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					A Collections Online Education Resources (www.leics.gov.uk/collections)
Key Stage 1
National Curriculum Focus
   QCA Link: How do our toys differ from those in the past?
   The activity also supports English and Maths.

Objectives
   To develop chronological understanding and to introduce ideas of how the same
   type of object might change over a period of time. To inspire historical enquiry and
   encourage close observation and the asking of questions to discover facts.

Teacher Information
Objects
Teachers will need to print off, and preferably laminate, full size pictures of the following
objects prior to the lesson. You might want to also print off some of the close up
photographs showing particular details of some of the dolls.
      Doll, 1811 –1826 (L.H103.1955.0.0)
      Doll, 1850 (L.H82.1971.0.0)
      Doll, 1900 – 1912 (L.H185.1971.0.0)
      Doll, 1920 – 1925 (L.H306.1971.2.0)
      Doll, 1960 – 1964 (X.04.2002.2.0)
      Doll, 1980 – 1989 (L.H72.1985.75.0)
The labels at the end of this document will also need to be printed, laminated if
possible, and cut prior to the lesson.


Introduction
The object of this lesson is to develop observational, historical and chronological skills
through the study of a set of six pictures of dolls from various dates. The first part of the
activity requires pupils to match appropriate words to the pictures and the second part
is to successfully arrange the set of pictures into chronological order. A series of visual
and word clues are given to encourage class discussion and lead pupils to working out
the correct order themselves.
It is suggested that blue tack or double sided tape is used to attach the appropriate
labels to the pictures. Each doll should end up with two descriptive labels and an ‘age’.
The points for discussion together with the background information should enable
pupils to identify which label goes where.
It is suggested that teachers create a ‘washing line’ time line for the second part of the
activity. Pupils can then take it in turns to peg the key dates provided, together with any
additional dates such as years when pupils were born, when school opened etc to line
where they think appropriate. Finally the pictures of the dolls can be pegged into the
correct positions.

                                        -1-
NB. We appreciate that some boys might be sensitive about undertaking an activity
about dolls. It might help them if the activity is presented as a ‘History Detective’ game
where they can take on the role of a detective working on a case about a box of objects
found in the cellar / attic of an old house. Photographs of the objects have been taken
to be used as evidence because the objects themselves are too fragile to be studied.


Points for discussion
      Which doll do you think is the oldest (made the longest time ago)?
      Why?
      Which doll do you think is the latest (made the shortest time ago)?
      Why?
      How can we tell how long ago the dolls were made?
      Do any of these dolls look like the dolls we have today?
      How?
      What are most dolls made of now?
      Do you think any of these dolls are made from the same things?
      Was there any plastic 100 years ago?
      What did people use to make dolls and other toys before plastic?
      Why were the earliest (oldest) dolls made of wood?
      Why were some dolls’ heads made from china / pottery?
      Would you be able to play with a doll with a china / pottery head in the same way
       you can play with a plastic doll?


Background Information
The earliest dolls tended to be made from wood because it was easily available, cheap
and easy to cut and carve. During the 19th century various other materials were used to
try and make dolls look more detailed and realistic. Often the dolls’ bodies were made
from cloth but the heads could be made from composition (a mixture of wood pulp and
glue), wax or various types of porcelain (such as glazed china or bisque). These
different materials all had different qualities. Many Victorian dolls were intended more
as ornament than plaything.
Glazed china was popular from the 1830s to the 1880s. It produced a very shiny finish.
These dolls usually had white skin with painted features including rosy cheeks. The
dolls hair was usually cast within the same mould and was painted prior to glazing.
Hairstyles and clothes reflected the fashions of the period.
Wax headed dolls were popular from the 1850s to the 1930s. These dolls had a much
more realistic look than the glazed china dolls and their facial features were usually very
detailed. Some wax headed dolls were models of famous people such as Kings and
Queens. Real hair was often inset into the wax head. They also reflect the fashions of
the time.

                                       -2-
Bisque headed dolls are made from porcelain that has been fired twice. They were
popular from the 1860s right up to the 1950s. Bisque produced a realistic skin tone
without the high shine of glazed china, or the slight sheen of wax. A wig of real hair was
usually glued to the head. Baby dolls became popular from the 1920s and their heads
were usually very lightly painted to suggest downy hair.
Plastic dolls became popular after the Second World War. They could be mass-
produced cheaply and the end product was tough and durable. Early plastic dolls
tended to be made out of hard plastic but later ones combined both soft and hard
plastic elements.
Teenage fashion dolls became popular from the 1960s onwards. The first of these
types of doll was Barbie, produced by the American company, Mattel, in 1959. Similar
dolls, such as Sindy and Tressy, were subsequently produced by English companies.
The exaggerated elongated body shape
of these dolls has caused much disapproval and debate over the years. An enormous
variety of clothes and accessories are available.
Doll manufacturers have experimented with ‘performing’ dolls for over 100 years. In the
early years this usually meant ‘walking’ dolls but as advances in technology have been
made so dolls have been made to ‘talk’, ‘drink’, ‘cry’ and ‘wet’ etc. Tiny Tears, produced
from the 1970s onwards was a particularly popular ‘performing’ doll which could drink
from its bottle, blow bubbles, cry and wet its nappy.




                                      -3-
    Made from wood
  Painted face and hair
  Nearly 200 years old
    Glazed china head
    Painted china hair
   About 150 years old
Wax head with ‘real’ hair
Wearing fashionable dress
         and hat
   About 100 years old

          -4-
      Pottery head
  Baby doll with lightly
      painted hair
   About 80 years old
   Made from plastic
  Teenage fashion doll
   About 40 years old
 Made from soft plastic
Can drink from bottle and
           cry

          -5-
About 20 years old
      Past

             <
     Present

         ^
     Future

             >
       -6-
1800
1850
1900
1920
1960
1980
2000
2005
      ?



-7-

				
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