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What can we learn from Sarah Baartman about attitudes towards empire in the 19th century?

This lesson is an excellent way to sprinkle some diversity into your curriculum. It will help your students see how the British treated and thought of those people they ‘colonised’ in the early 19th century. You will start with a classic oblique ISM which slowly reveals that Sarah Baartman was exhibited as a ‘freak’.

Your students will then be introduced to the interpretation of the film the Greatest Showman and learn that the truth about Barnum, played by Hugh Jackman. He exploited colonised people for his shows.

You will get your students to classify some knowledge about this period, to help them to make sense of 19th century attitudes.

Finally they will discuss and write an answer to the big question.

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  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

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