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Upper Key Stage 2 Earliest Civilisations: Shang Dynasty
Worship

In this fascinating block, learn about Shang beliefs regarding death, burial rituals, divining the future, folk religion and ancestor worship. Learn about the tomb of Fu Hao, leader and priestess, and create your own time capsule.

Session 1 Shang Gods

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a 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

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

Planning and Activities

Research the answers to questions about the Shang gods; discover what they look like and create their own. Take a look at how people worship in the world’s major religions.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about which gods the Shang people worshipped.
  • To make a statue of a nature god or ancestor in the style of the Shang.

Children will:

  • Address research questions.
  • Report back on the gods that the Shang worshipped.
  • Use a mixture of materials to create a sculpture.

Provided Resources

  • Research questions about Shang gods
  • Information about the Shang gods
  • Some examples of sculptures of Shang gods
  • Presentation about how different people worship today

You Will Need

  • Clay/FIMO
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Foil
  • Scraps of material and tissue paper

Session 2 Worshipping the gods

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a 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

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

Planning and Activities

Devise questions about worship and research them. Discover the idea of making sacrifices to gods.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about how the Shang people worshipped gods.
  • To make vessels to hold offerings to the gods.

Children will:

  • Devise research questions.
  • Address research questions.
  • Make a functional vessel.

Provided Resources

  • Information about how Shang people worshipped
  • Some examples of ritual vessels from the Shang Dynasty
  • Two ways to make a vessel

You Will Need

  • Modelling dough
  • Card and paper

Session 3 Burial

Objectives

History

  • Children should undertake a 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.

English

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

Planning and Activities

Devise philosophical questions about the burial of Fu Hao and discuss them.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about the burial of Fu Hao.
  • To take part in a philosophical discussion.

Children will:

  • Devise philosophical questions.
  • Take part in a community of enquiry.
  • Explain what was found in Fu Hao's tomb.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 4 Recreate Fu Hao's burial

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.

Maths

  • Pupils should consolidate their understanding of ratio when comparing quantities, sizes and scale drawings by solving a variety of problems.

Planning and Activities

Make replica dings, jade figurines and pots to go into a replica of Fu Hao's grave.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about the burial of Fu Hao.
  • To recreate Fu Hao's tomb in miniature.
  • To calculate the measurements needed to create an accurate temple.

Children will:

  • Choose what materials and methods to use to make replica objects from Fu Hao's tomb.
  • Create miniature versions of objects.
  • Arrange their objects in a 'tomb'.
  • Calculate ratio problems to make scale models.

Provided Resources

  • Cards depicting objects from Fu Hao's tomb
  • How to use the materials to make some of the objects and working at scale

You Will Need

  • Large cardboard box with no lid
  • Pear's soap
  • Modelling dough with sculpting tools.

Session 5 Time capsule

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.

English

  • Pupils should understand, through being shown, the skills and processes essential for writing: that is, thinking aloud to generate ideas, drafting, and re-reading to check that the meaning is clear

Planning and Activities

Like Fu Hao's grave, which is a time capsule of her life, children will choose an object to go into a class time capsule

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To choose a personal object to put in the time capsule.
  • To write about why they have put their object in the time capsule.

Children will:

  • Learn to think aloud to generate ideas for writing.
  • Draft a piece of writing.
  • Amend a piece of writing after receiving feedback.
  • To choose significant symbols to go in a time capsule.

You Will Need

  • Plastic box
  • Children’s own object for the time capsule