26th September 2003 at 01:00
Pupils at KS2 or KS3 could compare the exploitation of giants, dwarfs etc described in this article with the exploitation of slaves in Ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome. They could also look at the exploitation of Africans in the slave trade or native Americans in the 1800s. Much fruitful discussion could arise from questions such as the reasons why some groups enslaved others, or whether the exploitation is similar or different in nature or scale. Another dimension could be to examine the different value systems in British society at different times. The key question here would be why freak shows are no longer major attractions. Are we better people or have our tastes changed? Finally, pupils at KS34 might look at freak shows and their like in the context of other entertainments involving cruelty and exploitation, such as cock fighting or bear baiting.

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