This workshop begins with pupils investigating a painting of people queuing for parish relief to establish a context for understanding the Victorian period and what life was like for poor people at this time.
For the main activity, pupils are divided up into groups. Each group is given a Victorian child from the 1840s to investigate. Their task is to research the life of that child using copies of original documents in our collection, with an opportunity to see the original documents on display in the room. The documents relate to Victorian child criminals, and children in workhouses, mines and factories. Each group must select the documents they think provide the most useful and reliable evidence for telling us about their child, and prepare an exhibition and presentation that they will give to the rest of the class on the results of their research.
To finish, there will be an opportunity for two pupils to try on replica outfits that could have been worn by the Victorian children they have been researching.
This session can be delivered as a