We are about to launch an exciting new KS2 lesson on the poor in Victorian Britain. The lesson is called. What should we do with Martha and revolves around life in a Victorian workhouse. Martha is a difficult child, having lost her mother and being abandoned by her father. When she ends up in the workshouse things go from bad to worse. Pupils try to reconstruct the mindset of the mid-19th century figures who have to cope with Martha falling out big time with Mrs Butcher and setting fire to her bed . The lessons provides great opportunities for comparison between our social services and those in the newly establish Poor Law of 1834. Taking a context that pupils will be fairly familiar with allows all pupils to get engaged. Although Harriet’s story is quite harrowing at times, her story has a happy ending when she leaves the workhouse, gets married and has four children. This allows us to open up the question: Was the system that seems horrendously harsh for us today and seemed to be like a prison for Martha necessarily TOTALLY bad. After all, Martha came good.
Subscribers who would like an early sight of the lesson while we are clearing copyright cab simply request a copy of the plan , PowerPoint and activity sheets by email.