Victorian Day

Age Range: 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 off 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:
    • Get children to read out loud from the Bible.
    • Play traditional playground games during playtime (skipping, hoops, blindmans 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 the 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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- Give the children "slates" to work on - cover a mini whiteboard with black paper and give them chalk to write with and a rag to clean it. - Call the pupils by their surnames. If they have brothers or sisters call them "Smith major" or "Smith minor."Start off the day by removing all obviously technological things - use a "magic wand" to "zap away" everything that they wouldn't have had in Victorian times, like an interactive whiteboard or computer; children can no longer see these things while the roleplay lasts.



I did this at primary school in year 3 (im now 26). It has stayed with me ever since. We wore Victorian outfits, sang songs, did lots of handwriting practice, had a dunce hat in the corner for those that misbehaved, us girls did sewing (cant remeber what the boys did), we alsk looked at Victorian money and had to call our teacher by a different name. Lots of independent reading and a chalkboard to boot (though that was the norm for us then lol). I maintained the Victorian way of writing after day as I fell in love with it and havr maintained it till this day. Everyone always comments on my handwriting now :-)