M&S Penny Bazaars

Activity ideas

This page suggests ways in which the material in this resource can be used with different subjects, as prompts for discussion.  

You can also use the Related Links at the bottom of the page to discover further resources to stimulate discussion. 


KS2 History: 

  • Look at the images on the right showing how an artist used an old photograph as his inspiration for a painting.  Find some old family photos and paint a picture using different elements from each photo as your inspiration.
  • Find out the history of your nearest M&S store using the online store finder (see Related Links below and look at the old photographs to see how much it has changed.
  • Find out how much it would cost today to buy each of the following Penny Bazaar items: bar of soap, wooden spoon, ruled notebook, set of buttons, packet of hairgrips 


  • Carry out some research with family, friends, teachers and neighbours to find out what M&S means to them. Design your research using 'open' questions beginning with e.g.  What do you think..., rather than questions that will give you a yes or no answer.
  • Make a list of modern innovative ideas that have become part of most peoples lives today - try to think of ones that have an impact on your own life, e.g. they might be apps, things in the home or something that you wear.
  • Have your own 'Dragon's Den' event in your school, with  Innovation as the theme:
    - in groups of three think of an innovative retail idea
    - suggest how it could be produced and design its marketing strategy
    - 'pitch' your idea to an audience, maybe within your class or to other classes
    - get people to vote for their favourite
    - discuss the 'pros and cons' of the top five 'Dragons Den' ideas 

KS3 Citizenship:  

  • Use the National Archives Currency Convertor (see Related Links at the bottom of this page) to find out how much the wages for M&S shop assistants in 1906 would be worth today (the image of Cross Arcade staff has details of their wages). 
    Compare this with the minimum wage for young people today - see links below.


Haberdashery - small items for sewing such as buttons, ribbons and zips
Hardware - fixtures, equipment, tools and devices for making or repairing objects or structures
Innovation - solutions that meet new needs, novelty, modernisation 

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