How the site relates to the QCA scheme of work for History at KS1

Theme - What were shops like a long time ago?

It looks at similarities and differences between shops today and shops in the past. Features of shops, shop products and artefacts and stories about shop life are used to develop children's ability to distinguish old from new, and to learn about life at a time beyond living memory.

This activity builds on or could be a substitute for Unit 2 'What were homes like a long time ago?' by introducing children to an aspect of the past beyond living memory. Children use a range of sources, including the Sainsbury's Virtual Museum web-site, to help them answer questions about the past, and are introduced to shops as a source of information about the past.

In this unit, children will have opportunities to use:
  • names of different types of shops, eg supermarket, butcher, baker
  • names of architectural features, eg windows, doors, signs, counter
  • names of unfamiliar shop artefacts and objects
  • time-related vocabulary, eg new, old, older, oldest, long ago, modern,
  • pre-computer paper-based activities
  • a section of Sainsbury's Virtual Museum website illustrating shop life in a time beyond living memory
  • a downloadable selection of Victorian or Edwardian shop objects from this website, eg packaging nets, outlines of tile design etc.
at the end of this unit
most children will:
identify features of shops today and at a time before living memory; recognise objects from the past and present; know how the objects were used and where they belonged; observe and draw the objects in order to find out about them; use appropriate language when talking, writing and role playing
some children will not have made so much progress and will:
identify some characteristics of shops and shop life; describe objects of the past
some children will have progressed further and will:
make comparisons across the time periods; identify and describe a range of different features of modern shops and shops built a long time ago; compare shop life now and in the past beyond living memory.

The section below suggests how the topic might be introduced and supported with activities based on shops today.
What sorts of shops do people use today?
  • that people use different sorts of shops.
  • to talk about shops using appropriate vocabulary.
  1. Show the children pictures of different sorts of shops. Which shops have you been to? Which are different? Encourage them to talk about shops they are familiar with. Why do people use different sorts of shops?
  2. Get children to place the correct labels on the pictures of different types of shops or on different parts of a supermarket.
  •  recognise and name different types of shops and parts of shops.
  • The purpose of this activity is to provide opportunities for children to appreciate the diversity and complexity of shops that people use today, so that they can use this knowledge as a basis for comparisons with the past.
Optional visit activity
  • to recognise common external features of shops.
  • to record their observations appropriately.

What can we find out from the outside of shops?

  1. Take the children to look at shops near the school. Help them to recognise common features by asking them to look for what is the same and what is different about the shops. Encourage them to talk about what the shops are built from, details of the windows, doors, signs, adverts, etc.

  2. Ask the children to draw one of the shops, showing everything they can recognise. On their return to school, ask the children to improve their drawing and to include all the key features.

  • identify key features common to shops, eg windows, doors, displays, signs, counter etc.

This activity provides opportunities to make links with Unit 1 'Around our school - the local area' from the QCA geography scheme of work

Optional ICT activity Floor robots  
  1. Draw a floor map of a supermarket
  2. Get children to label and add pictures (drawn or cut out) of products found in a supermarket
  3. Create list of instructions for a floor robot (Pip, Pixie, Roamer) to go shopping
Literacy strategy The following books might provide the opportunity to mirror this history activity within the literacy hour;
Sarah Garland, Going Shopping,Puffin
Pat Barker, Don't Forget the Bacon.

The section below describes how the website can support the study of working and shopping in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.
How were shops long ago different from shops today?
  • to identify the key features of a shop built a long time ago.
  • to identify differences between two shops built at different times.
From the website show the children a large picture of a Victorian or Edwardian Sainsbury's eg. Romford. Tell them they are going to find out about the sorts of shops people used a long time ago. Using the knowledge they have developed through the previous activity, ask the children to identify the key features they can see. What is different about this shop from modern shops? Is it made from the same material? Are the windows the same shape? Are the signs the same design? How is the shop lit?
  • describe the features of a shop built a long time ago.
  • identify some differences between two shops built at different times.
What would we find inside shops a long time ago?
  • to recognise different objects from a long time ago.
  • to describe the characteristics of shop objects from a long time ago.
  1. Explore the Sainsbury's store on the website.
  2. Click around the shop to 'explode' products, people etc.
  3. Encourage the children to notice and describe as many objects as they can in each picture. Ask them to use their knowledge about shops today to identify those objects in the picture that are the same as today's, those that are different but recognisable, and those they do not know anything about.
  • identify the sections of a shop from long ago.
  • describe, using appropriate vocabulary, features, furniture and shop objects from shops from long ago.
Story - Learning about life in a shop
  • to describe the characteristics of shop life from a long time ago.
  1. Play the children the story on the website of Harry's Story, a day in the life of Harry Webb, delivery boy
  2. Different pictures in the story might ask them to identify objects related to the Victorian era.
  • learn about aspects of work and shop life long ago.
What can we find out about Victorian or Edwardian times from looking at shops?
  • how to answer questions about objects used a long time ago
  • to make inferences about aspects of shop life a long time ago
  1. Show the children Victorian or Edwardian shop objects to speak about. (These could be pictures on the website).
  2. Looking at the objects presented on the website, work with the children to develop a set of questions to ask. For example: How did we package goods a long time ago? What were the packages made of? What do we use today?
  3. Discuss with the children how the objects would have been used.
  • describe the characteristics of a shop object from long ago.
  • use clues to infer the use of the object.
  • talk about aspects of shop life long ago.
How can we turn the 'home corner' into a shop display from a long time ago?
  • to apply their knowledge and understanding of shop life a long time ago.
  • to communicate, through role play what they have learnt about shop life.
  1. With the children's help, make a plan of the home corner. Ask them to create appropriate objects and place them in the shop corner. Talk about what it would have been like to work in that shop in the past. Encourage the children to role-play using the objects.
  2. Use the resources above to add to the display. Each child to complete a tea packet and a tile and bring in a (washed) empty baked bean can to add a Victorian label to - packets and tins on the shelf, tiles around the walls.
  • become familiar with key features of a shop long ago.
  • show understanding of an aspect of shop life in the past through role-play.
  • use language related to the past and to shop life.