2.5 million years of historical learning in the comfort of your school
Pupils will learn ..
•About the features of the Iron Age period
•A summary of all the periods covered so far
The Iron Age period is characterised by the arrival of iron as a stronger, more widely available metal. Together with wood, bronze, and stone this collected group of materials propelled the growth of many societies who not only used the new iron to make better tools and weapons, but used the other materials as well for differing purposes, such as hill forts to protect growing communities and the beginning of larger towns.
Introduction: Iron Age recap
Remind pupils that the Iron Age had the following features:
•800 to 43 AD in Britain (varies in other parts of the world)
•It ended when the Romans invaded Britain (though Iron was still used after)
•Iron as a more widely available and stronger metal than bronze
•The rise of the use of money, either as coins or in other forms such as pieces of metal
•Bigger towns with better defences
•Increased wider trading networks and advanced sea travel
As per previous lessons, briefly cover the impact of these events, explaining how iron continued to fuel the drive towards larger communities with land ownership and bigger trading networks, becoming more recognisable (though smaller versions) of the organised societies we know today.
Possible activity 1: (Literacy) Diary of an Iron Age boy or girl
Ask pupils to write a diary of a boy or girl watching the changes in the town as they move from the valley to a hill fort. Features could include seeing men chopping trees down with iron axes or even raids and battles by other local tribes.
Possible activity 2: (drama) Build a hill fort
Split pupils into groups and assign roles, with one group of builders, one of children, one of farmers, one of blacksmiths etc. all working together to build a fort (PE equipment is excellent for this). Then perform as a class.
Possible activity 3: (Maths) How many years?
As this is the last lesson, ask pupils to either calculate the time length of each period from the following dates, or to come up with maths word problems relating to them (please note that the dates are not fixed and vary according to the opinions of different historians and varying evidence, though these are taken straight from the BBC website):
Palaeolithic: 2.5m to 10,000
Mesolithic: 10,000 to 4,000
Neolithic: 4,000 to 2,000
Bronze age: 2,000 to 800
Iron Age: 800 to 43ad
Ask pupils to share one fact they have learned about any of the periods as they have progressed through the unit.