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What was it like to be an Irish immigrant in Britain in the nineteenth century?
 
The Irish in Britain
The Irish are the largest ethnic minority in Britain. Though they have a long presence in Britain, mass immigration occurred only in the nineteenth century.
1. Who has come to Britain, and when?
Developing questioning through timeline maps
An overview of migration to Britain in one lesson
This is a three-part single lesson, which is intended to give an overview of the movement to,
and settlement in, Britain by people from various parts of the world since the Romans.
1. Starter: Where are you from?
2. Who has come to Britain, and when?
3. How accurate are the statements about when people came to Britain?

The lesson
a. enables students to begin to question some generally accepted views about migration
b. provides an introduction to depth studies of immigration and settlement, such as ‘What was it like to be an Irish immigrant in Britain in the 19th century?’, below.


Key Stage 2
Lesson (pdf)  Images Used (PowerPoint)
Key Stage 3

Lesson (pdf)  Images Used (PowerPoint)

 
2. What was it like to be an Irish immigrant?
The key question of two study units, one for Key Stage 2, the other for Key Stage 3, asks students to examine the complexity of the experiences of Irish immigrants in Victorian Britain within a range of contexts - settlement, worship and work.
Students analyse a range of sources related to migrant experiences and attitudes towards them in order to explore

1. the hopes and fears of Irish migrants coming to Britain in the mid 19th century;

2. how far they remained in distinct communities;

3. how far there was a uniform response to them; and

4. how far the immigrants’ hopes and fears were justified and how far their experiences mirror the experience of immigrants to Britain today.

 
Common starter for Lesson 1

Source A.

The Last Hour in the Old Land
Margaret Allen, c. 1877, Gorry Gallery, Dublin

 

Using source A, fill in the circles in the graphic organiser.
What do you see?
What is the artist saying about their hopes & fears?
What else do you want to ask?
(Key Stage 2 only. Modelling.

Teacher leads the class in interpreting Source A,

using the grid to ask the starter questions above. )

 Key Stage 2

What Was It Like to be an Irish Immigrant in 19th Century Britain?

1. Study Unit (pdf)

2. Visual Sources & Other Illustrations (PowerPoint)

This five-lesson study unit is intended as a depth study within the Key Stage 2 History curriculum, perhaps in years 4 and 5, in England


The key question examines the complexity of the immigrants' experiences within a range of contexts.

Lesson 1

What do the sources suggest about the Irish immigrant experience?
Lessons 2 & 3

How far did the Irish stick together in settlement, worship and work?
Lesson 4

How far was there a uniform English, Welsh and Scottish response to Irish immigrants - settlement, religion, work?
Lesson 5

What were the pros and cons of being an Irish immigrant in Britain in the 19th century?

More resources

For more resources on migration, please go to: http://www.iisresource.org/Pages/resources_ph.aspx.

 Key Stage 3

What was it like to be an Irish immigrant in 19th century Britain?

1. Study unit (pdf)

2. Visual Sources & Other Illustrations (PowerPoint)

This four-lesson study unit is intended as a depth study within the Key Stage 3 History curriculum in secondary schools in England.


The key question examines the complexity of the immigrants' experiences within a range of contexts.

Lesson 1
What do the sources suggest about the Irish immigrant experience?
Lesson 2
How far did the Irish stick together in settlement, worship and work?
Lesson 3
How far was there a uniform English, Welsh and Scottish response to Irish immigrants - settlement, religion, work?
Lesson 4
What were the pros and cons of being an Irish immigrant in Britain in the 19th century?

More resources

For more resources on migration, please go to: http://www.iisresource.org/Pages/resources_sh.aspx.