Today I did a lesson on the differences between Ancient Athens and Sparta as part of our Ancient Greece topic. The children really enjoyed it and were engaged throughout so I thought I’d share it.
I used Dr Who as a hook, something I’ve used previously in History lessons as the children can relate to the series. This time, I played a clip of him talking to the camera but turned it down and played the Dr Who theme tune over it so you could just make out his muffled voice. This added a realistic side as they believed the background story and on the second playing, some children even went up to the speakers to try and decipher what he was saying. I explained that he had left this message for our class (year 5) asking them to help him decide where to land when he goes back to Ancient Greece; Athens or Sparta. After deciding on where he should land and why, they will be sending him their own radio transmission back.
I had spread out envelopes around the classroom containing ‘evidence’ of life in each city state and children had to gather this evidence and make notes, moving around the class to share these pieces of evidence. Each evidence envelope contained an information card on an aspect of either Athens or Sparta. After some time gathering evidence, children used a picture of a thermometer to label what was ‘hot’ and what was ‘not’ about their city state, which was randomly allocated to them.
The class were on task and engaged throughout which showed that my hook work as they are a challenging class to keep on task. After a full lesson on this, we had a debate with half the class allocated Athens and the other half Sparta. On Wednesday we will be using our ICT session to record a radio transmission to send back to Dr Who as part of our podcasting topic. I’ve rushed through this post trying to get as much detail in as possible and after Wednesday I will share more, being Easter and having the time to catch up on life!