Food Glorious Food
This lesson will explore the topic of food, placing it within the wider context of the enquiry question of ‘What was life like for a child in the Victorian Workhouse?’. This lesson will allow the children an opportunity to explore a range of primary sources, also to draw comparisons towards Charles Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’. This will support the children’s’ understanding of historical interpretation.
The key historical aim for this lesson will be to use primary sources to support the understanding of a period in time. They will also be able to draw comparisons between their lives today and understand what life would have been like in the past.
This lesson will support an exploration of the Victorians where it is either your post 1066 unit or linked to local history, for example if you have a local workhouse that is now a hospital or converted for other uses. It could also be used if you were exploring children’s experiences through history.
From 1834, the workhouses fell under the Poor Law Commission, the expectation from each workhouse and what they provided was more in line. However, there were still differences between what each workhouse provided. Some might have gone over and above what needed to be provided, while others provided the bare minimum.
There is a video on the BBC, that provides an example of a diet for a boy over a week and shows how much food they would have. This is a interesting hook for the children, ensure that this has been made for entertainment as well as information. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011spj3
www.workhouses.org.uk – A useful resource which explores all aspects of workhouses and gives information about many surviving examples.
https://www.history.org.uk/primary/categories/7/resource/7482/victorians – This resource examines the Victorians in general and will help to improve your subject knowledge.Back to top