Upper Key Stage 2 Benin (900 – 1300)
Trade and Currency

Learn about the trading currencies of the Benin kingdom and how they changed over time. Explore the different trade routes that the kingdom of Benin was part of and learn about the trading between the Benin people and foreigners. Finish the block by devising a trading role-play.

Session 1 What did they trade with?

Objectives

History

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

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials [for example, pencil, charcoal, paint, clay].

Planning and Activities

Learn about the trading currencies of Benin and how it changed over time. Make replicas of some of the trading tokens.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the different currencies used in Benin.
  • To make replicas of these trading currencies.

Children will:

  • Explain what currencies were used in West Africa.
  • Describe what makes a useful currency.
  • Improve their mastery of an art technique such as modelling, carving or casting.

You Will Need

  • Fruit
  • Books
  • Lots of pennies and two pence pieces
  • FiMo™
  • Melting chocolate
  • Textiles
  • Pears soap

Session 2 Who did they trade with?

Objectives

History

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

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.

Planning and Activities

Explore the different trade routes that the kingdom of Benin used to trade with different people around Africa, and even beyond.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about different trade routes in pre-colonial Africa.
  • To use maps to trace trade routes through Africa.

Children will:

  • Read a map to identify trade routes and environmental zones
  • Research the environmental zones in Africa
  • Annotate a map with information about trade routes, environmental zones and transportation types

Provided Resources

  • Map of Africa with countries, major cities and historic kingdoms
  • Map of Africa with pre-colonial trade routes
  • Map of Africa with environmental zones
  • Different forms of transportation along African trade routes

You Will Need

  • Online maps or atlases
  • Colouring pencils

Session 3 Benin trading role-play

Objectives

History

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

English

  • Pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate.

Planning and Activities

Learn how trading took place: that Benin traders would meet with foreign traders in an appointed spot. Explore how they negotiated for days, sometimes weeks. Learn that if the foreign traders stole from the Benin people, they refused to trade until they apologised. Undertake a role-play to show trade between foreign traders and the Benin.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To apply their knowledge of Benin trading to a role-play.
  • To role-play one or more trading scenarios.

Children will:

  • Apply their knowledge of Benin trade and currency to a role-play
  • Take part in a role-play based on historical evidence
  • Give and receive feedback on a role-play

You Will Need

  • Red and multi-coloured beads
  • Thread

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.