London’s burning – extended edition

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By Nina Filipekfreelance education writer

Original article published on 28th April 2008

The Great Fire of London is a hot topic among primary teachers. It’s time to build up the flames

The Great Fire of London is a wonderful topic for primary teachers because it touches many aspects of the curriculum.

Fire of London artwork

Is this place safe?


Draw a basic map of London, as it was in 1666. It doesn’t need to be detailed – roughly drawn in felt-tipped pen is fine for this activity. Add important landmarks, including the Thames, London Bridge, Tower of London, the old St Paul’s Cathedral, and Samuel Pepys’ house. Draw the bakery and the houses on Pudding Lane, where the fire started. Make some character cards and position them on different locations on the map, such as: a house next to the bakery, a boat on the Thames, inside the cathedral, and a place on the opposite bank of the river. Point to each character and ask the children, Is this place going to be safe from the fire? Can they work out where is the safest place to be?

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