Why not have a Victorian Day in your classroom? Here are some suggestions of things to try:
- Dress up! Ask the children to dress in suitable Victorian clothing. Get the staff to dress as Victorian teachers too!
- Give each child a Victorian name, which they have to use when speaking to each other throughout the day. A sticky name label may help them to remember these! (see this site for a list of suggestions).
- Make sure that the children bring in a ‘penny’ to pay for their education.
- Decorate the classroom appropriately, covering / clearing any modern displays.
- Switch off the technology… turn off the computer / interactive whiteboard / projectors and cover them up for the day!
- Have handwriting sessions.
- Chant the times tables and other Maths concepts.
- Ask children to learn poems / songs by heart. Help them to learn the following by the end of the day:
Good, better, best,
Never let it rest,
Til your good is better,
And your better, best.
- Discuss what this poem means and how it should influence their work.
- Have a special class / school assembly where children sing appropriate songs and read Victorian stories.
- Take the children out for ‘Drill’ (short exercises which are modelled by the teacher and copied in time by the children).
- Have an appropriate Victorian packed lunch – no school dinners or other modern foods for the day!
- Have regular hand inspections to check if the children are keeping themselves clean.
- Jude suggests…
- Have you thought about creating Victorian samplers in cross stitch (or on paper) of well known proverbs?
- Using Victorian money in a maths lesson… how many shillings in a pound? etc. How many pennies would be needed to buy a Victorian shopping list?
- Creating poetry in a style common to the time.
- Some visitors have also suggested the following:
- Get children to read out loud from the Bible.
- Play traditional playground games during playtime (skipping, hoops, blind mans bluff, hide and seek).
- Separate the girls from the boys… the girls do cookery or sewing while the boys do gardening or technical drawing.
- Don’t forget to begin the day with prayers, a hymn, and the National Anthem – and fingernail inspection (Cleanliness is next to Godliness)! We set a date for Victoria’s Jubilee and made Union Jack flags – harder than you might think!
If you have any more suggestions for running a Victorian day in your class / school, please add them to the comments.