History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

How much can the Olympic opening ceremony tell us about the Industrial Revolution?

This enquiry uses the Olympic opening ceremony from 2012 to help students gain an overview of some of the big changes brought about during the industrial period.  It follows on from the previous overview lesson.

The ‘Pandemonium’ section of the 2012 Olympic ceremony explored the huge transformations brought about by the establishment of factories on England’s ‘green and pleasant land’.

In this lesson, students will put themselves in the shoes of historical advisers for the BBC.  First they will decide what an ‘accurate’ representation of the Industrial Revolution might look like (hence coming up with their own criteria). Then they will watch a clip from the ceremony and identifying ways in which these criteria were (or were not) met.

Finally, students are in a position to write a letter to the Olympic Committee. Here they will explain how well the Olympic ceremony reflected the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution. An engaging lesson that helps students to practise plenty of important history skills!

Download lesson

  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Worksheet 1 & 2: PDF

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.