Clothes Long Ago and Now (LS-MT-90)

Pictures from the past help young students developing an understanding of particular moments in history. It also gives them a stronger appreciation for different cultures. Furthermore, they provide opportunities for students to collaborate with their peers, brainstorm, analyse, describe, create and engage in conversation. Europeana provides an invaluable collection of such pictures, which can be used to teach a wide variety of topics.

I have created the learning scenario “Clothes long ago and nowusing Europeana resources, for implementation with a class of six and seven-year-olds. Together we will create our own clothes museum.  Using the thematic and integrated approach, I have combined English, Art and Social Studies in this learning scenario.

Activity 1: clothes from the past

In the first activity, I used the Think, Pair, Share strategy with the Europeana resource Kabinettsporträtt av kvinna.  This kind of activity gets all students involved in classroom participation, as they have the time to formulate their own ideas and share them with their partner. Afterwards, I explained how people dressed over one hundred years ago, and why young boys used to wear dresses instead of trousers.  In addition, I used two other Europeana resources to enhance the explanation: Fieldpostcard with photo of Agnes Witte, geb. Muhrer und ihren Kindern and Brievensmokkel.

Activity 2: studying pictures

The students wrote sentences to describe the photo Kabinettsporträtt av kvinna while I was assisting them as necessary.

Activity 3: designing their own clothes

Then, pulis used their creativity and imagination to produce an original outfit on the body template provided. Moreover, I encouraged them to use a variety of colours and patterns and most of all to be original

Students drawing an original outfit
Students drawing an original outfit

Activity 4: describing outfits

Furthermore, they wrote phrases using adjectives to describe the different parts of their outfit.  To help them, I provided assistance as necessary.  When finished, the designs were displayed to create our own clothes museum.


This learning scenario offers a variety of integrated learning experiences that cater to diverse capabilities. Across the different activities, students have the opportunity to voice out their ideas and build on each other’s ideas in a collaborative manner. Furthermore, they will acquire new vocabulary and enhance their writing skills.  They will also use their creativity to produce their own design, which when ready, gives them a sense of accomplishment and pride.

The class' clothes exhibition
The class’ clothes exhibition

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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CC BY-SA 3.0 –The featured image used to illustrate this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution. It has been provided by the Europeana 194-1918 collectionIt has been resized and labelled to illustrate this article. To find the original image click here.

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