Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers Notes

Resource created by Colne Valley Museum

The resource explores an Edwardian clogmakers workshop, and the social and cultural aspects of clog making and wearing in Northern England

Curriculum Links

  • KS1 History:  Changes within living memory
  • KS2 History:  A study over time
  • KS1 & 2: Science: Properties of materials

 Discussion Ideas

Read the poem “It Didn’ Seem Reet”

  • What story does the poem tell?
  • Where is the writer of the poem from? How can we tell?
  • Discuss the way that it has been written in the local dialect – what difference does this make to the poem?
  • Small groups of pupils could take a stanza each and re-write it in standard English
    • How does this affect the poem? Does it change the way it is read and the rhythm of the poem?
    • Does it change the meaning?

This could lead into a larger discussion around local dialects, accents, foreign languages, and the cultural significance of dialects and languages and how some are under threat and the reasons for that threat.

Activity Ideas

  • Choose a type of shoe and research its history.   Examples could include the wellington boot, stilletos, flip-flops, sandals, riding boots.
    • Where did it originate? 
    • Why is it designed the way it is?
    • How has the design and / or materials used changed over time?
    •  Is the type of shoe connected to the job or role that the wearer carried out?
    •  How have different cultures solved the same problem of needing to protect our feet?
  • Use the interactive image of the workshop as a jumping off point to explore the topic of cottage industries, the Industrial Revolution, or shoes.
  • Try some clog-dancing!  See Supporting Links for video inspiration.
  • Clogmakers that still work in the traditional way today start by drawing round the wearer’s feet and taking careful measurements.  Use maths skills to produce a class set of measured feet.  This information could then be used in the following ‘Design your own Shoe’ activity.
  • Design your own shoe.
    • What is its function? (is it a sports shoe, a safety shoe, a walking shoe….?) How does the function influence the design, and vice versa?
    • What is it made of?  
    • Are the materials natural or man-made?  
    • Is it recycled or recyclable in any way? 
    • How do the properties of the chosen materials affect how the shoe will perform?
    • Who would wear this shoe -who is your target market?
  • Make a mock up of the shoe you have designed.
  • Investigate the properties of different materials that are used to make shoes, for example leather, pvc, cotton, plastic, rubber. 
    • How do they perform when heated, wet, cold, or dry?
  •  Learn the song ‘The Little Mouse with Clogs on’ and create a class performance.
  • Use the fairy tale, The Elves and the Shoemaker as an introduction to shoes, and to discuss the ideas of helping out those less fortunate than ourselves, and doing so without asking for anything in return.(Curriculum links to PSHE)
  • There are many sounds associated with making clogs, from the carving of the wood, to the ‘clicking out’ of the leather and the tapping of nails.  Recreate these sounds using different objects and materials as percussive instruments.  These could be found objects, or objects not usually associated with musical instruments.  Create a soundscape or a piece of music. 
  • Traditionally, the warm woollen socks that were worn with clogs would have been hand knitted at home (see the Domestic Life in 19th Century resource) Do some French knitting as an accessible example of tubular knitting. 
  • Research the properties of different materials used in shoe making, including natural and synthetic materials.
  • Bring in old shoes to do some ‘feet on’ painting!  Put out trays of different coloured paint and cover the floor with paper and get creative with using the shoes, laces, soles etc for mark-making.