Activities for learners

  1. Activity One: Be a historian and assess original sources

There are four different sources to look at here.

For each source, prepare a presentation answering the following questions:

  • What does it tell us about people’s concerns/ how they behaved/ how much they knew about the plague?
  • Who wrote the source and at what time?
  • What is the source’s purpose?
  • Who would have read the source/ used it or acted upon it?

In your conclusions you might like to include:

  • What is unique about this source- what does it tell us that other sources don’t?
  • How accurate do you think it is as evidence about what it was like to live in London during the Great Plague?
  1. Activity Two: Creative writing

Imagine you are a person living in London and the plague is heading your way. You are keeping a journal of your experiences.

You could pretend to be:

  1. a physician
  2. Mary Smithspeare: a poet and writer
  3. Robert Bigbeake: a local official working to keep anti-plague measures in place
  4. John Hawker: a street seller of sweets and medicines against the plague

You might like to think about the people, feelings, smells, sights and sounds you experience. What would you decide to do in the circumstances? Would you decide to flee? What people and things would make you want to stay?