Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by: M&S Archive.

The material in this resource can be used with different subjects, as prompts for classroom or home work activities.



Curriculum Links

  • KS3 Hisory: WW2
  • KS3 Design & Technology: Design and make


Learning Objectives

  • To learn about the history of M&S
  • To find out what life was like in the past
  • To raise awareness about 'waste not want not'
  • To learn how being creative with limited resources can often lead to invention


This resource could be used as:

  • an introduction to learning about economic use of materials
  • an additional aid to ethics / RE
  • as inspiration or introduction to a real enterprise activity such as fund raising
  • an introduction to consumerism
  • a drama project
  • a fashion design project
  • an aid to history timelines, understanding the manufacturing industry and how government policy can affect what is made in a country


Discussion  Ideas

  • What do you think it would be like for you today if clothes were rationed? What would you be most upset about not being able to wear?
  • If you were a dress designer how would you adapt your designs to use less materials?
  • What are the differences between man-made and natural fabrics? Think of three of your five senses - sight, sound and touch.
  • Why do you think man-made fabrics were so popular after the Second World War?


Activity Ideas

  • Research what man-made fabrics are made from, then make a list of man-made and natural fabrics. Looking at the labels on clothes will help you do this.
  • Find an old shirt, jumper or pair of trousers and convert into a bag by deconstructing / reconstructing the existing item.
  • Provide each student with the same materials and challenge them to create a useful item using only those materials.