This downloadable PDF sitemap will give you a visual overview and understanding of all the sections of The Victorians website. Download the sitemap (135KB)
This unit provides pupils with a range of historical sources that tell us about women’s lives in Victorian times. Pupils select and investigate these sources through playing an online version of the Victorian board game, Maricourt (in itself a fascinating insight into Victorian attitudes towards women’s roles and behaviour).
The task is to investigate these sources to answer the key historical question: What can we find out about women’s lives in Victorian times?
At the end of the unit, pupils’ notes can also form the basis of extension activities, such as writing a comparison of how rich and poor Victorian women lived, or comparing and contrasting how Victorian women lived with British women’s lives today.
Before attempting this unit, pupils should have completed Start here. This will ensure that they are familiar with the enquiry-based method, LACE, which underpins their learning. LACE gives pupils four steps to help them to think and work like a historian using sources. These are:
Describe what you can see
What questions do you need to ask, and answer, to make sense of what you have seen?
What have you learned about women’s lives in Victorian times from this source?
What more would you like to know about? How can you find out?
On completing this unit, pupils will have tackled a variety of different types of source. As a follow up to the on-screen work, you might like to lead a discussion on the nature of the different types of sources pupils have used in their investigation. What are the strengths and weaknesses of different types of source? What kind of information does each source provide? Why are some sources more difficult to use?
Why do some objects survive? How do the four steps of LACE help us find out about the past by examining objects?
With a written source we can learn both from what is being said, and how it is being said. Ask pupils to think about the different types of document they have seen, and how these differ in terms of tone of voice. There is a huge range of different types of document included in the resource – letters, newspapers, government reports, advertisements, plans and maps. Encourage pupils to think about the different ways in which these provide insight.
It is helpful to discuss the idea that the artist or photographer has chosen to depict a scene in a particular way. Both paintings and photographs may have been made to convey a particular message.
In this unit, pupils will:
This unit is relevant to teachers following National Curriculum History - Breadth Study: Unit 11a: Victorian Britain
Pupils should be taught: to identify and describe reasons for, and results of, historical events, situations, and changes in the periods studied.
This unit is designed for use online. Children’s engagement with the historical sources is augmented by full and simplified transcripts of documents, audio transcripts, the ability to zoom into images to explore them in detail. Every step features support and guidance designed to help pupils to answer the key historical question - What was life like for women in Victorian times?
The unit also features an electronic notebook where pupils can record their ideas about each source they evaluate. The notes that pupils complete during this unit can be printed and used as the basis for a further piece of work.
To view all the sources used in online game, type in the alphabet in the code box on the "View Sources from a previous game" web page. All sources will appear and can be looked at in the viewer. This is useful in case pupils have forgotten their codes at the end on of the game, or if they wish to look at more sources.
To open the topic of the role of women in Victorian society, teachers might wish to discuss this extract from The Princess by Alfred Tennyson (1847).
“Man for the field and woman for the hearth:
Man for the sword and for the needle she:
Man with the head and woman with the heart:
Man to command and woman to obey;”
They could explore the idea that most Victorians believed that a woman’s place was in the home, looking after the household, husband and children. A popular phrase described the ideal role for the Victorian women as the ‘angels in the house’,
The angelic wife was expected to obey her husband at all times, be passive, charming, gentle, self-sacrificing and innocent. It is also important to note that women had the same legal status as children at the start of Victoria’s reign.
Alternatively, teachers may prefer to look at any of the visual sources available in this unit to introduce the ideal Victorian woman, and then consider if this concept was a true reflection of the lives and roles of all Victorian women.
Pupils are given the opportunity to reinforce their understanding of the LACE process by studying the cover of the Victorian board game, Maricourt.
Pupils use a variety of historical sources to find out about life for Victorian women from a wide range of backgrounds, and answer the question: What can we find out about women’s lives in Victorian times?
To access the sources in this unit, pupils play an online version of the Victorian board game called Maricourt. The object of the game is to collect sources by answering multiple-choice questions. At the end of the game, each player will have collected a random selection of sources. These will form the basis of their study of Victorian women.
Maricourt can be played by 2-4 players at the same time. Alternatively, the game can be used as a teacher-led class or group activity on the interactive whiteboard. Pupils move around the board after throwing a pair of dice. As they navigate the board they examine a random selection of sources including illustrations, letters, photographs, paintings, newspapers, census returns and objects that relate to the role of Victorian women. They will have to answer correctly a quiz question relating to the source to move after throwing the dice. Twenty-four sources are used in all so it means that groups playing together will see a good cross section of objects and documents between them.
Pupils are given a code to recall their collection of sources. They can use the electronic notebook and the LACE methodology to make further notes on the lives of Victorian women. These notes can be used to form the basis of a piece of work, such as writing a comparison of how rich and poor Victorian women lived, or comparing and contrasting how Victorian women lived with British women’s lives today.
Interactive Whiteboard packs: A collection of pdfs containing hi-resolution images, gallery sources and software for Smart & Promethean whiteboards have been put together for use with this unit. Select which version to download below. Please note you will require an appropriate internet connection as these files are large to download.
File size: 209 MB
Download Smart Notebook software
File size: 256 MB
Download Promethean Activboard software