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					                The Victorian Era:
                  A WebQuest






   A study of the setting of Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations
• To fully appreciate an author’s work it is important
  to understand not only the personal history of the
  author, but also the social, political, and economic
  contexts in which his work was created.
• Charles Dickens lived during the Victorian Era and
  he made it the setting of Great Expectations.
• Thus, we must figure out what the Victorian Era
  was like!
                                     Here it from
Introduction                         Dickens himself!
Tap your Wizard of Oz shoes three times and feel yourself
transported back in time to England during the 1900s: The Victorian

Say farewell to President Obama; here there is no president, only a
ruling queen. Here, you’re not dating your girlfriend or boyfriend,
you’re courting. You commit a felony and you had better get used to
the ball and chain because you’re canned for life. You don’t watch
television, play video games, or edit your facebook profile for fun.
You read Charles Dickens’ latest installment of Great Expectations.
That is, if you can read and you’ve been
privileged enough to get an education.

Welcome to Victorian England . . .
T   You will become better acquainted with this new
A   world you’ve been placed in by . . .

S   • Researching a particular aspect of the Victorian
      Period and Industrial Revolution in England using
K     provided internet resources,

    • Sharing your research with a group,

    • Presenting your research to the class
      with your group.      Victorian
PROCESS: Here’s How
 1.   Mrs. Tate will divide the class into groups. Find your group members.

 2.   Your group will be given 5 topics. Each group member will research a
      topic. The group members must decide who will be responsible for the
      allocation of topics.

 3.   You must research your topic using the Internet.
       Begin with the websites Mrs. Tate provides for you and branch out
          to other internet sites as necessary.

 4.   Mrs. Tate will also provide you with questions to guide your research.
       Take notes as you research on the notes handout provided. This
           will count toward your own independent grade.

PROCESS: Here’s How
 5.   Find your group members and share your findings. Discuss.
       Mrs. Tate will give each group a chart divided into 5 columns with
           each column labeled for a different topic.
       While one student presents his or her notes to the group, another
           student will write at least 5 facts about the topic in the appropriate
           column in the chart.
       Then the next student will share with the group and another student
           will record the notes on the chart.
       This will continue until each group member has shared his or her
           topic and written on the chart. Ultimately, each topic should have 5
           facts under it (not complete sentences, only key words or phrases).

 6.    Mrs. Tate will choose 1 of the 5 topics for your group to present to the
       Each student in the group will be responsible for sharing 1 of the 5
            facts about the topic selected by Mrs. Tate.
S Select your topic to find a list of questions to guide your research.
                                                           CRIME, &
                                 ROLES OF
   ECONOMICS,                    SOCIETY
   FACTORIES, &                                                        FAMILY &
     TRADES                                                           EDUCATION

Begin your research by exploring the sites below. You may choose to
expand your research by discovering other sites as well.
BBC’s History Trail of Victorian Britain
    Find information on industry and invention; earning a living;
   social conditions; the state, education, and health; women at home;
   and women out and about.

The Victorian Web
     A resource on the Victorian Era in general, including facts on a
    range of topics.

Virtual Victorians
      Visit the “Themes Gallery” and “Victorian Legacy” for truly
     interesting primary documents and pictures related to your topic.

The Victorians
     Facts about the daily life of Victorians: work, play,
    education, family life, and much more.
• Who was Queen Victoria? What are important biographical
details about her?
•What important events preceded her reign?
•When did she reign?
•What were the major political events during her reign (in
•What important international political events occurred during
her reign?
•How did the people view Queen Victoria?
• How do you think people in England or in America would
view the idea of a female leader today?
•What contributions did she make to British society, literature,
politics, etc.?
•How is Queen Victoria remembered today?
•Who rules England today and makes decisions for the
country? How does this compare to America’s system of
                                                        VICTORIA &

• Describe the various levels of society during the      • How did men and women interact?
19th century. What rules governed these levels?          •Who could be a lady or gentleman in 19th century
• What kinds of movement between these levels            England?
were possible for a man or woman?                        • Explain the importance of one’s birthright in
• How did adults address each other in the various       Victorian England.
levels of society?                                       • What role did a person’s past play in his/her life?
• Look at 19th century clothing as a reflection of the   • Compare the importance of roles in society then
various levels of society.                               and now.
• Explain the roles of men and women. How were           • What were dating, courtship, and marriage “rules”?
they alike? How were they different?                     How do they compare to today’s customs of dating
• What was acceptable behavior and employment            and marriage?
for men and women?
• Study the penal system during the                         Resources
19th century. What is a debtor’s
• What did a prison look like? Find
pictures of a typical debtor’s prison
                                         •How were convicts treated after their
and post on the class wiki.
                                         release from prison?
• What were prison conditions like?
                                         • How do 20th century penal systems
• Who was sent to debtor’s prison?
                                         compare to those of the 19th century?
                                         • What were typical crimes and
• What was Dickens’ stance on
                                         punishments in Victorian England?
prisons and treatment of prisoners?
                                         • What is a penal colony? Give an
• What were other types of prisons?
                                         example of a penal colony.
For what were they used?

                              Justice, crime,
                              & punishment

                                                   & trades
• What was the Industrial Revolution?           •What were the common trades in England?
• What was happening to the working person      Investigate the trades—especially Blacksmithing.
during the Industrial Revolution?               • What view did society hole toward factories,
• What was it like to work in factories? What   trades, and the workers of each?
was a typical day? Workweek?                    • What is an apprenticeship? How does it differ
• What was the currency used in 19th century    from internships or job shadowing in today’s
England? Convert the currency to dollars today. society?
• How much money did the average worker         • How do the factories and trades of 19th century
make? Research the economic levels of other     England compare with those of today?
members of society during the 19th century.     •Find pictures of equipment & tools used in the
• Look at the economic picture of England       factories & trades. Post these on the class wiki.
during the reign of Queen Victoria. What were Explain the use of the trade tools.
the prosperous years? The lean years?           •How ere the tools in use during this time period
                                                different from those used today?
• What was the basic structure of the family during the          Resources
19th century?
•With what kind of issues or struggles did families
have to deal?
•What were the living conditions like?
•How were children’s destinies affected by their place
in society?
•How would the families of the 19th century compare
with the families of today?
•What types of problems did the youth of Dickens’
time face?
•What solutions do you see to some of the problems
of youth in that society?
•How do they differ from the problems of youth
•How did society at large look at children and youth
during Dickens’ time?
•What attitudes did adults hold toward youth?
•What was the educational structure in Dickens’
• Who went to school? How many years of
education did people receive?
•What was the focus of the school curriculum?
•Compare the educational systems of the 19th century
and the 20th century.
• Would you prefer going to school in the 19th century
or 20th century? Explain.

     Criteria                   Advanced                        Proficient                       Basic                      Below Basic

Note-taking            Accurate, relevant, &           Accurate & relevant data        Mostly accurate &            Minimal and/or
& Research:            interesting data recorded       recorded that provides a        relevant data recorded       inaccurate/irrelavant data
                       that provides an excellent      sufficient understanding        that provides a basic        recorded that does little to
  How well you         understanding of the topic;     of the topic; some              understanding of the         help audience understand
     worked            responses to higher-order       interesting facts; almost all   topic; few interesting       the topic; no interesting
                       questions demonstrate           questions answered;             facts; most questions are    facts; little effort to answer
                       insight; all questions          responses to higher-order       answered; responses to       questions; responses to
                       answered                        questions demonstrate           higher-order questions       higher-order questions are
                                                       thoughtfulness                  lack insight                 dull
Collaboration:         Student observed listening      Student observed                Student observed             Student observed not
                       to, respecting, &               listening to & respecting       listening to ideas of        listening to ideas or
  How well you         supporting the ideas &          the ideas & efforts of          group members on and         respecting efforts of group
worked with others     efforts of group members        group members and               off and contributing to      members and not
                       & contributing                  contributing to project in      project in written and       contributing positively in
                       constructively to project in    written and oral form;          oral form; chart is neat     written and/or oral form;
                       written and oral form; chart    chart is neat, & legible        & mostly legible             chart is messy & difficult to
                       is neat, & legible                                                                           read
Listening Skills:      Student gives the presenter     Student gives the               Student does not listen,     Student does not listen
                       his or her full attention and   presenter some attention        but does not interrupt       and/or interrupts others
How well you listen    doesn’t interrupt               and doesn’t interrupt           others
to other groups give
 their presentations

Presentation           Student maintains eye           Student maintains eye           Student occasionally         Student relays information
Skills:                contact throughout; chart is    contact most of the time;       uses eye contact; relies     with no or minimal eye
                       a tool not a crutch; uses       chart is a tool not a           too heavily on chart; low    contact; prefers contact
How well you speak     clear, audible voice; sounds    crutch; clear, audible          voice that is difficult to   with chart rather than
to and look at your    engaging and enthusiastic       voice                           hear                         audience; mumbles
              Self/Group Assessment

Question                                                 Answer

How helpful were the Internet Resources for
researching your topic?
Which Internet Resource did you find most
helpful? Least helpful?
Rate your individual researching effort for this
webquest on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being no effort and
5 being above and beyond. Explain rating.
Rate your individual effort while sharing with your
group (respect and support of opinions, clear
explanation) and creating the group chart
(contribution, neatness) on a scale of 1 to 5, 1
being no effort and 5 being above and beyond.
Explain rating.
Rate your individual effort while presenting to class
(clarity, eye contact, poise, elocution) on a scale of
1 to 5, 1 being no effort and 5 being above and
beyond. Explain rating.
Rate your presentation performance as a group on
a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being no effort and 5 being
above and beyond. Explain rating.
What did you learn through working on this
project and collaborating with other people?
It’s time to tap your Wizard of Oz shoes again and return to 21st century America.
Though you have just concluded your webquest, you have only just begun your
study of Great Expectations. Your knowledge of Victorian England will help you
understand the characters, places, social situations, and events that you encounter
as you read the novel. To see just how much you’ve learned and its value, see if
you can tell anything more about these characters from their short description:

     Mrs. Joe Gargery – She constantly wears an apron.

      Joe Gargery – He is a blacksmith.

      Pip – He is an orphan.

      The convict – He is just that: an escaped criminal.

Without having even begun reading you can already
infer so much about these important characters just
from your webquest study! Now it’s time to meet
them in the book. Start reading!

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