Can we be room detectives?

A view of a Victorian kitchen. Taken at Worth Park country house, Crawley, West Sussex in 1888.

Teaching idea

Ask pupils to look at the photograph above. If you have an Interactive Whiteboard you could put the picture up, then use the screen shade to reveal it slowly. This will allow pupils to study it in detail, also the zoom option on an interactive whiteboard will allow you to study/highlight certain features. Ask them to look for clues as to what this room might have been used for. On the table there are plates, teapots, sieves, jars, a mixing bowl and a chopping board. The range on the left also has several large cooking pots on it. Once pupils have identifyed it as a kitchen you could focus on one of the objects, such as the mixing bowl or sieve and ask pupils to guess what it might be made of, who would have used and what for. They could compare it with bowl/sieve today. Also the number of objects on the table could lead to a discussion about the owner of the house. Where they rich or poor - what clues can they find?

Learning aims and outcomes

  • Identify the rooms in a home from long ago
  • Describe, using appropriate vocabulary, features, furniture and household objects from homes from long ago
  • Use clues to infer the use of an object
  • Talk about aspects of home life long ago

Prior knowledge

  • Some background knowledge about houses in the past would be helpful, but is not essential

Extended learning and useful links