Here's an interesting activity to get the kids thinking and writing creatively - can they imagine they are a soldier in the Crimean War who has been treated by Florence Nightingale and write her a letter thanking her for her care?
Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) was a famous nurse who spent her life improving the standard of healthcare in Britain and beyond. She became famous during the Crimean War (1853–1856) when she worked abroad at a British army hospital. The soldiers called her ‘the lady with the lamp’ because she would work all night, comforting those in need. Florence helped to save many lives. She also introduced important nursing methods that are still used today. Find out more about this remarkable woman and use our collection of printable activities below to test your knowledge!
Florence and her older sister Parthenope were taught at home by a governess and also by their father. The girls were clever and could speak many languages. Florence was good at maths, too. She was one of the first people to use graphs like pie charts, to share her knowledge with others. Although Florence never married, her sister Parthenope married Sir Harry Verney, a soldier and politician. Sir Harry had proposed to Florence first, but she refused him!
“The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.”
A Short Biography of Florence Nightingale
Florence was born in Italy and named after the city of her birth. But her father, William, was a rich British banker. When her family moved back to England in 1821, Florence grew up in the family homes in Hampshire and Derbyshire. Florence’s family expected her to follow the path of other middle-class girls and become a wife and mother. But Florence longed to be a nurse. She was religious and wanted to spend her life helping others.
Many men wanted to marry Florence, but she thought becoming a wife would interfere with her work. Instead, Florence worked hard at her studies. Her father eventually agreed to her plans and she trained as a nurse. Florence began working at a hospital in London, but a year later she was sent to Turkey to train nurses during the Crimean War. Hospitals were horrible places at the time – overcrowded, dirty and full of rats. There were no proper toilets, the food was bad and some patients were left to lie on the floor. Florence could see that more soldiers were dying in hospitals than on the battlefields, so she set about improving conditions. She introduced hand washing and campaigned for proper food, safe water and clean beds and bandages.
After the war, Florence campaigned for better conditions in hospitals in Britain, too. In 1859, she published ‘Notes on Nursing’ to help train other nurses, and in 1860 she set up the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. She also wrote documents to educate poor people about sickness and disease in the home. Florence received some important awards for her work. She was given the Royal Red Cross in 1883 by Queen Victoria and became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit (in 1907, from King Edward VII).
Florence died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 90. Thanks to her work, many lives were saved. But Florence left an even greater legacy: nursing was now an important and respected job for women, and the standard of healthcare in Britain had improved beyond measure.
Our Florence Nightingale Resources
Our second letter to Florence Nightingale worksheet asks kids to imagine they are a nurse today. Write a letter to Florence Nightingale telling her about the similarities and differences between nursing then and now. How have the changes she made affected modern nursing?
Use our worksheet to compare and contrast the lives and work of Mary Seacole and Florence Nightingale. What were the similarities and differences between these two famous women? We've included two versions, blank and lined.
Here's an interesting activity to get children thinking. Can they compare and contrast Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole using the Venn diagram? What are the similarities and differences between the two? This is a challenging activity, great for older kids.
Here's an activity to get the children thinking about Florence Nightingale's achievements. Can they compare and contrast hospitals before and after Florence Nightingale's work to improve them? We have two versions of this worksheet, blank and with lines.
Use this Venn diagram to encourage the kids to do some thinking and sorting in the classroom! Compare and contrast hospitals before and after Florence Nightingale using the Venn diagram - and are there any similarities?
This fun printable lets the children design their own award for Florence Nightingale. What will they write and draw on the medal to help celebrate her achievements?
Our Florence Nightingale booklet is a great way for the kids to record everything they've learnt about this famous Victorian lady. We have blank and lined versions to print. Instructions for folding our origami booklets are here.
Colour in our fun colouring page of Florence Nightingale wearing her nurse uniform, designed for younger kids.
Here's a colouring page of Florence Nightingale that we have based on a well-known portrait of this inspiring and dedicated Victorian lady.
Here's a portrait style colouring page of Florence Nightingale, with ready-made frame to display it in! It would make an interesting and unusual addition to your Florence Nightingale project.
This Florence Nightingale comprehension worksheet is aimed at older children. They need to read the text and then use it to answer the questions - great for learning about Florence Nightingale and a useful class activity to help practise reading and comprehension skills.
Learn about Florence Nightingale with this printable fact sheet/biography, which the kids can use with our other Florence Nightingale printable activities and worksheets.
Can the kids imagine they are a journalist and that they are interviewing Florence Nightingale? Would sort of questions would they ask? This interesting worksheet really gets the kids thinking about what questions would encourage people to talk, and what they would like to find out.
Can the kids use our Florence Nightingale newspaper writing prompt to write a report from one of her hospitals or maybe to write about her life?
We have two Florence Nightingale notebooking pages for the children to choose from for their projects. Perfect for older children, they come in a choice of lined or with a box for pictures.
Here's a fun illustrated poster of Florence Nightingale, the Lady with the Lamp, perfect to print and display for younger children.
"I attribute my success to this - I never gave nor took any excuse". Print out and display our poster featuring this famous inspirational quote from Florence Nightingale.
"Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would not reach anything better". This worksheet asks children to think about what Florence Nightingale meant when she said this, and to rewrite it in their own words.
"It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm." What did Florence Nightingale mean by this quote? We've created this worksheet so the kids can write about what it means.
Children can use our Florence Nightingale story paper to write a short biography, or maybe use it for some creative writing, perhaps set in one of Florence's hospitals? We have two versions, lined and with handwriting lines.
Our story starters are designed to fire the imagination and spark kids into writing interesting stories. Ask them to finish this exciting tale about a wounded soldier waking up and meeting Florence Nightingale!
Use our printable timeline of Florence Nightingale's life on its own or together with our timeline worksheets.
Cut the squares from page 1 of this Florence Nightingale timeline worksheet and then stick them into the correct places on the timeline on page 2.
Our Florence Nightingale writing page is designed for younger children to record what they have learned about the founder of modern nursing and comes in either colour or black and white.
Victorian times saw huge changes in the lives of British people. Some people consider Florence Nightingale to be one of the greatest Victorians. Can the kids write about who she was and why she deserves the title of a Great Victorian?
Kids can learn to draw the famous nurse Florence Nightingale by following our step by step tutorial. Maybe they can colour in their drawing too?
Florence Nightingale was loved by the men she served as walked the wards at night with her oil lamp, stopping to help the wounded and give comfort. Here is an oil lamp like the one she carried, for the children to colour in.
We thought a poster of an oil lamp might be useful for your Florence Nightingale displays. This would also make an interesting cover for a Florence Nightingale project.