History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

What can tea show about Britain from 1700?

TeacupHow much can tea reveal to us about Britain from 1700?

Struggling to make your 18th and 19th century course engaging and meaningful to your students? Why not try this original and charming approach.

One problem teachers often have is how we can make the history we teach really connect with our students. This first lesson in a scheme of work can help make that connection and make your history lessons resonate.

This starting point to a series of enquiries takes something seemingly mundane, unremarkable and terribly British – a nice cup of tea – and uses it to reveal parts of our murky national history.

After all what lies behind our national obsession for tea drinking are stories of drunkenness, mass production, empire, slavery and state sponsored drug dealing on an industrial scale.

This lesson asks students to guess what the objects are under a cloth (on a power point), teases them with some juicy statements connecting the objects to slavery, drug addiction and war, before revealing our unremarkable tea set.

They then learn about how tea changed from being a pastime of the rich to a national obsession before raising enquiry questions which could be used to shape your forthcoming lessons.

An article on how to shape the whole scheme makes up part of the download.

Download lesson

  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1: PDF
  • Article to introduce and scope your tea scheme of work: PDF

Price: £6.99

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