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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.

Block B - Benin Timeline

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.

Experience traditional Benin food, listen to music and research modern and ancient Benin. Build a tabletop timeline of the Benin civilisation using a series of research challenges to gather information. Gather information about the Benin Empire and learn about the warrior kings. Create drawings of the City using descriptions from 17th century traders. Find out about the British role in the end of the Benin Empire.

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: Building the timeline

Experience a traditional Benin food, listen to some of their music and start to research modern and ancient Benin using a series of research challenges. Build the base of a tabletop timeline of the Benin civilisation using a series of research challenges to gather information. Work in groups to find out the main facts and dates about the Benin Kingdom and place on the timeline.

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02: The beginning of Benin

In research groups, look in more detail at the beginning of Benin. Make rainforest trees to place at the beginning of the 3d tabletop timeline and buildings to represent Benin City.

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03: The Benin Empire

Gather information about the Benin Empire and learn about the warrior kings. Add information to the timeline and create drawings of the City using descriptions from 17th century traders.

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04: The end of an empire

Find out about how the British put an end to the Benin Empire - how they wanted the land for palm oil and rubber and how they razed the City to the ground and made Benin part of the British Empire. Add details to depict this take over onto the 3d tabletop timeline.

Block C - Carnivals and Parades

Learn about special celebrations in the community and in the wider world. Through a series of exciting activities, discover the different ways we celebrate – and the many different things those celebrations can be about!

Meet Nian monster, always chased away from Chinese New Year, will he ever find a festival or parade where he belongs? Take Nian on a colourful journey to Mardi Gras, help him discover the Japanese Lantern Festival and march to the beat of the New York Thanksgiving Parade. Sing, create special art and a marching dance with thanksgiving hats.

 

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

 

This Topic is written for Reception. 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: Chinese New Year

Listen to the story of Nian, a monster-like creature who lived up inthe mountains. Is there such a monster hanging around school? Children collect red items and instruments. What happens when Nian appears? Can children chase the monster away?

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02: Mardi Gras

Why is Nian sad? Can children help Nian by finding out about festivals & parades and letting him join in the fun? Children will help Nian learn about Mardi Gras; learn about the floats, costumes, music and make preparations for a mini class parade.

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03: Japanese Full Moon Festival

Children will welcome Nian back to class to learn about the Japanese harvest festival by learning a special harvest song, making traditional bread and creating beautiful charcoal drawings.

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04: New York Thanksgiving Parade

Children will look through magic binoculars to find out about Thanksgiving Parade. They will create their own marching dance and discover which festival or parade Nian enjoyed the most. Time to celebrate all the learning throughout this block with a final spectacular parade!

Block F - New Beginnings

Learn about special celebrations in the community and in the wider world. Through a series of exciting activities, discover the different ways we celebrate – and the many different things those celebrations can be about!

This is a Block for involving adults known to the school – who could be invited in to share their expertise? Are there parents or governors who could explain how to put on a turban, wear a sari, baptise a baby or tell the faith story?  We think about and explore symbols of new life such as chicks, rabbits and lambs. We learn about festivals that celebrate new life and Spring.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. 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: Celebrating babies!

Puddles the cat teaches chn about the Christian sacrament ‘Christening’ - to name and welcome new babies into Christian community.

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02: Celebrate Spring!

Reflect on the new beginnings, life and activity Spring brings using dance and Art.

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03: Celebrate Holi!

This festival inspires colourful and lively celebration as Hindu people remember the games played by Lord Krishna when he was young; children experiment with splatter painting!

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04: Celebrate Rosh Hashanah!

Enjoy apples and honey with Sammy Spider for a sweet New Year to celebrate this Jewish festival.

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05: Celebrate Baisakhi!

What are the 5 Ks? Make masks and crowns to celebrate this Sikh festival.

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06: Celebrate Easter!

Puddles the cat tells the story of Easter, the most important Christian Festival of the year. Children design, make and decorate a special hat for the Easter Parade.

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07: Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr!

Celebrate the end of Ramadan with the Muslim festival ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’ Recall at least 5 facts about this important event in the Muslim calendar.

Block E - Saying Thank You

Learn about special celebrations in the community and in the wider world. Through a series of exciting activities, discover the different ways we celebrate – and the many different things those celebrations can be about!

Start with the importance of saying thank you for all we are lucky to have, and for the people around us. Learn about festivals that say thank you: Thanksgiving in USA; Harvest Festival in UK and around the world; the Jewish festival Sukkot. Thanking family members (could include Mothering Sunday/Mothers' Day + Fathers’ Day). Choose something or somebody to be grateful for and express your thanks in art - make labels and a gallery; invite an audience in to view the work.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. 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: Thank You!

Children share with class teacher the experience of being thanked; they practice saying thank you during the normal school day and begin to think about what and who they are thankful for.

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02: Thanksgiving in the USA

Learn about the first Pilgrims in North America and the difficulties they faced until helped by indigenous population. Different ways to say Thank You, including British sign language. Turkey craft activities!

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03: Harvest festival

Puddles the cat is back to share her experience of Harvest. Children harvest common vegetables & experiment with potato and leaf printing.

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04: Harvest Festival Celebration

Bake bread and cut up vegetables to make soup. ‘Little red hen’ as told by Pie Corbett.

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05: Sukkot

Sammy Spider shares his experience of the Festival of Sukkot. Children help to build a sukkah; make representative Lulav and Etrog to use with poem ‘Sukkot’ by Judith Nicholls.

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06: Celebrating family!

Incorporate experiences of children’s families and all who we can be grateful for.

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07: Thank You Gallery!

Make 2D representation of favourite person or thing to say ‘thank you’ for. Arrange as an Art Gallery and invite an audience to view the work.

Block D - Festivals of Light

Learn about special celebrations in the community and in the wider world. Through a series of exciting activities, discover the different ways we celebrate – and the many different things those celebrations can be about!

Reflect on the symbolism of light; learn about significant festivals of light such as Hannukah, Diwali and Eid-ul-Fitr. Make Menorahs, Diva lights, Eid cards and create a fabulous firework light dance to finish the block with a bang.

The Topic Overview outlines the outcomes and objectives of the whole topic, with more specific detail, including resources lists, provided in the Block Overview.

This Topic is written for Reception. 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: Hanukkah

Investigate mystery objects, light an oil lamp, listen to the story of Hanukkah and make potato latkes!

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02: Diwali

Learn about Rama and Sita by singing `There was a Princess Long Ago´ and act out the story. Make Rangoli patterns with coloured salt and create beautiful Diva lights.

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03: Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr

Sit on an imaginary prayer mat and face Mecca. Learn about being a Muslim, Ramadan and the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr.

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04: Firework and light dance

Finish the block with a bang by creating an explosive firework dance. Listen to a firework poem and become Rockets and Catherine wheels twirling and whirling in the sky.