Ancient Greece

KS2 Ancient Greece Outstanding Lessons

Teaching Ancient Greece in the 2014 history curriculum.  To all intents and purposes, the ancient Greek planning and all the outstanding lessons fit just as perfectly with the new curriculum from 2014 as well as the existing one.  The only difference might be is where schools choose to look at Greek and Roman legacies together as a separate unit in addition to the usual study of ancient Greece.  The point of this is that the legacy can best be studied AFTER all other topics so you can see the extent of their influence.  See the curriculum models section for example of how this might fit within your overall curriculum. That apart everything else remains the same: focus on beliefs, ways of life, achievements and influence.

Because this is quite demanding stuff, I have chosen lessons on Ancient Greece mainly suitable for Years 5 and 6 and there are some stunners here. The lesson on making ostracons is a fantastic way into Greek democracy. Speaking and listening are massively enhanced through the role play concerning whether to support Pericles’ Millennium dome-like idea to build the Parthenon. Contrasting interpretations are dealt with ingeniously through the lesson on the battle of Marathon which also features an excellent history mystery. For enormous fun potential alone, the ‘Call My Bluff’ and ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ approaches to pictures and replica artefacts from Ancient Athens should win you over.

Ancient Greece: Short task on using Greek pots

What can I do with just one Greek pot in the resource cupboard? Collaborative and creative storyboarding At the core of this activity is the development of pupils' creative imagination and their sense of the past as evidence for just one object.  To make it work...
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Ancient Greece: Citizenship

This full lesson is a role-play activity looking at Greek democracy in the context of the rebuilding of the Parthenon. It starts with a link to the building of the Millennium Dome. In Ancient Greece, anyone who did not fulfil their democratic duties was called an...
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What was life like for women in Ancient Greece?

This simple lesson on life for women in Ancient Greece, based around a PowerPoint presentation, makes an excellent contribution to literacy and also makes pupils aware of the nature of evidence and the need to be careful when making generalisations.  The children draw conclusions from...
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Teaching history using the Olympic Games KS2 and KS3

We thought we would offer you a range of different cameos showing how the history of the Olympics could be imaginatively integrated into your current teaching.

The teaching activities below have all be tried and tested in schools and have been judged outstanding by...

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How to teach Ancient Greece to Key Stage 2

Teaching Ancient Greece in the 2014 history curriculum.  To all intents and purposes, the ancient Greek planning and all the outstanding lessons fit just as perfectly with the new curriculum from 2014 as well as the existing one.  The only difference might be is where...
Read more

Ancient Greek vases: The answer lies on the pot

This KS2 history lesson, in which the decoration of a Greek pot is slowly revealed, features two cracking activities designed to set pupils thinking deeply, laterally and creatively.  It is based on the principle that pupils need to work out the meaning of an image...
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The Battle of Marathon. A history mystery

This lesson on the Battle of Marathon makes a major contribution to pupils' thinking skills. They are presented with a paradox.  How could the David of Athens beat the Goliath of Persia?

Instead of being given a  textbook account or a video explanation, pupils...

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Making Greek democracy come to life – a ‘smashing’ lesson

This is a really fun, practical lesson involving smashed pottery, writing in Ancient Greek through black wax and deciphering each other's writing . Pupils actually decipher the names of people who were ostracised over 2,500 years ago. Not bad for Year 5!

Learning objectives

  • pupils grasp the...
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