Benin c. CE 900 - 1300
Rulers

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

Session 1 Ogisos and Obas

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. CE 900-1300.
  • Children should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • 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.

Teaching and Activities

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

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Find out about the Ogisos and Obas of Benin and make a timeline.
  • Take on the role of each Ogiso or Oba.

Children will:

  • Compare the achievements and characters of different rulers of Benin
  • Place date ranges into chronological order
  • Understand that history is informed by different sources of evidence

Provided Resources

  • Template for main hat
  • Template for standees
  • How to make an Oba hat
  • Ogiso and Oba top trump cards
  • Timeline of Ogisos and Obas

You Will Need

  • Red card
  • Stcky tape

Session 2 The mother of the Oba

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. 900-1300 CE.
  • Children should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Children should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

D&T

  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through discussion, annotated sketches, cross-sectional and exploded diagrams, prototypes, pattern pieces and computer-aided design.
  • Select from and use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, cutting, shaping, joining and finishing], accurately.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Find out about Iyobas, especially Idia.
  • To design and make a game based of the life of an Iyoba.

Children will:

  • Apply a historical story to a design challenge.
  • Work as a team to design a board game.
  • Make a board game.

You Will Need

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Coloured pens
  • Dice
  • Gaming pieces

Session 3 Chiefs, soldiers, freemen and slaves

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. 900-1300 CE.
  • Children should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • 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.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Find out how society was structured in Benin.
  • To thoughtfully discuss the ethics of slavery.

Children will:

  • Explain how Benin society was structured.
  • Understand the pre-European history of slavery in Benin.
  • Formulate opinions on slavery based on evidence.

Provided Resources

  • Benin society
  • Slavery in Benin before the Europeans arrived
  • Research questions about slavery before the Europeans arrived
  • Sample opinions about slavery

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 4 Rule of law

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. 900-1300 CE.
  • Children should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • 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.

Teaching and Activities

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.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore crime and punishment in Benin.
  • To reenact a Benin law court.

Children will:

  • Explain the process of the Benin judicial system
  • Take part in a role play
  • Compare two contemporary societies

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 5 Make a hierarchy tree

Objectives

History

  • Study a non-European society that provides contrasts with British history – Benin (West Africa) c. 900-1300 CE.
  • Children should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of British, local and world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • 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.

Teaching and Activities

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

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Make a diagram showing the relationships in Benin society.
  • Discuss where on the diagram certain groups of people should go.

Children will:

  • Process what they have learned in this block into a visual and written outcome
  • Discuss the society of Benin with confidence

You Will Need

  • Large sheets of paper