Bring sparkle to your curriculum by having a chronology theme day. The collections are based upon historical evidence and archaeology. Watch the impact as a combined history, science and DT exhibition sets up for your audience. Be prepared for an investigative journey that can take you from materials, to traditions, to function and method then back again.
The visit starts with a stressed research and development officer, Prof. Strangequark, needing help to sort out a muddle of exhibits. Uncertain of the audience’s historical knowledge Prof. Strangequark begins with games to establish the audiences’ understanding of historical time and the various ways to describe the past. This leads to building a timeline that relates to the historical periods covered by the exhibition. Don’t be surprised if hats and wigs are used to bring the timeline to life; or you end up doing a time walk.
The audience then become researchers and are invited to investigate and record the items they are curious about. The researchers’ recordings come together to make a catalogue of information that is left with the teachers. If testing and making has been included the model’s made by the ‘testers and makers’ are a potential display in themselves.
How a Day Works
The presenter will visit for a half or a whole school day (with breaks). The core activities are designed as a half day unit with enough resources for 30 – 45 children. Central to the visit is a time line made up from 4 – 6 collections of objects. These are displayed on a series of tables arranged in an arc or line; with sufficient space for people to walk between them. The presentation is broken into four sections – establishing time words (20 – 40 mins); labeling and exploring the time line as a group (10 – 20 mins); individual research (20 – 40 minutes); drawing ideas together (20 – 40) minutes. The timings are flexible and guided by the audience’s concentration. For a full day, making, investigating and reinforcement workshops can be added to the mix.
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 and investigations to help build an overview of life in the past. The presenter can run workshops with the children in conjunction with the teachers. Or, teachers can opt to use the activities whilst the presenter works with a different group. Workshop options will be provided on request.
Chronology Themes Special Considerations:
- For larger groups it is recommended to repeat the presentation and split the group between a morning and afternoon session.
- Central to the presentation is a line of tables where the audience can walk round each table. The line of tables can be straight or in an arc but not is a circle. This will impact the choice of presentation space.
- Sometimes a chair is also needed by each table.
- It takes 30 – 40 minutes to dismantle and pack away the timeline; which will impact the choice of work space.
- If schools would like children to handle the collections they are asked to provide a steward for each table. The collections are a mixture of actual and facsimile objects and often not as robust as 21st century objects.