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Victorians

Lesson Plans

The Victorians Planning and Resource Pack contains a complete unit of work for KS2, with detailed lesson plans, Powerpoints and pupil resources.

Lessons in this unit:

1. Introduction to the Victorians (FREE)

This lesson introduces the Victorian period and helps pupils to set it into its wider context in British history. After completing a timeline activity, pupils will gain an overview of facts of the period and then engage with a set of historical sources to make deductions about life in Victorian times.

Objectives:

  • To put the Victorian period into historical context

  • To use historical sources to find out about the Victorian period

2. Who was Queen Victoria?

In this lesson pupils learn about Queen Victoria and the impact of her reign. After exploring the facts about her monarchy, pupils will consider the legacy she left behind and create newspaper reports from the week of her death. Pupils will finish the lesson by pretending to be directors of a new film about Victoria’s life.

Objectives:​​

  • To find out about the life of Queen Victoria

  • To think about why Victoria became such a popular monarch

3. Which famous inventions came from the Victorians?

This lesson explores the wealth of new inventions created during the Victorian period. Pupils will be encouraged to think like an inventor and consider the way in which inventions are designed to solve different problems. They will learn about some of the most famous inventions from the Victorian period and then work in groups to create a Dragon’s Den pitch.

Objectives:

  • To find out about some famous Victorian inventions

  • To explain how new inventions changed people’s lives during the Victorian period

4. What was the Industrial Revolution?

In this lesson pupils think about the impact of the Industrial Revolution. Pupils will engage with historical sources to make observations about a British city before and after the Industrial Revolution. Pupils will learn about changes to cities, employment, living conditions and the landscape and will have the chance to reflect on whether the effects of the various changes brought about were positive or negative ones.

Objectives:

  • To find out what the Industrial Revolution was

  • To explain how Victorian Britain was changed by the Industrial Revolution

5. How did the Victorians respond to the new railways?

This lesson looks at the introduction of the railways during the Victorian period. Pupils will think about their own experiences of rail travel and consider what travel was like before the railways were built. They will learn about how the new railways impacted people in positive and negative ways using case studies and role play activities, before writing a letter to explain one character’s perspective on the new railways.

Objectives:

  • To find out how the introduction of the railways changed travel and trade

  • To explain different viewpoints about the new railways

6. What was life like for working Victorian children?

In this lesson pupils will find out about the different kind of work that Victorian children undertook. Pupils will watch videos exploring work in the mines, factories and fields and will consider what these jobs would have felt like for children performing the work on a daily basis. Pupils will make a paperchain of Victorian children to present information about different jobs and have the opportunity to hot-seat in the role of a child worker.

Objectives:

  • To find out what sort of jobs were taken by Victorian children

  • To explore what life was like for Victorian working children

7. How did Lord Shaftesbury improve the lives of Victorian children?

In this lesson, pupils will learn how Lord Shaftesbury campaigned to improve children’s lives. After learning about the Factory Act, pupils will write a letter from Lord Shaftesbury to the government proposing changes to the law. Finally, pupils will have the opportunity to link Lord Shaftesbury’s work to the legacy of other significant figures from history.

Objectives:

  • To explore why Lord Shaftesbury was an important figure

  • To find out how Lord Shaftesbury’s campaigns improved children’s lives during the Victorian period

8. What were Victorian schools like?

In this lesson pupils will compare their own experiences of school to life in a Victorian classroom. Pupils will learn about key changes in the Victorian period about who could go to school and they will have the opportunity to role play being a Victorian school pupil, completing three different activities from Victorian classrooms.

Objectives:

  • To find out how rules about who could go to school changed over the Victorian period

  • To compare Victorian schools with modern-day schooling

9. What kind of clothes did the Victorians wear?

This lesson is designed to help pupils to understand how clothing and class status were linked in the Victorian times. Pupils will engage with historical sources to make observations about clothing, and then compare rich and poor clothing. Pupils will learn how sewing and clothes making were important skills and will have a go at their own Victorian sewing.

Objectives:

  • To use historical sources to make observations about Victorian clothing

  • To compare clothes for rich and poor people from Victorian time

10. What was Victorian Crime and Punishment like?

In this lesson pupils will explore typical crimes from the Victorian period and different kinds of punishments that were given. Pupils will have the opportunity to act as Victorian judges and will read a series of case studies, awarding appropriate punishments for each. Pupils will link what they have learned to wider issues about modern day crime and punishment.

Objectives:

  • To find out about typical crimes and punishments in the Victorian period

  • To compare Victorian punishments to the modern-day justice system.

Full Unit

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