Victorian Britain Classroom Activities for Primary Children

For 64 years, Queen Victoria reigned in England, creating the time called, ‘Victorian Britain.’ It began in 1837 and ended in 1901. It was a time of change in the lives of the British people. During this period, there was a shift in life styles with many moving from the country to larger cities. When teaching your primary students about Victorian Britain, use activities to help them remember your lessons.

Many inventions came about during the Victorian Age. Use these lesson plans to help your children learn about the inventions.

Postal Stamps

The first postage stamp, called the Penny Post, was developed. Download this stamp template and encourage students to draw their own stamps. This is an excellent time to take a field trip to your local post office.

Postal Boxes

The first postal boxes were instituted. Provide a small box, like a shoe box, for each child. Pre-cut a slot in each box. Let each child decorate their own postal box. Using a box of small envelopes, write letters during your writing period, draw a postage stamp on it and deliver them to each postal box. Have students change names so every child will get a letter.

Victorian Toy

Rich children enjoyed toys like the thaumatrope. Your students can make a simple rendition of this toy. Cut a disk into a two-inch circle. Draw the picture of a bird on one side and a cage on the other side. Punch holes on each side. Attach heavy string to the sides. Twist the rope and watch it roll and turn. Eventually, the students will see the bird in the bird cage.

Victorian Doll

Make a Victorian doll from a clothes pin. Use the directions from History Essentials. Instead of sewing the cloth dresses, let the children glue the seams. 

School Time

Children, in Victorian times, went to school. Because paper was so expensive, children often used slates to do their lessons. Have boards cut and spray them with blackboard spray. Give each child a piece of chalk. Use the slates to do all of their lessons for a day. Sponges, from a dollar store, will make inexpensive erasers.

Games

Teach your students to play Victorian games. Boys played marbles, an easy game to play in any classroom. Click here for rules. 

Hoops and Sticks is an active game. Use a hula hoop and stick. The idea is to keep the hoop rolling using on the stick.

Jack Straws is a simple game similar to Pick Up Sticks. They used wood splinters but you could use toothpicks or actual pick-up sticks.

For a list of more games, check out this site.

Historic lessons can be fun and educational. Include a lot of activities to help your students increase their retention.