Changes within Living Memory

Block E - Toys and Books

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!

Look at contemporary toys and study toys parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents may have played with. Look at similarities and differences and identify changes in materials and technology. Paint a picture of a chosen toy then move on to study changes in children’s book illustrations. Finish by setting up a toy and book museum.

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: Sorting toys: old and new

Children look at a variety of toys and decide from what era each one originates. They sort the toys and then sketch three – one from each era.

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02: Toy materials and making a traditional toy

Children look at how the materials used for making toys have changed over the last 50 years. They then design/create their own simple wooden toy.

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03: Painting pictures of toys

Children look at paintings of toys, old and new. They study different art techniques and create their own toy paintings.

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04: Children's books: old and new

Children explore children’s books from their parents and grandparents era, looking at themes, styles and trends. They identify a favourite story and say what they like best about it.

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05: Book illustrations: old and new

Children explore the illustrations in children’s books and how these have changed in style and content over the last 50 years. They replicate the style of a current illustrator.

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06: A photographic study of old toys and books

Children look at photographs of toys from different ages. Then they set up a photography studio and take photographs of a toy to show the features of the time in which it is made.

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07: Class toy and book museum

Today we set up our museum – arranging the toys and books and labelling them properly. Children take different roles in the museum.