Child Labour in the Past: written communication (writing in FYR)


The activity targets basic skills: writing, listening, speaking and IT literacy.

Pupils use laptops with headphones to collect some materials from the Internet.  Afterwards the findings are discussed in small groups or pairs.

The materials from the Internet should help write a letter (Written communication)

Pupils change their identity by stepping into the shoes of a child from Victorian Britain and write a letter to a friend. The worksheet has  some questions to help pupils to write a successful letter.



Child Labour in the Past:


Written communication




Getting started: What do you know about child labour in the past? Write for 3 min. then read your text to your neighbour.




Step 1: Reading comprehension.


Study the examples on child labour from Victorian Britain and find out what kind of work children did at that time. Take notes (the link below)  Discuss your findings in small groups or pairs.




Step 2: Listening comprehension.


Use the link below, choose a person from the Victorian age, listen to the information about the person`s life, and take notes.
 (BBC radio, Victorians)


My notes:




















Step 3: Written communication.


Change your identity. You are a person from the Victorian age. Write a letter to a friend describing your life and daily duties. Use your fantasy and the materials collected from the sources above. Remember to organise your letter in paragraphs. In your letter focus on these questions:


 -What do you do for living?


-Is it difficult or easy work?


-Is it dangerous? Why?


-Do you work long hours?


-When do you start and finish work?


-Has anybody been punished at work?


- Why do you have to work?


-Do you have any siblings?


-Where do you live (sleep)?


-What do you eat?


- Have you stolen anything?


 –What kind of people do you meet every day? Describe a person or two (appearance, personality, actions)


- Do you have any friends?


 –What do you do in your free time?


-What is your big dream like?


-Describe an episode/one day/something special/funny/tragic. Bring up some details illustrating the setting, e.g. colours, sounds, smells, mood, and etc.














1. Writing about child labour in the past for 3 min. Discussion in pairs.

2. Reading comprehension: pupils study an online source on child labour in the past. Exchange the notes, discuss the information.

3. Listening comprehension. Pupils listen to an audio source and take notes.

4. Written communication. Pupils write a letter. They take a new identity: now they each one is a child from the Victorian times. The set of questions is attached.


A grade is assigned for the written task.

Criteria: content (factual stuff based on findings), flow,good command of English (grammar, spelling, rich vocabulary, different types of sentences, punctuation) structure, creativity and imagination.


laptop, headphones, pencil, paper