Upper Key Stage 2 Benin (900 to 1300CE)

Study Benin culture in the period 900 to 1300, and contrast features of this West African society with contemporary developments in British history. Learn about the rise of the Benin Kingdom. Consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin and how their empire grew. Study the Edo rulers, everyday life, religion and worship, trading currencies and routes and music and art. Find out how the Kingdom of Benin came to an end.

Block A
3 sessions
Introduction to Benin

Understand the development of the Benin Kingdom within West Africa, and contrast it with contemporary developments in Europe. Compare art in both areas.

History, Art & Design
Block B
4 sessions
Benin Timeline

Experience traditional Benin food and music. Use descriptions from 17th-century traders to create drawings of Benin City and find out about the warrior kings and the British role in the end of the Benin Empire.

History, DT
Block C
3 sessions
The Benin Kingdom

Learn about the rise and establishment of the Benin Kingdom. Consider what brought the Edo people to the rainforests of Benin. Use freeze framing, image making and role play to bring this learning to life.

Drama, History, Geography
Block D
5 sessions

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? Consider the different types of evidence and how reliable they are.

History, English
Block E
4 sessions
Everyday Life

Imagine what it was like to live among the Benin people by studying their houses and streets, their music, their food and their story telling. Explore Benin cast iron objects and their meanings.

History, DT
Block F
4 sessions

Find out about the legends of the Edo speaking people of Benin. Explore the famous creation story of Olorun and Obatala. Make shrines to the old gods or religious scenes of the Edo people inspired by Benin artwork.

Drama, History, Art & Design
Block G
5 sessions

Discover 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, apart from the important mother of the Oba.

History, DT
Block H
3 sessions
Trade and Currency

Learn about the trading currencies of the Benin kingdom and how they changed over time. Explore the different trade routes and learn about the trading between foreign traders and the Benin people.

History, Geography
Block I
4 sessions
End of Benin

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.

History, Geography
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