History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

Is the BBC History magazine right about the ‘Happy Victorians’? An Overview.

This enquiry provides an overview of some of the major developments of the Victorian period.

To really give students a feel of the Victorian psyche, students are introduced to Aristotle. Aristotle was a much-loved philosopher during the Victorian period. This obsession reflects the broader Victorian preoccupation with the ancient world.

Students are challenged to come up with their own criteria for ‘happiness’, before they explore Victorian happiness through the prism of Aristotle’s criteria.

Having gathered evidence from a range of sources in order to complete a ‘target’ diagram, students are asked to put the Victorian age in context: why was there such a shift in ideas about human happiness during this period?

The end task get students to write an introductory paragraph for a BBC History magazine article under the heading ‘Happy Victorians?’

Download lesson

  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1a,b and c: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

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