Creating a Victorian shop in the classroom for role play

Role play can play an important part in giving young children an understanding of the past. The site contains some downloadable material which the children can use to create a Victorian shop in their 'Home corner'. These materials include:

If you look in the first photograph you will see how children from Valerie Mason's Year 1 class at Fossdene School in Charlton, south east London, have used these materials to create their own shop.
Reading the photograph from left to right:

Behind the children are two versions of the A4 poster of a Victorian advertisement for Sainsbury's tea, blown up to A3 on a photocopier. Each is edged by 10 copies of the chrysanthemum border tile, photocopied onto pale yellow paper to save on colouring-in time.
If you leave a border of 1 cm around the tea poster then the 10 chrysanthemum border tiles will fit perfectly. Every child in the class completed a border tile, taking about 20 minutes. The attempt here is to re-create the wall displays in the Victorian store which are just visible in this picture.
Above the bordered tea poster are the children's efforts at completing the dolphin wall tile, using their own choice of colours. This is quite a difficult and sometimes time-consuming job so you might want to restrict the number of children who do this.

The shop uniforms
The attempt here was to produce something similar to Mr Newport's uniform, using old school shirts from boys in the juniors and aprons made from an old white tablecloth.

Wrapping the goods
The second photograph shows some of the children wrapping pretend slabs of butter using greaseproof and other paper, cut to just larger than A4. You could stick with A4 if you reduced the size of your 'pretend' butter. The children got a great deal of fun out of doing this activity as well as practical experience in area and volume.

The third photo shows some children completing their parcels.

The Victorian shop in the home corner has proved to be a very popular and successful example of role play supporting the children's understanding of the past, aided perhaps by the fact that they contributed extensively to the design and content of the corner.

The fourth photo shows some more of the class role-playing in the shop.