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KS2 Historical Thinking
Transcript of KS2 Historical Thinking
Unsurprisingly, Ofsted recognise that History is ' generally a popular and successful subject, which many pupils enjoyed' (History for all 2011). The ideas on your lists will show a range of exciting resources and activities that can be accessed by a range of different learning styles. However, History for all also highlighted the weakness in delivering history in a cross curricular way. Historical knowledge and thinking was limited. Often, history is planned around the exciting activities and the skill or knowledge learnt is a tenuous link. It is important to start with the proposed historical learning whether it be enquiry, interpretation or knowledge based and then think of activities that can facilitate this learning.
History at St. Edward's
History is currently taught every other half term with a cross curricular approach. When delivered, there is a positive attitude to providing the children with engaging, fun activities and, where possible, trips.
The achievements of the earliest civilizations – an overview of where and when the first
civilizations appeared and a depth study of one of the following: Ancient Sumer; The
Indus Valley; Ancient Egypt; The Shang Dynasty of Ancient China
The Nile provided Egypt with fertile land in an otherwise dry climate (cross curricular links with geography and plants in science). Through farming, the Egyptians were able to trade with others to obtain items they could not produce themselves. The Egyptians harnessed the power of the Nile to turn barren land into a sustainable civilization
The majority of children study Ancient Egyptians will have encountered Tutankhamen, but will have little knowledge on the ruling system of Ancient Egypt. Tutankhamen is famous predominantly because of the discovery of his tomb in 1922 by Howard Carter (historical enquiry and interpretation link to be explored later). But it is not just Tutankhamen, a nine year old leader, that made Ancient Egypt a powerful civilization.
Egyptologists are the historians that study Ancient Egypt. Due to the nature of the tombs (those that weren't robbed) and the mummification process there are artifacts that provide information on the Ancient Egyptians. However, children must know that the information provided is not 100% factual. Archeology is piecing together history and making informed judgements. Under the History NC aims, children are to 'understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and
interpretations of the past have been constructed.
A famous archelogoist in Ancient Ayptians is Howard Carter who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. Inside the tomb were 3000 objects buried alongside him. Children could discuss a range of objects found in the tomb and their possible uses and why they were buried alongside him.
Every day Ancient Egyptian life
Did Egyptians use technology? If technology is considered as 'the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry' what technology did they use, why and how?
KS2 Historical Thinking in relation to Ancient Egyptians
Scenario: The Ancient Egyptians is a topic covered at KS2. The current curriculum allows this in 'A world history study' and in the 2014 curriculum 'The achievements of the earliest civilizations'. Brain storm the activities you have or would use if you taught this topic using a cross curricular approach.
Who here is guilty of visiting the history resource cupboard, finding artifacts and tailoring the lesson around it? Even if it has little to do with the topic being taught?
Deconstructing this statement
Where and when the Ancient Egyptian civilization happened make up the vital facts to this study. To understand these facts children will need to have a sense of chronology.
What are the achievements of this civilization? Will the children consider them an achievement? Links with continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance.
What is a civilization?
How in depth will you study achievements? Will you explore one in thorough or a range in less depth?
What historical enquiry methods will be incorporated within this topic?
Watch this video. What did the Ancient Egyptians achieve? What do you consider their greatest achievement to be?
1. What did the Egyptians farm? What did they use this produce for? What role did a farmer play in Egyptian society?
This lesson would provide knowledge on farming in Ancient Egypt, but also into social, economic and cultural perspectives.
2. What happened when the Nile flooded too much or too little, how did this affect crops? How did ruined crops affect farmers and their workers? Did farmers pray to Hapy (the God of water and fertility)? What was a Nileometer?
This lesson provides link with cause and consequence and similarities and differences.
Images of a Nileometer that indicated the level of the Nile and also decided upon the amount of tax a farmer would pay.
Website on farming in Ancient Egypt
Areas to explore include
The role of the pharaoh, including a range of pharaohs
The role of other officials
The upper and lower kingdom
Pharaohs were the supreme rulers of Egypt and were considered a God in human form. This enabled the Pharaoh to have almost unlimited power. Religion and government were closely intertwined.
Choosing to study Akhenaton demonstrated to children just how powerful a Pharaoh was. Akhenaton moved the capital city, changed the religious system to only worship one god and declared that he was the only person able to communicate with god.
Asking children to consider what they think would happen if the king/prime minster imposed those changes today shows the change in religious and political history. Exploring punishment may highlight why the people of Egypt did not fight back, but instead chose to wait until the next pharaoh came to power to change everything back.
Alternative Pharaohs include: Queen Hatshepsut, Cleopatra and Tutankhamun
Compare and Contrast Activity
After researching the role of the Pharaoh, explore the symbolization of the clothes and objects. Compare symbolization to the Queen and other famous people/groups.
People in Government
Although the Pharaoh had overall power,
the Pharaoh would have a government to
assist him with the running of the country. Male Pharaohs would also have a Queen wife that was often active in government.
This government was split into two; for the upper and lower kingdom
and consisted of:
Children can research the roles of these
government officials. Consider means of research
http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/, http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/homework/egypt.html.
Try and avoid Wikipedia, books also contain lots of information that is
Ask children how they think the Egyptians built the
pyramids? How they moved the stone? How they cut
the stone into shape? Who built the pyramids?
Common misconceptions will include: The wheel (not yet invented ), strong iron tools (actually used copper which broke easily) and slaves (farmers were employed when the Nile had flooded meaning they could not work)
Stone blocks for pyramids were cut by a copper chisel and then wooden blocks hammered in. Water was added which made the wood expand and cause the
stone to split.
This picture shows how the Egyptians used technology to improve previous work. In this context, it is technology where children may have dismissed it or marginalized it
The life of the Pharaohs have been explored, but the majority of Egyptians did not live this way. Areas that could be explored include:
Clothes and Jewelry
Before exploring houses, ask children using their knowledge about Egyptian technology how and what they think normal Egyptian houses were built from? Do they believe they lived in small scale pyramids? Or more modest housing?
What type of source is this?
Why isn't it a photograph?
How is it different to a pyramid?
What materials do you think were used to make a house like this?
It is thought that the average life expectancy of an ancient Egyptian was around 20 years old. What knock on affect do you think this had? Is it so strange that Tutankhamen was married at 10?
Unlike many periods throughout history, women in ancient Egypt had similar right to men although they played different roles in society. Women worked in the home while men worked on the fields or at their craft. Ancient Egyptians
worked for the good of the Pharaoh and the gods.
Historians know a lot about Egyptian clothing, can you think why?
Looking at the paintings, what do you think the Egyptians wore? Why do you think the children wore no clothes?