How the pressures of piece work affected ordinary coal miners in the 1920s. Miners were paid depending on their output. Men would often work eight hour shifts, for six days a week - pacing their labour so as not to wear themselves out. However, piece work meant that the more drams of coal they brought to the surface, the more money they could take home.
Students could describe the working conditions for mining coal under ground and decide on the most difficult aspects of the work. A class could be split into two groups for a debate for and against the use of piece work in industry. Students could be reminded that the scene under ground is a modern reconstruction. They could then be asked to determine what the strengths and weaknesses are of using historical reconstructions to learn about the past.