SDR 200 Building and Opening – Teacher guide

For most teachers, the starting point is the main video. It contains a lot of information and time to reflect, revisit sections and ask questions can form the basis of a class discussion. The comprehension can further be used to review understanding of some of the key points.

Artefact Activities

The artefact for this section is a famous painting by John Dobbin. Although he did attend the opening day, the painting dates from 50 years later. He must have had a great memory! You can compare his painting with some of the reports from the time (linked below) to see similarities and differences. Questions around the painting often fall on the crowd. What are they wearing? What does that tell us about them? What different aspects of society are shown? Details and comments, what is like today and what is different?

Original report of the opening day

Painting by John Dobbin

QR to Dobbin painting

Digital Skills Task

The painting is essentially an eye witness account of the first journey….albeit 50 years after it happened. Using information from the video, comprehension and other related links your pupils can create a short ‘news’ report from the day. iMovie lends itself particularly well to this and a piece of green paper or cloth can easily be placed behond the children to create a green screen. Essentially this is a writing task, a report on the key facts of an event but adding in the presentation element really connects the writer with the audience, choice of vocabulary to engage the audience becomes key. Click on the apps below and follow the icon for iMovie for guidance and support to make your movies effective. Below are also links to various backgrounds that can be used to make the report look authentic.

Dobbin painting, no train, to use as a green screen background

Other Curriculum – Art ‘Painting the Past’

Creating a full on painted landscape is a pretty tall order although some children may like the challenge. However, this can be constructed into a much more collaborative project which can also produce a fantastic classroom display. Rather than focussing on the bigger picture, below are resources that isolate the individuals in the picture. These can be used as a stimulus for pupils to draw or paint their own characters. The historical aspect of this work, looking for accuracy of attire from the painting or research at a museum or online, adds a more engaging element. Children’s work could then be cut out and placed on a large scale version of the painting (or general scene). Resources to support all approaches are below.

Of course, the literacy opportunities can flow from this: diary, eye witness account, news report etc

Original painting

Cut outs of Dobbin characters (Pages)

Cut outs of Dobbin characters (PDF)

Link to Victorian fashion

Cut outs of Dobbin characters (Pages)

Cut outs of Dobbin characters (PDF)