The children will be familiar with the range of processes involved in washing clothes in the past.  They will have watched programmes such as Magic Grandad and will have explored a range of artefacts such as a mangle and a dolly-stick/posser.  The aim of this activity is to consolidate pupils’ understanding of the processes and at the same time reinforce key literacy objectives relating to connectives  and instruction writing in a fun way.

Learning objectives

  • to be able to sequence at least 5 stages of Washday in the past
  • to be able to mime the key processes
  • to think of varied ways of linking a sequence of events when writing instructions and to use a range of connectives


The children are introduced to Mr Lather.  He is married to Mrs Lather who is really good at washing, drying and ironing clothes.  Mr Lather is hopeless.  Unfortunately, Mrs Lather has gone to her sister’s house for a week leaving the hopeless Mr Lather in charge of the week’s laundry.  But can the children help him?  Ham things up a bit here, perhaps trying to dry the clothes on the washboard.  I’m sure you’ll improvise this well.

Step 1

Give pupils

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