History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

The connection between tea, coffee, clothes and an antique plate

What connects our national obsessions for tea, coffee and clothes with an antique plate?

The British Empire has made something of a comeback as an area to teach in the last ten years. One can debate all day long if Britain should be proud of her Empire or not.But the fact remains that Empire has left a huge imprint on our national psyche. This active and engaging enquiry skilfully engages with this.

The enquiry starts by asking, why, as a nation are we so obsessed with for tea, coffee and cotton clothes?

After all we didn’t have these obsessions five hundred years ago. We then use a ‘reconstruction relay’ to find out about the commemorative plate.

The students then make inferences from the plate and from a stirring rendition of ‘Rule Britannia’, to understand what people were meant to believe about the British Empire. Next they seek the advice from a historian.

This enquiry makes a wonderful introduction to a unit of work on Empire. The class can then go on a journey to different parts of the Empire to find out if the plate’s view is accurate before returning to create their own more balanced version.

Download lesson

  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1: PDF
  • resource 2:PDF

Price: £12.99

Add to basketMembers’ Download

History Resource Cupboard


Receive details of our latest courses, new lesson downloads, exclusive discounts and the latest articles with ideas to help you enliven your classroom teaching.