Victorian Powys for primary  schools
Powys Digital History Project
Knighton and district
Victorian school days
  Choose an 'Object' and talk about it...  

A regular event in many Victorian schools was the "Object Lesson". Teachers had a list of subjects to talk about in class, and although these lists seem nowadays to be a very strange mixture they covered a lot of useful information.
This example is part of a long list from the Log Book of Llangynllo National School in 1897. The teachers had sets of cards with pictures and facts about the different topics on the list, which changed every year.

15th March
School diary entry
  This part of the list from the Log Book reads -
March 15th - "List of Object Lessons for the Infants Dept".
  1....The Lion
2....The Dog
3....The Horse
4....The Cat and Kittens
5....The Ostrich
6....The Eagle
7....The Duck
16....The Spring
17....The Summer
18....The Autumn
19.....The Winter
20.....Growing Plant
21.....Ironstone and Iron
Object cards.
Drawing by
Rob Davies

As these lists usually included many animals, birds, insects, plants and fishes a wide range of natural history subjects came into the lessons. Some of the basic facts about science would be included Part of object listwhen the teacher spoke about the weather or about iron.
Other typical "Objects" would cover transport, such as the railway station, and different trades and industries.
Remember that most teachers, let alone children, would not have seen lions or eagles or ostriches. There were occasional travelling circuses with wild animals but the only zoos in Victorian times were in the big cities. There were no wildlife programmes on television, because there was no television !

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