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Earliest Civilisations: Shang Dynasty
Technology

Investigate the Shang bronze manufacturing process and amazing Shang bronze vessels. Create your own vessels and set up your own museum to explain how bronze vessels were made in the Shang period; write museum labels and information boards and make presentations to visitors to your classroom.

Session 1 Take one object

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • Children should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

Art

  • Use a sketchbook.

Teaching and Activities

Address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about bronze vessels.
  • To sketch one or more bronze vessels in their sketchbook.

Children will:

  • Devise and address research questions.
  • Explain the range of bronze vessels made in the Shang Dynasty.
  • Make annotated sketches in their sketchbooks.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 2 Decoration

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies.

Art

  • Use a sketchbook.

Teaching and Activities

Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies. Use a sketchbook and gain an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the decorative features of bronze vessels.
  • To sketch decoration on bronze vessels in their sketchbooks.

Children will:

  • Explain why certain decorative features were used on Shang bronze vessels.
  • Make sketches of decoration on bronze vessels in a sketchbook.
  • Annotate their sketches.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 3 Context

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • Pupils should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

English

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

Art

  • Use a sketchbook.

Teaching and Activities

Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources. Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates. Learn to use a sketchbook.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the uses of bronze vessels.
  • To improvise a Shang ceremony using bronze vessels.
  • To create imaginative sketches of people using bronze vessels in the Shang Dynasty.

Children will:

  • Explore what we know from different types of evidence.
  • Act out how a Shang Dynasty ceremony might have happened.
  • Do an imaginative sketch of a Shang Dynasty ceremony.

Provided Resources

  • Story of how bronze objects were used
  • Evidence of inscriptions and excavations
  • Framework for an improvisation
  • Some images of bronzes being used in the Shang Dynasty

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 4 Form

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies. Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore the forms of bronze vessels.
  • To make a blank of the vessel they want to recreate in clay.

Children will:

  • Explain how bronze vessels were made in the Shang period.
  • Use sketches to decide how to decorate their sculpture.
  • Use clay to create a sculpture.

You Will Need

  • Air-drying clay
  • Sculpting tools

Session 5 Process

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.

Art

  • Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies. Improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the bronze-casting process.
  • To make a mould from the blank they created.

Children will:

  • Explain how bronze vessels were made in the Shang period.
  • Make a mould from a blank.
  • Sketch from life or imagination.

You Will Need

  • Air-drying clay
  • Sculpting tools

Session 6 Make

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies.

Design and Technology

  • Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques.

Science

  • Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes

Teaching and Activities

Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; characteristic features of past non-European societies. Prepare and cook a variety of predominantly savoury dishes using a range of cooking techniques. Demonstrate that dissolving, mixing and changes of state are reversible changes.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the bronze-casting process.
  • To make jelly, ice or chocolate casts in their moulds.
  • To make predictions about the reversibility of their casts.

Children will:

  • Explain how bronze vessels were made in the Shang period.
  • Predict whether changes of state are reversible.
  • Follow instructions to make jelly, ice lollies or chocolate.

Provided Resources

  • How to remove the moulds from the blanks
  • How to cast using water, jelly and chocolate
  • How to create a museum display

You Will Need

  • Access to a kitchen, hob, freezer, fridge
  • Cold and warm water, jelly, squash, cooking chocolate
  • Plastic film
  • Lolly sticks

Session 7 Presentation

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.

English

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

Teaching and Activities

They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information. Identify the audience for and purpose of writing, selecting the appropriate form and using other similar writing as models for their own. Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To present knowledge about bronze-casting in a museum set-up.
  • To make labels and posters for a museum about Shang bronze vessels.

Children will:

  • Explain how bronze vessels were made in the Shang period.
  • Write museum labels and information boards.
  • Make presentations to visitors to the classroom.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.