Changes within Living Memory

Block B - A Day in the Life

Be introduced to historical concepts, vocabulary and representations through exploring the ways in which life has changed over the time of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.  Develop a chronology of domestic life, clothes, transport, communication methods, toys and books, food and music.  Experience a school day as it would have been in the 1950s and create Acoustic Telephones. Cook up a food festival and create a museum in the classroom!

Explore different aspects of everyday life, from domestic life, such as clothes and how to wash them, through to school life. Look at the impact of technology and differences related to changes in roles and tasks. Experience a school day as it would have been in the fifties. 

This Topic is written for Key Stage 1. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Domestic life: oral history questionnaire

Children think about what questions to ask grandparents and great-grandparents in order to elicit good historical information.

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02: Day-to-day roles in the past

Children interview parents, grandparents and great-grandparents about changes in tasks and roles in and around the house. Children then write diary entries.

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03: What will I wear today? Clothes and styles from different eras: portraits

Children study clothes and hairstyles over the last fifty years and then paint a portrait of a relation.

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04: Wash day collage

Children look at how ‘doing the washing and the washing-up’ has changed over time. They study advantages and disadvantages of modern methods and make a collage picture.

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05: Domestic machine detective: past and present

Children look at differences in domestic machine technologies over time, and then invent an alarm clock for the future.

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06: School life in the past: art lessons

Studying photographs of schools, classrooms and pupils from the 1940s onwards, children re-create an art lesson from the 1950s. What would granny have thought?

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07: School life in the past: 1950s school day

Give children a 1950’s school day or morning! Boys and girls are segregated, they are doing different tasks and there is NO talking!