Victorian Life and Amusement WebQuest

A WebQuest for 12th Grade (English IV-ENGL 2323)

Designed by

Karin Dalton
South San Antonio ISD

 Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits | Teacher Page


Through the power of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine, you and your team have been whisked back to England at the time of the Age of Victoria.  You are confronted with intimately learning the life and lingo of the Victorian people, and trying to sort out the confusion of energies in this tumultuous and contradictory time.  Learn all you can about the Victorians, their customs, their problems, their triumphs, and their daily lives.  When you return, representatives of the Disney Corporation will approach you to help them design a Victorian theme park.

The Task

Having returned from your time travel visit to Victorian England, you have two tasks.  Your first task is to write a 3-page research paper on the aspect of Victorian life that you explored.  This should be well written and well documented.  Various sites will be suggested to you below, but you must also explore and use off-line resources (a minimum of 5) and document them as well.  You will follow the format approved for this class.  Your second task is to prepare a presentation for the Disney representatives on the Victorian theme park.  You should give your park a name, a flag, a slogan, and design at least four distinct thematic areas.  One of the sub-tasks of your group will be to determine the theme focus of each area.  Each area must have its own name, flag, attractions, rides, food court, and menu.  You might also want to have a jingle or theme song for each area.

In addition, the park will have a visitor’s center/museum that will be a “time capsule” of Victorian England.  The museum should be arranged logically to allow visitors to really learn about Victorian life.  Use the research paper to help create the displays you will offer to the public.  Be sure to include a gift shop with appropriately tacky souvenirs.  Each member of the class will have an active role in the presentation.  The presentation should include a map of the park, a map of each area, a map of the visitor’s center/museum. 

San Antonio’s reputations as a great place for tourists is riding on your proposal; don’t let your city down.

The Process

1.    First, each member of the class should choose an area of study.  You will become the resident expert on this aspect of Victorian life.

2.    All students should check this site: The Victorian Web and The Victorian Period (follow links to end)


 Victorian Architecture: An Overview
 Victorian Architecture: Styles
 High Victorian Gothic
 Victorian Art and Architecture




The Great Exhibition of 1851

Illustrations of Dickens

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Ford Madox Brown

Edward Coley Jones

J.W.M. Turner

Gallery of Art

Pre-Raphaelite Overview

Victorian Artists

Art Web Sites: 19th and 20th Century

The Pre-Raphaelite Critic


                Charlotte Bronte
                Emily Bronte

Robert Browning   
Lewis Carroll   
George Eliot   
Rudyard Kipling
Christina Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Robert Louis Stevenson
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Oscar Wilde

Child Labor

Child Labor
British History 1750- Extensive
Children as Industrial Workers
Child Labor

         Child Labor and the Industrial Revolution


Christmas and other holidays

                A Victorian Christmas
                Christmas in Victorian Englandl
                The Spirit of Christmas Past

         19th Century Holiday Project

 Guy Fawkes

 Guy Fawkes Holiday

 Valentine's Day



What Victorians Wore
The Customer's Manifesto 

        The Costume Gallery

        The Regency Fashion Page



                What's a Guinea?

                                        Adam Smith
                                        The Bank of England
                                        Bankruptcy in Victorian England
                                        Corn Laws

Family life and the home

               Care and Feeding of Infants
                Childhood Playthings
                The Victorian Family

The Victorian Station

The Victorian Emporium

Victorian album

Language of Victorian Flowers



                Victorian Diet
                The Tea Tradition
                Food of Industrial England

        Victorian Hunger and Malnutrition in Alice in Wonderland

        Food, Drink, and Public Health in the Alice Books

        The History of Tea

Industrial Revolution

Life of the Industrial Worker

The Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution Class Lecture



                Inventors and Inventions
                Victorian technology
                Victorian Medicine
                19th Century Inventions


Law and Justice


        Jack the Ripper

        History of the Metropolitan Police Service

        Sweeney Todd

        History of Scotland Yard



              Crimean War
              The Role of the Victorian Army
              An Overview


Music and dance

                Michael Balfe
                Sir Arthur Sullivan 
                19th Century Music
                Romantic Era Music Links
                Regency Dances

        Arthur Sullivan Homepage

        Gilbert and Sullivan Operas

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

        Victoria: British monarchs

        Queen Victoria

        The Life and Times of Queen Victoria

        Albert, Prince Consort

        Victoria and Dear Albert

        Queen Victoria

        Excerpts from Victoria's Diaries


Recreation and games

                Childhood Playthings
                Boy's Clothes for Outing at the Park
                19th Century Amusements

        Victorian Parlour Games 


        Railways in the 19th Century

        The First Locomotives

        Victorian Railways, Punch, and "Hudson's Statue"

        The Growth of Victorian Railways

Women in the 19th Century

                Timeline of Legislation
                Madame Bodichon
                Hastings and Women's Suffrage

                  Women and Marriage

3.    When you have completed your web-research on your area of study, find at least 5 (five) off-line resources for additional information.

4.    Write a well-documented research paper following the accepted class format (see the Bedford Handbook), especially noting the rules for MLA documentation.  This portion of your assignment is due 2 weeks from today.

5.    To begin preparing for your presentation to the Disney representatives, check out the following sites about amusement parks.

Cedar Point on Lake Erie

Amusement Park Industry History

Amusement Park News

Family Learning in Museums

Great Moments with the Amusement Park Industry

Coney Island

Theme Park Design


Then, as a class decide on the park’s name, slogan, flag and organization.  What are the four thematic areas you will divide your park into?  How will you organize your museum?

6.    Divide yourselves into four teams, each with the responsibility for one section of the park.

7.    Assign the following roles within each team (some may need to take on more than one role.)

v     Project Superintendent: The superintendent will oversee the project, and make sure that all of the individual parts come together to complete the project.  The superintendent will also take notes on what everyone is doing and make sure that jobs and topics for the museum are not duplicated.  This person will be responsible for keeping the group on task and on time.  The superintendent will be the "right hand person" helping all of the other group members.  This person is also responsible for working with the other Project Superintendents and making sure that all of the pieces of the larger project fit together and are done in a timely manor.

v     Coordinator of Food Service: This person takes the ideas of the group and makes the final decisions about what food to serve and this person will create the actual menu.  Disney wants to see the menu exactly as the park visitors will see it.  Be creative and stick to the theme.  (You may certainly work with the other Coordinators of Food Service to be sure that there is a good variety of offering throughout the park.)

v     Groundskeeper: This person will ensure that the flag and the slogan that the group has come up with are created, and are visible and that a physical representation of the theme is evident either in the lay out of the park or the plantings.  (You may certainly work with the other Groundskeepers to be sure that there is a good variety and coordination throughout the park.)

v     Attractions Coordinator: This person will turn the ideas of the group into the reality of the park.  Remember that you need rides, and shows and games for a variety of age groups.  Remember that music can be an important part of creating the atmosphere for your area.  (You may certainly work with the other Attractions Coordinators to be sure that there are a good variety of activities throughout the park.)

v     Museum Co-Curator: This person will turn of ideas of the group and specific information from their research papers into the area of the museum this team is responsible for.  This person will coordinate with other museum co-curators to design the layout of the museum and the contents of displays and the gift shop.

8.    On the day of the presentation, the Project Superintendents should present the overview of the park, and then the teams should present their individual areas.



Your group will be graded on the process of creating the amusement park and on the historical accuracy of your areas and museum section, as well as the attractiveness of the concept.  Individually you will be graded on the content, grammar, mechanics, and documentation of your research papers.

Check out your presentation rubric



Once you have completed this project you will have a very good grasp of the life of the Victorians.  You will have some understanding of how they lived their daily lives and how politics and world events influenced them.  You will also have learned to translate these trends into a exciting representation of Victorian England.  Look around San Antonio for evidence of Victorian life.


King William Tour

Brackenridge House

Fort Sam Houston

San Antonio Heritage


Credits & References

Cpj2.gif. [Online Image] Available: <A HREF="">Victorian Clipart</a>, March 21, 2002.

Jpangels.gif [Online Image] Available:<A HREF="">Victorian Clipart</a>, March 21, 2002.

Some ideas borrowed from a Web quest by Mark Woon,, March 21, 2002.