Pupils are shown an engraving produced by Gustav Dore in 1872. It is the one you often find in KS3 textbooks as if it were a photograph representing what London was like. But are we right to trust it? Pupils explore the detail of the image before going on to look at a couple of puzzling aspects resolved only by placing you, the teacher,  in the hot seat.  Don’t worry, there are detailed briefing notes!!

Learning objectives

  • pupils make deductions and inferences
  • they cross-reference looking for corroboration
  • they generate a list of questions they would ask the producer of the source in order to test its reliability
  • they are able to write an evaluative caption

Step 1

Pupils are introduced to the famous Dore print that appears in many KS3 textbooks, suggesting that this is what London looked like in 1870. Pupils have to work in pairs to see if they can think of a number of ways in which the artist has tried to show this part of London as a very unattractive place to live. This is a quick ice-breaker activity to get all pupils engaged. Award one mark for every simple observation they make. Which pair can

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