Being in the position where I have to write all of my own schemes of work for our current cohort of years 7, 8, 10 and 11 I decided that the best place to start for the new years 7’s was to introduce (and recap for a small minority) the skills needed within Humanities.
I firstly carried out a baseline test to establish their skills and abilities. The results were interesting. None of the pupils had a grasp of both Geography and History, most fell to one or the other. I was shocked however at the number of children that do not know the continents or even any of the western European countries. They will by the time I finish with them…
One of the first skills I’m teaching the years 7’s is Time and Chronology.
I have two lessons on this. We started the lesson off with each pupil being given a card with the time of the day. They had just 3 minutes to organise themselves into order, from the earliest time to the latest. This got them active and engaged, especially when I told the second set how quickly the first set had managed it…. competition created.
After the success of the first task and some discussion of chronology they tried to put the reign of several Kings and Queens in order. A little AFL and a smiley face followed. We then looked at the difference and meaning of BC and AD. One question that pops up usually is ‘What if your not religious?’. I hate this one, it’s tricky to explain since time is such an abstract concept, helping the pupils to understand that Science and Geology tell us that the earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old whilst Christian beliefs are that it’s between 4000-8000 years old…. let alone all the other ideas from other creation stories. I quickly brush over this one and tell them to research it and tell me what they find out.
To finish the lesson I set them what I think is a nice little chronology challenge. The class were split into groups of 10 and each group nominated a ‘leader’. They were given a challenge pack and they then competed against each other to create a giant timeline. The sense of competition was fierce, each team checking over at the progress of the others. I was amazed at the speed of set 1, both teams completed it in under 3 mins. Success!
Here’s a copy of my Chronology Challenge for you to try along with a PowerPoint
Please leave feedback if you download or use them, I love to know how they go and will respond to comments.