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Street Child

Street Child - A Victorian Story




We began our topic by looking at the cover of Street Child. Using our inference skills (our reading target), we looked at the front cover and 'read between the lines' predicting what we thought the story was about. We focused on:

  • The colours used
  • Facial expressions
  • Buildings 
  • Clothing 
  • Title of the book

We also looked at the blurb to gain some extra information. 



After reading chapter 1, we learnt that Jim and his family had been kicked out of their house by Mr Spink. Although we felt sorry for the Jarvis family, we looked at both sides of the argument. Here's an example of our work:



Following the families eviction from their home, we found out that Jim had to go to the workhouse (whilst his ill mother had been sent to the infirmary). Our main focus was to write a diary from Jim's perspective. To begin, we looked at an example of a diary, and generated our own S2S to help us with our writing. Here are examples of diaries from children in our class:



After this, we thought about whether Jim should leave or stay the workhouse. To help us, we created a diamond 9 and ranked our reasons in order from the most imporant to the least important. Then, we did a conscience alley, where one half of the class gave reasons why Jim should stay, and the other half gave reasons why Jim should leave. We took it in turns to act as Jim (walking down the alley), and Jim made the decision with which side he was going to listen to - depending on which side gave the best argument. Following the drama, we wrote a discussion giving reasons for both sides, and making a final decision in the conclusion. Here's an example of our drama and a discussion:




We have been looking at an artist called William Morris as part of our art learning. Interestingly, we have learnt that he was a Victorian designer (which is a type of artist). After looking at examples of his work, we continued one of his designs which included lots of detail. Here are a few examples of our art work:






Following that, we planned our own William Morris style design. Here are some examples:



We then transferred one of our designs on to a tile, and used them for printing. We have used our tiles for a whole class design.




In History, we have used chronology to create a timeline of the Victorian Era. Also, we have looked at the lives of poor children during the Victorian Era. Comparing our findings to that of poor children today has been eye-opening. We have learnt that poor Victorian children:

  • Children had to go to work. 
  • Had no health and safety measure in place to protect them in dangerous environments - many were injured or killed!
  • Many poor children didn't have any shoes. 
  • Children had no protection against illness and disease. 
  • Children from poor families go to work for up to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. 
  • Children were paid a lot less than adults. 
  • Children worked in the mines, factories and sweeping chimneys. They were often given the worst jobs in terrible conditions. 

As part of a group, we worked together to decide wether the statements were true about poor children during the Victorian Era or poor children in Modern Britain. Here are some pictures of us working together: 




Black Country Museum 


As part of our Victorian project, we (year 5) attended the Black Country Living Museum to explore the life of the Victorians. Each group followed a trail of a character from the Victorian Era (Harry Parkin, Samuel Webb, Lilian Hodgkins and Rose Hanaway).


Interestingly, we explored the coal mines and discovered some very interesting facts about the mines and the workers. To our surprise, the ground shook like a washing machine to give us the impression of what life would have been like in the coal mine. After that, we all gathered together to attend a Victorian school. We learnt that the Victorians used hooks and hangers to help them with their letter formation. We had a fantastic time, and didn't want to leave (although we wouldn't appreciate not being able to watch T.V).   



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