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Earliest Civilisations: Shang Dynasty
Warfare

Research different sources and consider what makes a historical source valid and reliable. Learn about the Shang army and generals as you investigate the Battle of Muye and the rise and fall of the Shang.

Session 1 How did the Shang Dynasty start?

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • The expansion and dissolution of empires.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Achievements and follies of mankind.

English

  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.
  • Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching and Activities

What do historians think is the real story of the start of the Shang Dynasty? Children will research different sources; take turns being the principal characters in the story, Jie, Tang and the historian.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To critique the mythical story of the start of the Shang Dynasty.
  • To hot-seat the principle figures in the story of the Shang Dynasty.

Children will:

  • Explain what validity and reliability are when it comes to historical sources.
  • Assess a source's validity and reliability.
  • Take part in an improvised hot seating session.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 2 How did the Shang Dynasty keep control?

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • They should regularly address and sometimes devise historically valid questions.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • The expansion and dissolution of empires.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Achievements and follies of mankind.

English

  • Explain and discuss their understanding of what they have read.
  • Maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments.

Teaching and Activities

Children will learn about the Shang army and then play a strategy game; become generals in the Shang army trying to keep the kingdom loyal, and to conquer other peoples to enlarge the kingdom.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore how the Shang Dynasty kept control of its territory.
  • To discuss the information they have read about Shang warfare.

Children will:

  • Explain how Shang kings kept control.
  • Outline the elements of the Shang army.
  • Demonstrate understanding of how the Shang army worked.

You Will Need

  • Dice

Session 3 The Battle of Muye

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.
  • Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • The expansion and dissolution of empires.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Achievements and follies of mankind.

English

  • Pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through performance.
  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.
  • Consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others.

Teaching and Activities

Evaluate the validity and reliability of texts that describe the Battle of Muye; improvise a piece of drama that explains the Battle of Muye.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To learn about the Battle of Muye.
  • To improvise a piece of drama based on the battle.

Children will:

  • Explain the story of the Battle of Muye.
  • Evaluate the validity and reliability of sources.
  • Improvise a piece of drama.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 4 Performing the Battle of Muye

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake an in-depth study of The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China.
  • Pupils should continue to develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • They should construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations.
  • The expansion and dissolution of empires.
  • Characteristic features of past non-European societies.
  • Achievements and follies of mankind.
  • They should understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

English

  • Pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through performance.
  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.

Teaching and Activities

Create a performance based on all the learning in this block that explains the story of the rise and fall of the Shang.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To tell people about the rise and fall of the Shang.
  • To improvise a piece of drama based on the rise and fall of the Shang.

Children will:

  • Explain the story of the rise and fall of the Shang.
  • Explain the reliability and validity of sources.
  • Perform in front of an audience

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.