Home Sweet Home Remote Learning Activity

Remote Activity, £60 per class, KS1

Discover what it was like to live in an early 1900s pit cottage with this immersive Home Sweet Home remote learning activity which brings the museum straight into the classroom.

During the Remote Home Sweet Home Learning Activity, the Beamish presenter will explain where they are within the museum and where they are going to visit with the children. An overview of the spaces, the cottage, gardens and the backyard in The Pit Village, will be given as well as views of the surrounding environment, giving the space a context to be explored.

The presenter will take the children around the downstairs rooms of a Francis Street cottage, identifying and explaining some of the key artefacts of the period, including a posser, tin bath and knitted socks. The emphasis will be to explore how different life was in the home 100 years ago.

  • Target Age: Key Stage 1
  • Cost: £60
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • Group Size: Full class (has been delivered to more than one class at the same time)
  • Season: All year round

Objectives of the activity:

  • To encourage the children to use their observation skills to find artefacts in the pit cottage.
  • To learn about different items from the museum’s collection, discovering how they work or operate.
  • To understand the similarities and differences between various aspects of the past and the present.
  • To learn about aspects of coal mining and the home life of a coal miner.
  • To discover how home life in the past was different or similar to the present.

Please note that the supervisor with the children will have an active role to play to support them as they visit the pit cottage remotely.

Outline of activity:

The presenter (in period costume) will start the session outside the main door to the pit cottage in The 1900s Pit Village at the museum. They will explain how the session will be organised, introducing some of the concepts to be encountered. The presenter will briefly show the children the street scene and some of the buildings.

The presenter will take the children to one of the Francis Street cottages and identify and explain some of the key artefacts of the period. This will include items such as the coal scuttle, period irons, poss tub and posser, potty or guzunder, rag mats, sewing machine, knitted socks, range, tin bath, pictures and photographs, and ornaments.

The presenter will also show the children a selection of coal mining artefacts which will give children the opportunity to see how the coal miner worked as well as understand the life of the miner’s wife.

Each artefact will be examined through the lens of the iPad and an explanation offered. Teachers can direct the presenter to explore items further or to seek clarification on behalf of the children live in the classroom. The emphasis will be to explore how different life was in the home 100 years ago. Teachers can list artefacts they would specifically like the presenter to show the children before the session starts.

The children will interact with the presenter, asking and answering questions.

Ideas for pre session:

  • Prior to the experience students should be told a little about what they will be doing. It might be useful to have the children in the room when the connection is tested prior to the actual session.
  • It would be useful if the teachers could explore some of the artefacts before the session starts so the children are already familiar with them.


  • Use of an effective microphone has been beneficial but not essential to the success of the Zoom activity, otherwise children can come up to the laptop to ask a question or make a suggestion as to what to do, or the chat facility can be used. The supervising adult can communicate on the children’s behalf.
  • The information about the artefacts to be explored can be sent to the teacher beforehand (recommended).
  • The Beamish presenter will set the scene at the beginning of the activity and will be aware of the concentration levels of the children, adapting the delivery accordingly. It may not be possible to find all the artefacts during the session. The length of the session can be agreed with the presenter beforehand. It may be possible break the session into shorter or longer lengths.
  • There may be localised school rules that the presenter may not be aware of regarding online activities for the children, it is important that these are discussed beforehand so everybody is clear about how the session will be delivered.
  • The supervising adult may choose what artefacts to explore and the number of them, according to the ability of the children. This can be agreed beforehand or the activity can be adapted according to the reactions of the children. If the supervisor wishes to concentrate more on a story or exhibit area then that can be done as the activity unfolds.

If you have any queries about the Remote Home Sweet Home Learning Activity, please do not hesitate to contact us. Telephone Simon Woolley, Head of Learning, on 0191 370 4011 or email simonwoolley@beamish.org.uk.

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