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What was life in the 1930s? And what was life like for the Fogg family?

Family photoThis cracking enquiry was designed as an antidote to all of the heavy political lessons about the causes of wars in the first half of the 20th century. Why not teach some social history instead?

The power of the personal is a great motivator for students. Real people help keep history alive and they act as a window into a particular time or event – The Foggs happen to be Richard’s relatives.

They were an ordinary family living an ordinary life. Rich stumbled across the striking family photograph after his grandmother passed away a few years ago.

This enquiry starts with the Fogg family. Students make inferences about the Foggs’ life from a holiday photo. They are then  introduced to two contradictory interpretations of the 1930s, both titles of recent histories of the 1930s. Was it ‘a morbid age’ or a time when ‘we danced all night’’? Which view is correct? And which is correct for the Fogg family?

The class use a variety of sources to decide. They eventually realise that it isn’t as simple as it seems. They work out that it all really depends on where you lived and what social class you belonged too. Even then it is hard to judge. Clearly the two book titles don’t quite hit the mark. The final motivating task is to come up with a book title of your own!


Lesson includes:

What was life like in the 1930s? Presentation (PowerPoint)
What was life like in the 1930s? Write-up (PDF)
Resource 1 (PDF)
Resource 2 (PDF)
Resource 3 (PDF)
Resource 4 (PDF)
Resource 5 (PDF)
Resource 6 (PDF)

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