Ideas for activities

At the Rowntree Society we would love to hear about any activities that you do connected with the family and their work. Here you’ll find some ideas for activities to help you explore why Joseph Rowntree had such a large funeral. You might think of others too. Please E-mail us with reports or details of any activities that you do if you’re happy to share them with other people.

1.  Produce a motivation diagram

Work with a partner and draw up a list of all the factors (things) that motivated Joseph Rowntree to lead the life he led. Discuss how the factors motivated him. Discuss between you which factor(s) were most important. Then stick a picture of Rowntree in the middle of a page and find a way of presenting diagrammatically the different motivational factors, how they affected him and their relative importance.

2.  Teach primary school children about citizenship

Write a feature for a primary school textbook or website using Joseph Rowntree as a model of a good citizen. You will need to be clear how they are to work out what a good citizen is. You will have to decide how to help them find out about who Joseph Rowntree was. You will need to decide which parts of his life and work you want them to focus upon. You will need to design a final activity for them to do to reinforce their learning about Joseph Rowntree. NB: you will find it helpful to refer to the ‘What is a good citizen?’ section of this learning resource.

3.  Persuade York City Council to remember Joseph Rowntree

There is no statue or specific memorial to Joseph Rowntree in York. Write a letter, or design a presentation, to persuade City Councillors to take action on this. You could take your case to the York Youth Council or to the York People’s Champion or to your local councillor.

As a Quaker Rowntree would be reluctant to see a statue of himself, preferring to be remembered by his actions. Most of the national-level campaigners for the abolition of slavery at the end of the 18th century were Quakers, but, as they would not have their portraits painted, there are no surviving images of them and people don’t know their names. Is this a good thing for people trying to learn about the past?

4.  Design a memorial for Joseph Rowntree

Design an appropriate memorial for Joseph Rowntree and annotate your design to explain how it remembers different parts of his life and work. NB: you will find it helpful to refer to the ‘What are memorials for?’ section of this learning resource.