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A 3 x 45 minute programme for a maximum of three classes, facilitated by a Costumed Facilitator. Suitable for KS1 classes, lunchroom included. 1:5 adult:pupil ratio requested.


Homes and Discovery is one of a suite of themed Living History sessions designed to immerse students in history amongst Milestones’ historical streets and buildings. Each session is overseen by a Costumed Facilitator, who will facilitate activities to enable students to identify similarities and differences between homes in different periods, and to discuss them in everyday historical terms.

Homes and Discovery consists of two 45 minute facilitated sessions plus 45 minutes of free time and a lunch break. The facilitated sessions will each be overseen by a Costumed Facilitator who will meet you in the Victorian area of the museum and invite students to participate in exploring homes from the past.

Key facts

  • There are two 45 minute facilitated sessions: Homes and Discovery.
  • Each facilitated session accommodates up to one class of 35 students (plus accompanying adults). A total of three classes can be accommodated on the programme on any one day.
  • Where multiple classes are participating in the programme, it will operate as a carousel.
  • It is particularly suitable for KS1.
  • The third session of 45 minutes is a self-led opportunity to explore the museum further.


Session objectives

  • To describe, using appropriate vocabulary, features, furniture and household objects from the past
  • To describe the characteristics of household objects from the past
  • To use clues to infer the uses of objects
  • To become familiar with the key features of a room in a home long ago
  • To encourage children to discover the museum’s domestic collections by handling, observing and asking questions

Session outline

For Homes, please divide the glass into five groups, each with an adult helper. Homes takes place in the 1930s area of the museum in the roomsets. The idea of the roomsets is to show children what rooms in people’s houses would have looked like in the past. The displays have rooms from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Please note that the children can get direct access to the 1950s living room but due to the fragile nature of the collections in the other roomsets, these are protected by low level rails.

The facilitator leading your session will introduce the children to the Homes activity. They will explain that the children are here to learn about homes from the past and to compare them with those from the present. 

The facilitator will work with the whole class to help the children understand how rooms in the past would have looked, using the roomsets. The children will then split up into five groups, each with an adult helper to participate in a range of activities.

Depending on the age of the children and the time available, the children will participate in some, or all, of the activities listed below:

  • Each group will be given a feely bag containing items relating to a particular domestic chore that might have taken place in our 1930s kitchen. By exploring the items in the feely bag, children work with their adult helper to guess which chore the items relate to. This feely bag will be on the theme of washing. 
  • Using cards relating to washing in the 1930s kitchen, children work as a group to put the cards in the right order to tell the story of how washing would have been done in the 1930s. The facilitator of the session will then bring the class back together and lead a discussion about how washing would have been done in the 1930s. 
  • Each group will then be given a mystery object from the 1930s kitchen and they have to work out what it is. Each group can then report back to the rest of the class what their mystery object is and how they worked it out.
  • Exploring the room sets from the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Each group with an adult helper will be given a pack of cards with different things to search for in the roomsets e.g. Find three things that people would have used in the past to help them cook their food.

At the end of the session the facilitator will lead a session to summarise the learning activity with the whole class.


Session objectives

  • To provide activities appropriate for KS1 students to help with exploration of the museum
  • To engage in role play wearing Victorian costumes
  • To use visual investigation to locate objects from our collections
  • To follow clues to learn more about the museum’s Victorian collections

Session outline

Discovery takes place in the Victorian part of the museum. For Discovery, the class will need to be divided into three groups who rotate around three activities, each lasting about 15 minutes. Each group needs an adult helper. The adult leading each group will be given information which tells them what the activities involve and which order they will do them in. A member of staff will be on hand to introduce the activities to the group and explain where the resources are to be found.

The activities

Dressing up

We have a range of Victorian outfits especially for young children to dress up in with Velcro fastenings. The clothes rail displays photographs of the outfits and each outfit hangs in its own bag.

Can You Find Me?

The aim of this activity is to explore the Victorian streets of the museum. The group doing this activity will be provided with a pack of cards. On one side of the card is a riddle relating to a particular exhibit in the museum e.g. the tram, the Railway station etc. The adult helper needs to read the riddle aloud to the group to see if they can work out what it is describing and then reveal the answer to the group. The answer can be found on the bottom right of the card. The adult helper needs to take the children to that part of the museum and turn over the card as on the other side there is some brief information explaining the exhibit and a question for the children to answer. There are a number of different cards to work through in this activity.

Victorian I Spy Trail

Use the visual I Spy Trail to find typical features of a Victorian street. Pupils will be asked to explore the streets with their adult, ticking off all the items on their trail as they see them.

Free time

During your free time you are welcome to explore any part of the museum you haven’t had the chance to see during the Homes and Discovery sessions, but please bear in mind that other schools may have activities to complete in the museum with resources set out for them. 

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