Sunday, June 16, 2024
Victorian Day Teaching Ideas

Victorian Day Teaching Ideas

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 7-11

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.

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