In Year 1, we have started learning about our new History based topic – the Victorians.
We used the Global Goal character, Ekani Empathy, to help us to learn about what life was life for children in Victorian times.
On Wednesday 11th November, we stepped into the shoes of poor Victorian children.
The children learnt about the different jobs that poor Victorian children will have been forced to do in order to earn enough money for themselves and their families to survive.
Using artefacts and role-play, the children learnt that these jobs were hard work and were very dangerous, with small children (as young as 4 years) working long hours in very tough conditions.
Some of the jobs they tried their hands at were:
- Working in factories and mills
We were all agreed that it is much better now that children don’t have to go out to work to earn money, and that employers today care about safety and well-being.
The next day, we learnt how life was different for rich Victorian children.
They had much better food to eat, warm clothes and servants to do everything for them.
They also had toys to play with, which we had a lot of fun exploring for ourselves.
We even made our own Victorian optical illusion toy – a thaumatrope.
However, we also found out that rich children were often very bored and very lonely – they weren’t allowed to make noise or mess, they had to ‘be seen and not heard’ and they had lots of rules to follow – especially about using ‘good manners’.
They very rarely saw their parents, and didn’t get kisses and cuddles from them.
Life for Victorian children was tough whether you were rich or poor!