Discover the importance of the silk road and spice routes and the goods which were carried along them and map the origins of these goods. Design and make a board game based on the silk road to illustrate the flow of goods and knowledge, the hazards of trade and life on the road in a caravan. Create replica artefacts for a class bazaar and share this with invited traders!

Session 1 Silk, spice and all things nice

Objectives

History

  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps … concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, and major cities.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including: economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources.

Teaching and Activities

Discover that the ‘silk road’ and ‘spice routes’ were important ancient highways for trade; enjoy first-hand experience of some of these goods.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To examine a range of sources, piecing together reliable evidence to answer a question.
  • To recognise that ideas and knowledge were also exchanged by travellers of trade routes.
  • To discover how trade routes linked geographically distant locations and understand that natural resources are location-dependent.

Children will:

  • Watch videos and read to discover more about the ‘silk road’ and ‘spice routes’.
  • Enjoy first-hand experience of some of these goods, smelling/ tasting/ feeling as appropriate, e.g. pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, silk, ivory, sandalwood, porcelain, rice, cotton, tea, paper, salt, precious stones.
  • ‘Pin’ pre-prepared cards on a map to show possible country of origin of many trade-goods.
  • Read and discuss a brief biography of Leonardo Fibonacci, to begin to understand the importance of knowledge and innovations travelling the trade routes.

You Will Need

  • ‘Trade goods’, e.g. pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, silk, ivory, sandalwood, porcelain, cotton, tea, paper, salt, precious stones, incense, gold
  • Trade and Commerce in the Early Islamic World by Rachel Eugster

Session 2 There and back again

Objectives

History

  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps … concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, and major cities.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including: … economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources.

Teaching and Activities

Formulate the basis of a game simulating the journey along the ‘silk road’.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To examine a range of sources, piecing together reliable evidence to answer a question.
  • To learn how the silk and spice trade routes linked geographically distant locations.
  • To understand that natural resources are location-dependent.

Children will:

  • Investigate the people who travelled the silk road, caravans, physical geography, natural hazards, robbers.
  • Design a board game based on the silk road, incorporating rules, features and experiences that reflect life on the road.

You Will Need

  • Atlases and internet-based mapping tools, e.g. Google Maps
  • Trade and Commerce in the Early Islamic World by Rachel Eugster
  • The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction by James Millward
  • Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354 by James Rumford

Session 3 Game time!

Objectives

History

  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Geography

  • Locate the world’s countries, using maps … concentrating on their environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, and major cities.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including: … economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources.

Teaching and Activities

Finalise and make their board games; play each other’s games and evaluate their success.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To examine a range of sources, piecing together reliable evidence to answer a question.
  • To learn how the silk and spice trade routes linked geographically distant locations.
  • To understand that natural resources are location-dependent.

Children will:

  • Create a board game to represent and apply knowledge.
  • Play games to share knowledge.

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Materials for game creation, e.g. large pieces of card, coloured paper, scissors, glue, colouring pens and pencils, sticky-back film
  • Internet access for further information referencing
  • Books as per session 2

Session 4 Design and make an Islamic Artefact (1)

Objectives

Art and Design

  • Understand the historical and cultural development of art forms.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Make a close study of an Islamic artefact and translate this to a plan for a 3D replica.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To encourage close observation of historical artefacts.
  • To learn to use art techniques, including sketching with different materials and using Modroc.

Children will:

  • Choose an early Islamic artefact to recreate in a choice of medium.
  • Sketch, then formalise a final design, incorporating a list of materials and a bullet point list to show the process.

You Will Need

  • Children’s sketchbooks, conté crayons, various grades of pencil, charcoal
  • iPads or laptops
  • Selected materials for papier mache, or Modroc

This activity could also be an opportunity to bring a local expert in to school to share a skill, such as painting, pottery, embroidery or wood-carving.

Session 5 Design and make an Islamic Artefact (2)

Objectives

Art and Design

  • Understand the historical and cultural development of art forms.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, painting and sculpture with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Create chosen artefact and decorate. Evaluate against design criteria. Please note that the artefacts will need to be left at least overnight before they can be painted, so you will need two separate blocks of time to complete the session.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To encourage close observation of historical artefacts.
  • To learn to use art techniques, e.g. sketching with conté crayon, using Modroc.

Children will:

  • Create and finish a replica artefact from somewhere across the Islamic ‘world’.

(This activity requires two separate sessions to allow at least one day for drying the artefacts before painting them.)

Provided Resources

This session does not need any provided resources.

You Will Need

  • Children’s artefact designs
  • Materials for modelling, e.g. clay, tools for shaping clay, papier maché (newspaper, PVA glue, water), Modroc, shallow trays, PVA glue, scissors, glass paints; Camera/ iPad

Session 6 Set out your stall

Objectives

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including: economic activity.

Teaching and Activities

Organise and set up a ‘bazaar’, including acting as merchants and selling goods.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To synthesise and apply elements of learning from across the block.

Children will:

  • Prepare for and hold a mock bazaar where some goods are traded, bought and sold.
  • Carry out trades, while visitors to the bazaar (parents) buy products and the bazaar inspector (headteacher) watches out for dishonest merchants.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.