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Victorians KS1 – Explore change via Victorian homes

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Lesson plan PDF

Key Stage



Years 1-2


Using the familiar setting of houses and homes, this Victorians KS1 lesson gets to the heart of one of history’s key concepts: change.

A Victorian suitcase that no one has opened for more than 100 years will bring out the historian in your pupils.

Knowing that things haven’t always been the same as they are today is a vital way to help younger children begin to understand how and why changes happen or do not happen.

Victorians KS1 learning objectives

  • Touch and feel some old Victorian objects and guess what people used them for
  • Decide which objects go in which particular room in a Victorian house
  • Learn the different names used for objects and the different types of room in a Victorian house

Starter activity

Immediately capture children’s imagination by telling them that you recently went to visit your grandmother. You talked to her about life when she was a girl.

She went into the attic and bought down something even older: a large suitcase. It’s full of objects from her great-grandmother’s house, which you have brought in to show everyone.

Raise the level of excitement by telling the children that you haven’t looked at any of the objects in the case. Ask the class if they would like to help you.

If you contact your local museum they often have schemes to lend such objects and artefacts. If not, you can easily pick an old suitcase up at a second-hand shop.

The artefacts you can use depend on what is available. We recommend artefacts connected to Victorian washing, i.e. washboards, irons and pegs and any artefacts connected to Victorian kitchens.

Richard McFahn is a school improvement adviser in West Sussex.

Victorians KS1 lesson plan
Victorians KS1 – Explore change via Victorian homes

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