Testing a simple hypothesis about where the early Anglo-Saxons lived and how we know

This ambitious but engaging lesson asks children to test some simple hypotheses about where the early Saxons settled.  They start with some very straightforward statements to make sure they know how to use a map key.  To make this fun they have to make a different noise for true and false, using whatever instruments you want or silly vocal sounds.  Then follow 8 new statements which are more challenging.  The lesson finishes with pupils trying to make a statement about settlement of their own.

Learning objectives

  • pupils can analyse patterns of settlement using a map showing 5th century cemeteries
  •  they can test simple hypotheses about Anglo-Saxon settlement
  •  they can produce an hypothesis of their own

Step 1

Pupils start with a mystery object , slide 2.  I wonder what it is?  It is 1500 years old.  It helps us to work out where the Anglo-Saxons lived. Before revealing the mystery object’s true purpose, ask the children why we don’t just find the houses they used to live in 1500 years ago. It should quickly become apparent that hardly any remains survive because Saxons built exclusively out of wood.  There is one exception in West Stow where they have tried to

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