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Invaders and Settlers: Anglo-Saxons
Beliefs

Learn about Anglo-Saxon beliefs. Research pagan beliefs as well as the rise of Christianity during Anglo-Saxon times. Investigate writing and find out about contemporary documents. Paint gods and goddesses, write in runes, make amulets, design images and role-play some of the key religious stories. Curate an exhibition about Anglo-Saxon beliefs.

Session 1 Pagan Gods

Objectives

History

  • Understand how people’s lives have shaped Britain.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, and cause and consequence.
  • Gain historical perspective by understanding the connections between local and national history, and between short- and long-term timescales.
  • Understand how Britain has been influenced by the wider world.

English

  • Retrieve and record information from non-fiction.
  • In non-narrative material, use simple organisational devices, e.g. headings, labels.

Art and Design

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including sculpture with clay.
  • Know about great artists in history.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about the pagan beliefs of the Anglo-Saxons, paint a god or goddess and make a lucky amulet.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand that the Roman Empire had brought Christianity to pagan Britannia in the 3rd century.
  • To research and create a fact sheet about an Anglo-Saxon god or goddess.
  • To design and make a clay Anglo-Saxon amulet.

Children will:

  • Explain that the Anglo-Saxons were pagans when they first invaded Britannia.
  • Understand that the Romans had introduced Christianity to Britannia.
  • Research and describe an Anglo-Saxon god or goddess.
  • Make an Anglo-Saxon amulet.

Provided Resources

  • Photographs of Anglo-Saxon amulets
  • List of Anglo-Saxon gods and goddesses

You Will Need

  • Pencils, crayons, paints, brushes
  • Air-drying clay
  • Beads
  • Wool

Session 2 Christianity

Objectives

History

  • Understand how people’s lives have shaped Britain.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, and cause and consequence.
  • Gain historical perspective by understanding the connections between local and national history, and between short- and long-term timescales.
  • Understand how Britain has been influenced by the wider world.

English

  • Participate in role-play and performances.
  • Select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.
  • Speak audibly and fluently.

Teaching and Activities

Develop your knowledge of the rise and fall of Christianity during the Anglo-Saxon times and role-play some of the key historical events.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand how Christianity evolved in Britain.
  • To retell some of the events surrounding the re-introduction of Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons using role-play.

Children will:

  • Discuss the fall and rise of Christianity during Anglo-Saxon times.
  • Use role-play to gain understanding of historical events.
  • Describe how pagan customs were linked to Christian celebrations to encourage the people to take part.

Provided Resources

  • Maps of the Islands of Mull and Iona
  • Map locating Lindisfarne
  • Information on St Cuthbert

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 3 Writing

Objectives

History

  • Understand how people’s lives have shaped Britain.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, and cause and consequence.
  • Gain historical perspective by understanding the connections between local and national history, and between short- and long-term timescales.
  • Understand how Britain has been influenced by the wider world.

Art and Design

  • Know about great artists and designers in history.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about writing using runes, and about the Anglo-Saxon books written by monks. Write a message with runes and design your own Anglo-Saxon image.

Teaching outcomes:

  • To understand that the Anglo-Saxon languages were originally written in runes and write simple sentences using runes.
  • To colour in or design and colour creatures from the Lindisfarne Gospels and/or The Book of Kells.

Children will:

  • Explain that early Anglo-Saxon writing used runes.
  • Describe 2 examples of Anglo-Saxon books written by monks in Latin.
  • Colour in or design and colour an illustrated image from the Lindisfarne Gospels or The Book of Kells.

Provided Resources

  • List of runes and photographs of runic inscriptions
  • Inscription on the Franks Casket with translation
  • Photographs of The Lindisfarne Gospels
  • The Book of Kells
  • Outlines to colour in

You Will Need

  • White boards and pens
  • Crayons
  • The Lindisfarne Painting Book by Aidan Meehan
  • My Book of Kells Colouring Book, O’Brien

Session 4 Anglo-Saxon Chronicles

Objectives

History

  • Understand how people’s lives have shaped Britain.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, and cause and consequence.
  • Gain historical perspective by understanding the connections between local and national history, and between short- and long-term timescales.
  • Understand how Britain has been influenced by the wider world.

English

  • Discuss writing similar to that which they are planning to write.
  • Discuss ideas; Organise paragraphs around a theme.
  • Assess the effectiveness of others’ writing and suggest improvements.

Teaching and Activities

Learn about Bede’s ‘Ecclesiastical History of the English People’ and ‘The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles’. Write your own Anglo-Saxon Chronicle page.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To understand the important sources for the history of Anglo-Saxon Britain written by Anglo-Saxons.
  • To use notes from Session 1 in the Invasions block to create a page for the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Children will:

  • Describe 2 important sources of history of Anglo-Saxon times.
  • Understand the importance of these sources to our understanding of the history of Britain.
  • Write their own page for an Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

Provided Resources

  • Bede’s autobiography
  • Pages from different manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
  • Historian by John Kitching

You Will Need

  • Berol medium italic handwriting pens or similar

Session 5 Visit to our Anglo-Saxon exhibition

Objectives

History

  • Continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of Britain, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Know about changes in Britain from the Anglo-Saxon time to the modern era.

English

  • Identify the audience and purpose of their role-play, noting and developing ideas.
  • Understand the value of speaking.

Teaching and Activities

Consolidate all you have learned in this block by organising an exhibition about Anglo-Saxon beliefs.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the beliefs of the Anglo-Saxon people through research and role-play.
  • To perform to another group of people, answering questions and role-playing as monks.

Children will:

  • Have some empathy with what the beliefs were in the time of the Anglo-Saxons.
  • Be confident in their knowledge of Anglo-Saxon beliefs through presenting to others.

You Will Need

  • Pictures: amulets, designs, rune messages and photographs from previous sessions
  • Card and paint for props
  • Material for cloaks