A Victorian Farm in Action

Harvest Festival Creative Writing Activity

This activity focusses on the Victorian tradition of the 'Harvest Home' festival as a basis for creative work.


Learning Objectives 

  • Pupils will learn about the origins and traditions of harvest festivals and the Victorian Harvest Home.
  • Pupils will use a variety of sources to gather information about events in the past.
  • Pupils will use a range of source materials as a stimulus for a creative writing activity.


Discuss with pupils what they understand by the term Harvest Festival. What is it? When does it take place? What is its purpose? Can they think of any traditions that might be associated with Harvest festivals?


Explain that pupils are going to find out about the Victorian Harvest Festival or 'Harvest Home' and use that information as a stimulus for a creative writing activity.


Read the extract from Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson. Discuss difficult vocabulary or terminology. What image or feeling does it give of a Victorian harvest? Can pupils identify key aspects or traditions of Harvest Home? It might be useful to brainstorm key words, ideas and themes from the extract together as a class.


Pupils should then use additional sources within this resource to find out more about the activities and traditions associated with Harvest Home. This could either be independent research or done as a class. They might find the videos of the Victorian kitchen and cider press useful, along with images from the Powerpoint image gallery or on the right of this page. There are also information sheets on Cider Making and Harvest traditions in the Downloads section.


Ask pupils to identify the key figures of a Harvest Home celebration, for example, the farm workers, the farmer, wife or children of farm workers, the farmers' wife, servants. What role would they play? What might be their feelings and emotions, what would their experiences be?


Pupils can then use this information as the basis for a creative writing activity, writing a first person account of a Harvest Home celebration taking on the role of one of the key figures they have identified.


Extension Activity

Pupils could dramatise their readings, using freeze frame and mime activities to illustrate the events and different points of view of the celebrations.

Document icon Learning article provided by: The Village - Church Farm, Skegness | 
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