Enliven your lessons and entertain your pupils by receiving a costumed visitor from the past. Watch the effect as history walks in to your school and “hotseats” the audience’s questions. Be prepared for a vocal journey that can take you from games to wigs, back to eating and then jumps to toilets!
The visit starts when a relieved character has a break from travelling. Some of the bundles they carry are unwrapped to reveal interesting artefacts. A gossip at heart the character is pleased to tell stories about their life and times, choosing subjects that the audience appears curious about. Where possible, children are involved in dressing-up and role-play. No visit is ever the same!
How the Day Works
The character will visit for a half or whole school day (with breaks). Presentations can be as short as 30 minutes or for as long as your children will sit (up to 2 hours). Several presentations can be given over the day. Any extra time could be used for other activities such as questioning the historian, observational drawing by children, discussing classroom follow-up work with teachers. Your choice!
Artefact handling by the children is a key feature of a character’s visit. Between 40 and 60 items are brought on a visit. This enables the children to work individually, in pairs, or in groups as appropriate to their learning style. Supported by the visitor they analyse a range of artefacts to investigate past ways of life. The children are encouraged to develop their questioning skills by becoming historical detectives in their own right.
Workshops are another way of enabling children to look at life in the past. They complement artefact handling to produce a more rounded view of past life. The character (or her historian alter-ego) can run workshops with the children in conjunction with the teachers. Or teachers can opt to run these themselves whilst the character works with another group/class.
The workshops usually come boxed with everything needed for the activity – equipment, materials, consumables, instructions, extension ideas, teaching points and where appropriate examples.You provide the space and person to run the activity. It helps to look through and try the activity during the set up session but it not essential. At the end of the session you are asked to repack the box ready for transport. Any breakages let the presenter know.
Additional information on the workshops available with each character is presented on the character’s page.