Upper Key Stage 2 Benin (900 – 1300)
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, eventually leading to its attack by the British in 1897 which destroyed Benin City and saw many of its riches taken back to Britain.

Session 1 European contact

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
  • Children should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

Geography

  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.

Planning and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about Benin's earliest contacts with Europe.
  • To map trade links Benin had before and after direct European contact.

Children will:

  • Use a scale to estimate distance on a map.
  • Appreciate the logistics of long distance trade before motorised vehicles and planes.
  • Explain why Europe and Benin both benefitted from trading with each other.

Provided Resources

  • Map of West Africa and Europe with scale
  • Objects of trade
  • Trading game

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 2 Slave trade

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
  • Children should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

English

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role-play, improvisations and debates.

Planning and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about the slave trade.
  • To discuss the ethics of the slave trade.

Children will:

  • Examine the effect of the slave trade on West Africa.
  • Examine historical sources to answer questions.
  • Take part in a classroom discussion .

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 3 British rule

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
  • Children should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

English

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role-play, improvisations and debates.

Planning and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about how Britain tried to take over Benin and the destruction and looting of Benin City.
  • To discuss the different ways the British invasion has been interpreted.

Children will:

  • Understand that there are different views of the past
  • Analyse sources for potential bias
  • Improvise a historical event

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 4 Repatriation

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. AD 900-1300.
  • Children should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.

English

  • Identify the audience for and purpose of writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own.

Planning and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the Benin objects in British museums and the call for repatriation.
  • To write a blog post/letter/poster/leaflet about whether the Benin artefacts in British museums should be repatriated to Benin City

Children will:

  • Discuss the arguments for and against repatriation of cultural objects
  • Research arguments for and against repatriation
  • Write their own opinion piece about whether objects from Benin should be repatriated

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.