Victorian child labour in textile factories

Lesson Plan

By Christine Williams, Sefton, published 10th January 2011

Please note: this free resource pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum. For more recent resources see:

What was life like for workhouse children in the early nineteenth century?

The aims of the lesson were for children to:

  • gain an understanding of conditions in early nineteenth century mills
  • be able to read and interpret difficult and challenging texts
  • understand and use language appropriate to a committee of inquiry
  • pursue an historical enquiry, raising questions and using original sources.

Wanting to incorporate ICT and to extend a relatively able group within the year 6 class, I chose the SPARTACUS website, which provides a very good child labour simulation. Scroll down the home page to Child Labour 1750-1900.

The children explored the resource material on the site, and followed hyperlinks to find information about children in the Victorian textile factory.

(These resources are attached below)

Related lessons on this site

The more privileged were not much better off - see
Henry at boarding-school

Teaching methods

Background information for teachers
Teaching Victorian Britain

Attached files: