Your lesson will take place amid the museum’s world-renowned collections, which date from this period. Some of your students will wear reproduction costumes as the class goes back in time to learn about the lives and responsibilities of children more than a century ago.
Lesson extensions for before or after your visit
The following activities are designed for your class to enjoy before or after your museum visit. Familiarizing students with the lesson concepts can enrich your museum experience.
Manners then and now
Teaching children manners gives them the tools to function and succeed as adults. Times have changed, and so have manners. During your lesson visit, students will learn about manners from the turn of the century, which are often vastly different from etiquette expectations today.
Read the following five rules of etiquette for children today, derived from Ann Marie Sabath’s book, Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm and Savvy. Ask students to discuss other etiquette rules that they know. Create a class list of the top 10 rules they think are appropriate for children today.
- Telephone manners: When calling a friend, identify yourself to the person who answers the phone before asking to speak to your friend.
- Be gracious: When you are sent an invitation that requires an RSVP, be sure to let the person know if you will be able to go to attend.
- Be open to new foods: When you are served a food that is not your favorite, try a piece of it anyway.
- Ask questions: When talking with friends and family, always make a point of asking them questions about themselves.
- The rule of 12: When talking with others, always use a form of thanks and the person's name in the first 12 words you speak ("It's good to see you, Mary," or "Thanks for picking me up from soccer, Dad.")
Imagining a school for the future
Invite students to imagine what the world might be like 100 years from today. Have a group discussion about what might be the same and what might be different. Divide students into small teams and have each team design a school for the future. Have each team share their design with the rest of the class.
Have students play the popular late 19th-century board game Steeple Chase or dress up Victorian paper dolls such as Betty Bonnet on the museum's Fun and Games web page.