbeing resources for children and young people.

Fading Rainbows: art, history and wellbeing resources

Help children explore and express their feelings about the COVID-19 pandemic with our free resources. Fading Rainbows films, activity worksheets and lesson plans are free for all to use. Read on to find out more and download these resources for school and home.


About the Fading Rainbows project

Fading Rainbows was a partnership with Frith Manor Primary School in Barnet and artist Becci Kenning to develop teaching resources for Year 5 children. The aim was to help the children understand the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage them to express their feelings about the impact it has had on their lives.

Using a scrapbook from the First World War to introduce a past pandemic, we encouraged the children to create scrapbooks of their own to record the experiences and feelings they had in response to COVID-19.

We’d like to thank the staff of Frith Manor (in particular Wendy Wayland and Rebekah Ellis) for their enthusiasm and support with this project.

Get inspired by the art films 

Becci made three films showing different techniques that can be used to create the scrapbooks.

A sheet of ideas supplements these films.

Collage & Text Ideas

Designing Text and Letters 

Mapping Your Community

Scrapbook Art Inspire Images (PDF)

Download the activity worksheets

There is a worksheet that accompanies each Fading Rainbows lesson. Each also works as a stand-alone art activity. 

Download the worksheets:

1. Mapping Activity [PDF]

2. Information Poster [PDF]

3. New Skill Hobby [PDF]

4. Making a Memorial [PDF]

5. Looking Forward [PDF]


Fading Rainbows Lessons: remembering and experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic

We have made the lessons that were piloted with Frith Manor Primary School available for other schools to use.

A child's drawing of a rainbow, a bee and a flower.
A child's drawing of a flower, a bee and a rainbow.

The lessons embed Recovery Curriculum principles through encouraging discussion and reflection – these could be expanded in live online sessions or in the classroom when children return to school. As well as drawing on a historical scrapbook in the LSE Library, they use recorded conversations with academics to better understand the pandemic.

They include an interdisciplinary mix of history, visual literacy, art / craft and PSHE. They are aimed at upper Key Stage 2 – Years 5 & 6, but could be adapted for early Key Stage 3 – Years 7 & 8. The teachers’ notes give guidance, ideas and further resources so they can be adapted. Teachers' Notes [DOC]

Lesson 1: The Influenza Epidemic 1918-19 and COVID-19 2020-21 [PPT]

Lesson 2: How do we see COVID-19? [PPT]

Lesson 3: Seeing the Unseen [PPT]

Lesson 4: A Global Pandemic [PPT]

Lesson 5: Remembering and Hopes for the Future [PPT]


The War and the Flu 1918-19

We also created a set of lessons on the impact of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic using archival resources. These and can be used for History – Important Events (KS2) or adapted up for Armistice / Poppy Day (KS3). They also consider how we remember history and could be used in Key Stage 3 to introduce different sources / forms of historical evidence. Interviews with historians are embedded in the PowerPoints and additional activities accompany. Teachers’ Notes [DOC]

endell street 800x600
Some of the Endell Street Military Hosptial staff, August 1916.

Lesson 1: Endell Street Military Hospital and World War One [PPT]

Lesson 1: Word Search [DOC] and Spare Scrapbook Page [PPT]

Lesson 2: Endell Street Military Hospital and Influenza 1918-19 [PPT]

Lesson 2: Influenza Flash Card [DOC]

Lesson 3: More on the ‘Spanish Flu’ [PPT]

Lesson 3: Treatments Comprehension [DOC]

Lesson 4: Remembering Endell Street Hospital, the War and Influenza [PPT]


Art work from Frith Manor students

A collage of 9 images drawn by school children as part of the Fading Rainbows project

We felt so lucky to be a part of this project. The children learned a lot about the 1918-20 influenza epidemic and how people were affected by it and were able to use this to help them understand and discuss the current pandemic and their own experiences. For the children learning at home, receiving their own scrapbooks in the post was a real treat! 
They really enjoyed using art to create a visual memory of their own experience and this has given them the chance to express their feelings and reflect on the relationships that have been important to them at this time. The scrapbooks will be something meaningful for them to look back on in years to come.

Rebekah Ellis, Frith Manor Primary School

A collage of 9 images drawn by school children as part of the Fading Rainbows project

Survey and infographics

We put together an online survey for year 5 students as part of the project with Frith Manor Primary School. The questions were approved by the school and the process of the survey by the LSE Research Ethics’ Committee. We asked the children things like did they notice more nature in the first lockdown and whether they were anxious during the pandemic. Artist Becci Kenning worked from the findings to create infographics that reflected the children’s experiences.

An infographic of a rainbow with details about what the children surveyed felt were the most important things to them

An infographic showing what the people surveyed were doing with their time and how they felt. Gaming features highly

Infographics showing how people kept in contact with their families and friends during the pandemic

Two infographics with details about how people felt on the day they were asked and how they felt about the pandemic and lockdown

An infographic showing a local community with houses, flats and buses which gives statistics related to what children said about their community during the Coronavirus pandemic

Explore LSE Library collections