Detective work Can anyone guess what year this is? Ten years ago? Twenty? (it's actually 1956 - 42 years ago). How do you know? Black and white picture? Clothes? (flat cap). Formality? (some wearing jacket and tie, most fully dressed). Who in your family is over 50, and what do they remember about 1956? (Suez crisis, fear of a third world war, nuclear bombs, "Busby babes", the Manchester football team killed in the Munich air crash in 1958, top film stars - Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope).
Holidays and social history Ask grandparents about their holidays in the Fifties. What differences are there between holidays in 1956 and today? (Blackpool or Benidorm, Southend or South Africa). Cost? (a week in Spain for Pounds 20 then, Pounds 300-plus now). Activities? (popularity today of windsurfing, water skiing, discos). Were there any "lager louts" in the Fifties?
Humour The seaside has always been a rich source of humour. Write a piece comparing people on the beach with ants. Put funny speech bubbles into the picture ("You ask me for an ice cream once more and you'll get this deck chair round your neck"). Draw your own seaside postcard, with funny caption or speech bubble.
Ted Wragg is professor of educationat Exeter University