The Victorian Era: Dark Age or Golden Age?

This is the concluding lesson on the Victorians.  It starts with a plate and a poster commemorating the achievements of Victorian Britain to set it in an international context.  Pupils are then invited to weigh up the bad aspects of the reign before arriving at an over-all judgement.

Learning objectives

  • pupils produce a poster to summarise the achievements but also the ‘downside’ of Victorian times
  •  they weigh up different evidence and come to a conclusion about which is most significant
  •  they appreciate different perspectives on the past
  • they understand that historians investigating different aspects of the period will come up with different views

Step 1

Show pupils a picture of a plate that commemorated Victoria’s  Jubilee (slide 2 on the PowerPoint).  Ask them to  talk to their partner about what they think it was, why it might have been produced and what we can work out from the detail.  Reveal each section of the image until the whole is revealed, drawing out as much from the children as you can about issues such as Empire.

Step 2

Following discussion ask pupils what other ways they know of commemorating events in the past: plaques, stamps, poppies. Sometimes there were pictures and

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