Browse Sets

Block A - The Maya in Context

Study the fascinating Maya in this vigorously researched topic. Discover where and when the Maya built their magnificent civilisation as you develop a range of skills across the curriculum. Investigate how they lived, their culture and their legacy. Compare their lives to your own as you bring your learning together.

This block puts the development of the Maya civilisation into context within a world setting, and especially in contrast with contemporary developments in Britain. Compare the history and effects of invasion in both areas and the survival of the Maya and Anglo-Saxon culture.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Achievements

Sort the developments of the Maya and the Anglo-Saxon cultures accurately and compare the achievements of both.

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02: Invasion

Take part in role-plays to explore how invasion affected both the Maya and Anglo-Saxon cultures.

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03: Legacy

Find out about the legacy of the Maya and Anglo-Saxon culture, and how they are remembered today.

Block G - Kenya

This is a lively and fun topic to teach children fieldwork and observational skills as they study the geography of their schools, the grounds and the key human and physical features of the surrounding environment.

Country Mouse and City Mouse encourage children to learn about Kenya. Learn key geographical vocabulary and carry out map work. Build a picture of Kenya through a series of activities such as role play and hot seating, wellington gardens & making clay furniture. Gather research for an informative brochure and take part in `The City & Countryside Debate´.

This Topic is written for Key Stage 1. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: City mouse and country mouse

Children will listen to the story `City Mouse and Country Mouse´ by John Wallner. They will look at images of Kenya´s cities and countryside then use websites to start a class brochure about Kenya.

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02: Country mouse and city mouse learn about the city

Children will watch a clip about Nana, a child in urban Kenya, then through drama explore the similarities and differences between Nana´s life and their own.

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03: City mouse and country mouse learn about the country

Learn what daily life is like in the countryside of Kenya by meeting Evangeline, a child living on a farm in Naro Maru. Participate in `The City and Countryside Debate´ - it´s time to vote, but will children prefer?

Block F - Local Land Use

This is a lively and fun topic to teach children fieldwork and observational skills as they study the geography of their schools, the grounds and the key human and physical features of the surrounding environment.

The pirates want to play! Map the local area to locate parks and playgrounds; is there enough play space to satisfy pirates’ play needs to prevent them becoming mischievous? What shops do we have in our locality? One pirate wants an ice-cream, another a comic and a third new boots – where can we buy these items? The classroom becomes a ‘miniature village’ as local businesses are reproduced. Finish by working together to produce a trail around the locality. Celebrate learning with a presentation to parents and carers.

This Topic is written for Key Stage 1. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Treasure hunt

Pirates use treasure map to hunt and find treasure! We’re going on a treasure Hunt; we’re going to find a sparkly one.

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02: Pirate code

Decipher the pirate code to learn about coordinates!

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03: What do you think?

The pirates want to play! Use Google earth and map of the local area to locate parks and playgrounds; is there enough play space to satisfy pirates’ play needs to prevent them becoming mischievous?

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04: Shopping!

What shops do we have in our locality? One pirate wants an ice-cream, another a comic and a third new boots – where can we buy these items?

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05: What are you doing today?

The class room becomes a ‘miniature village’ as local businesses are reproduced in role play and small world.

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06: Walk around our locality!

Work together to produce a trail around the locality. What sounds might you hear on your way? Celebrate learning with a presentation to parents and carers.

Block G - Rulers

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

Find out about the Oba of Benin and the structure of government. People gave tributes to the Oba through their representative chiefs. Learn how all the rulers were generally men, but the mother of the Oba was always considered to be very important.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Ogisos and Obas

Find out about the Ogisos and Obas and the roles they played in society. Learn about named Obas and what they achieved for Benin.

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02: The mother of the Oba

Find out about how the mother of the Oba was revered and sometimes played a large role in the running of the kingdom. Design a game to explore the life of Queen Idia.

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03: Chiefs, soldiers, freemen and slaves

Learn how the Edo speaking people of Benin were either soldiers in the Oba's army, freemen farming or crafting, or slaves. Discuss the ethics of slavery.

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04: Rule of law

Explore how this structure of society, as well as the religion, kept a check on crime and corruption. Re-enact a court of law with everyone taking on different roles in society.

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05: Make a hierarchy tree

Make a hierarchy tree showing the relationships between people in the kingdom of Benin.

Block E - Everyday Life

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

Create Benin houses and streets; imagine what it was like to live among the Benin people; investigate Benin music and story telling; make a Benin asologun (stringed instrument) and/or egion (musical bow); take part in a recital; explore Benin cast iron objects and their meanings; have a go at casting; learn about the types of food people ate in Benin and try out some traditional recipes.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Benin houses

Learn how the people of Benin made houses. Make a Benin house out of sticks, clay and leaves. Create a class Benin city by setting out the streets in long straight lines, just like the ancient city of Benin. Imagine what it would be like to live among the Benin people.

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02: Music and story

Investigate the music of the time and understand the importance of music in the Benin culture. Learn that they did not have a written language and children did not go to school, but instead, in the evening, the people in each village would collect around the village square or family hearth and tell stories. Make a Benin asologun (stringed instrument) and/or egion (musical bow), and take part in a recital.

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03: Benin art

Understand that one of the most unique things about the Benin civilisation was their art. Explore their cast bronze objects. Understand that their art had symbolic meanings and were made by skilled craftsmen. Have a go at casting or making a hip mask, bell, or figurine and present them in an assembly.

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04: Benin food

Learn about the types of food people ate in Benin and try out some traditional recipes. Eat!

Block C - The Benin Kingdom

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

Learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom; consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; use freeze framing, image making and role play techniques to bring this learning to life.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Foundation of the kingdom

Remind each other of the Benin timeline, before looking deeper into the rise and establishment of the Benin Empire. Locate Benin on a world map and look at that area of Africa as it is today. Consider what brought the Edo peoples to the rainforests of Benin. Use freeze framing to imagine what it was like to first settle in Benin in the 900s in small villages.

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02: Growing the kingdom

Learn about how the Obas created the first cities in Benin. Using images of the cities drawn by Europeans and their freeze frames from the first session to do flash forwards of how life would be different in a city. Create a series of still images showing the differences.

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03: Ogisos and Obas

Find out more about the selected Ogisos and Obas, who all contributed to the growth of the Kingdom. Using role play, convey what each of these Obas would have been like to live and serve under. Video the role-play to share on the school website.

Block I - End of Benin

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

Find out about the development of the Empire of Benin after European contact in the fifteenth century and the effect it had on the area. Learn about the kingdom's decline and how it was colonised by European countries. Eventually it was attacked by the British in 1897 and Benin City was destroyed and its riches taken back to Britain.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: European contact

Find out about the earliest contact with the Portuguese in 1489 and the subsequent boost to trade that was brought, especially the slave trade. Map the connections between Benin and the rest of the world before and after European contact.

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02: Slave trade

Learn about the rise in the slave trade as the European countries became more involved in West Africa, and Benin's initial resistance to it.

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03: British rule

Learn about the tensions between the British and the Oba of Benin and the eventual destruction of Benin City and the exile of the Oba. Discuss how you think the British should have behaved.

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04: Repatriation

Learn about Benin now. Write a letter as if to a newspaper, a blog post, a poster or a leaflet explaining whether you think the objects looted from Benin by the British should be sent back to the Oba of Benin.

Block A - Introduction to Benin

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

This block puts the development of the Kingdom of Benin into context within a West African setting, and contrasts it with contemporary developments in Europe. Compare the history of art in both areas and the effect that the art of Benin has had on the western world.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Timelines

Do some research to find out about the contemporary developments in European and West African history and create a timeline to compare the two regions.

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02: West Africa

Find out about other civilisations in West Africa and when and where they developed. Use this knowledge to create an overlay map/animation showing the change over time.

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03: History of art

Learn about the history of art in Europe and West Africa, and how the appearance of looted Benin art in Europe and America influenced western artists. Make a self-portrait in the style of one of the artists.

Block F - Religion

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

Find out about the legends of the Edo speaking people of Benin; explore the famous creation story of Olorun and Obatala. Other gods were worshipped, too, and shrines were built to give offerings and make supplications to the gods and to ancestors. Make shrines to the old gods or religious scenes of the Edo people inspired by Benin artwork.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: The beginning of the world and the first Oba

Find out about and role play the Edo speaking people's myths about the start of the world, and the beginnings of Benin. Take turns sketching the scenes that are acted out in sketchbooks.

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02: The King's Festival

Role play a King's Festival, where the Oba of Benin is the focus of religious celebrations. Photograph the event and then make sketches based on the photos.

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03: A pantheon of gods

Explore the objects that show us some of the kings and gods of Benin, make sketches of these objects.

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04: Make a religious scene

Use your sketches to model a replica shrine or religious scene.

Block D - Evidence

This topic provides you with an outstanding set of inspired plans and resources to enable you to study Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300 and to contrast many of its features with contemporary developments in British history; learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom, consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how the empire grew; study the rulers of the Edo people, their everyday life, their religion and worship, their trading currencies and trade routes, their music and art and finally how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

How do we know about Benin? What evidence survives from a thousand years ago to tell us about this civilisation on the west coast of Africa? In this block you will find out about the different types of evidence that survive and how reliable they are.

This Topic is written for Upper Key Stage 2. If you want to use this Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

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01: Introduction to sources

Work out what different types of sources exist to help us understand the past. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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02: Oral history

Re-enact some of the myths of the Edo people about how the kingdoms of Ife and Benin had come into being and discuss how reliable these stories are.

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03: Written evidence

Learn how the earliest written evidence about Benin comes from the period when Europeans came. Before that there were no written records, so how useful are they in helping our understanding the earlier period?

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04: Archaeology

Find out what archaeologists have discovered about Benin and how it compares to the oral and written evidence. Is archaeology more or less reliable than other forms of evidence?

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05: Benin City

Make models of the city of Benin, based on all the sources they have come across so far.