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Activity 3: Life and death in Sun Street in the mid 19th century

Enquiry Question

How much do we know about life and death on Sun Street during the mid 19th century?

Aims

  • Pupils to use original documents to infer how Sun Street might have been affected by the cholera epidemics of the mid 19th century
  • Build on previous knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of living conditions in Nottingham

Resources

  • Document 1 - Plan of layout of a Nottingham court, from Thomas Hawksley Esq., 'Report on the Town of Nottingham...' (First Report of the Royal Commission for inquiring into the State of Large Towns and Populous Districts. PP [572], XVII, 1844)
  • Document 2 - Extract from the Nottingham Journal relating to the cholera epidemic in Nottingham, 4 August 1832
  • Document 3 - Background information. "The three stages of Cholera".
  • Document 4 - Case study of Mr John Kale from The date-book of remarkable and memorable events connected with Nottingham and its neighbourhood, from authentic records. Part 2, 1750-1884. (Nottingham: H. Field, 1884) (East Midlands Collection Not 3.D14 FIE)
  • Document 5 (Map) - Detail from Plan of the Town of Nottingham and its Environs by Edward W. Salmon, 1862 (East Midlands Special Collection Not 3.B8.E6), centred on the Narrow Marsh and Leenside area.
  • Case studies - Extracts from S.W. Wheaton, Local Government Board Reports and Papers on Cholera in England in 1893.

Downloads

Outline Starter

  • Teacher to read the case study of Mr John Kale (Document 4) as a means of introducing the theme of cholera and the problems associated with the disease.

Main

  • Using the description of the three stages of cholera (Document 3) the teacher can explain and use pupils to demonstrate the rapid deterioration of cholera sufferers.
  • Pupils are asked to read through the cholera case studies in pairs or groups and answer the following questions:
    • What types of people were involved?
    • How they may have contracted the disease?
    • What conditions did they live in?
    • What symptoms did they demonstrate?
    • How quickly did they die, or did they survive?
    • Whole class feedback on questions looking to establish common themes.

Plenary

  • Introduction of the map (Document 5), looking particularly at the Lewis Square area of Nottingham (OHP/PowerPoint). Aim is for pupils to ask why cholera was such a problem in Lewis Square. Refer this back to Sun Street - pupils to infer about what chance people living on Sun Street would have of survival.
  • Pupils are then asked to speculate as to what needs to be done.
  • This then leads into Lesson 4 and the work of Thomas Hawksley.

Alternative options

  • Jigsaw activity with each group having a case study which they read and answer questions and then feedback to other pupils.

 

Next: Activity 4: Thomas Hawksley

 

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