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KS2, 90 mins - Marianne North, Victorian plant hunter and artist

In this 90 minute session, primary school students will learn about the life and travels of Marianne North, a Victorian naturalist and prolific botanical artist.

Marianne North Gallery after restoration


During their exploration of the Marianne North Gallery the students will get a feel of what life would have been like for a female world traveller in Victorian times. They will have the opportunity to take a closer look at some of Marianne North’s paintings of plants found on her many trips to countries around the world. The session will also include producing a piece of artwork to take home.

  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Group size: 15 students.
  • Important: Max 60 students per day only
  • Minimum supervision required: 1 adult per 8 students.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Discover the role Marianne North played in Victorian society as a female explorer, plant hunter and artist.
  • Explore how the same plants are able to grow successfully in different parts of the world and how this links today with the work scientists are carrying out at Kew.
  • Analyse, describe and evaluate their own work, and that of others, in order to strengthen the visual impact or applications of their work as well as take home a piece of art work.

Curriculum Links

KS2 Science

Year 3 Plants
• identify and describe the functions of different parts of flowering plants: roots, stem/trunk, leaves and flowers

Year 4 Living things and their habitats
• recognise that living things can be grouped in a variety of ways

KS2 English
Spoken language
• articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
• use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas
• speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
•  participate in discussions and presentations
• gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)

KS2 History
• a local history study
• a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066

KS2 Geographical skills and fieldwork
• use maps to locate countries

KS2 Art and design
• to improve their mastery of art and design techniques
• about great artists in history.

Keywords: plant hunter, explorer, botanical illustrations, Victorian, Famous Victorians: Edward Lear, Charles Darwin, Edward Hooker, Julia Margaret Cameron

Please note:  Learning outcomes will focus on the year group taking part to ensure relevancy for your group.