Manuscripts and Special Collections

Activity 5: Typical, or untypical?

Enquiry Question

  • How typical was the experience of Joseph Rose?


  • This activity is based upon the premise that we can’t actually answer the overarching enquiry question; therefore, we cannot assess how similar the Rose family experience was to others in the locality and nationally. The students encounter what historians and archivists have to deal with and come to terms with the complex issue of typicality.


  • Library, internet, ICT facilities


Outline Starter

  • Think about : lunch / music / teenagers / fashion
  • Use the above to define TYPICALITY via a tally survey of the class
  • Or, ask students to use their own inventories from Activity 1 to assess how typical they are as a class of 12/13 year olds


  • Research the national picture to see if Joseph Rose’s experiences, and Laxton more generally, were typical
  • Groups to investigate population increase, Corn Laws, process of open field to enclosed field, new crops, four-field rotation, examples of enclosure, and impact elsewhere in the country
  • Jigsaw the findings


  • Why did Joseph Rose sell his possessions? Review the whole process and discuss why it wasn’t possible to find out.
  • What else would they need to know and find out?


Next: Activity 6: Why is Laxton maintained?


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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