A Heritage Study Support Pack

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Heritage Lottery Fund

YOUR SCHOOL, YOUR HISTORY, YOUR WORLD

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brother/sisterhood.’

Opening to the UN Charter of Human Rights.

Games and Activities

The following ideas can be used to further develop understanding of Heritage themes. It is intended that the ideas form part of ongoing discussions and/or opportunities for further PSHE and Circle Time activities.

1. Photography: Children and young people thoroughly enjoy taking photographs and having photographs taken of themselves. Seeing what they capture is a fascinating insight into their world and can be a great impetus for further creative activities.

Category Possible ideas
School
  • Ask students to bring in family photos and discuss in small groups their personal heritage. The groups then report to the whole class and see how the heritage in the community overlaps and interacts.
  • Designate areas in your school to be observatories, and decorate them accordingly. Set up some disposable cameras or a digital camera at these stations and decide a day, week or time of day when children and young people can visit or just simply pass by and use the camera to record insights into their own experience of the world they live in. Set up a group to collate and organise the photographs into a finished product, such a time capsule or message in a bottle for future generations to find as heritage.
  • Designate a group of young people to capture some of the possible locations which they believe to be of historical importance, by spending a chosen day to photograph people going about their activities and local venues, showing situations which display a variety of collective and individual needs. Take pictures to local library, museum or history group and see what they can tell students about what they have captured.
  • Choose an event in school and record the events of the day, taking photographs and writing an account of the images and why they were photographed for posterity.
Group/class
  • Make a photograph collage of a group or class of young people outlining the idea of their heritage and their futures.
  • Get a group of young people to consider a specific collective aim, to wear the same colour clothes and photograph them in a special place in school. Thought bubbles can be added to demonstrate their family history, collective experience or for what they would like to be remembered.
  • Think of a theme based on local heritage, eg Painters and Writers, Success, At Peace and at War, Family Life, Sailors, fishing and Pirates, and take photographs. Add single words and phrases to the end product to show and develop the themes/ideas.
  • Consider the power we have as individuals of being the change we want to see in the world.  What might we change and who might we change it for?
  • Differentiation – leading on from ‘being the change’ stimulus, students take photographs of each other in groups showing freeze frames of local historical events. Swap with other groups and see if they can work out what is going on in the photo (inclusive activity).

Keywords: Empathy, Role, Freeze frame

Key skills: Drama, Group work, Inference and Deduction

Individual
  • Allow children and young people to take a digital or disposable camera home to photograph on a theme, e.g. friends and family, my home, ‘my family and other animals’.
  • Get children to collect and make a memory box, photographing the contents that show the importance of their heritage and their identity.
  • Explain idea of memory box – what would you put in a memory box to show the impact of your school on local history? (Suggestions: photographs, anti-bullying contract, music). Students can draw/mime their responses or actually make their own memory box as a group.

Keywords: Memory Box, Positive, Imagination

Key skills: Discussion, Mime, Group work, Group participation.

  • Students work together to create a dictionary of local heritage – discuss what to include and then in table groups create a large A3 guide to finding and collating heritage, using illustrations, photographs and story writing.

Keywords: Positive behaviour, Trust, Relationships

Key skills: Group work, Decision making, Speaking and listening

 

2. Storybooks: There is a wealth of books that can be used to discuss heritage and local history both through fiction and factual accounts. Here are some recommended activities in that could be used in response:

Category Ideas
School
  • Using a book of your choice, read to the whole school. Ask the young people to write either a diary for one of the characters; or letters between several characters; or to submit additional stories about the characters.
Group/class
  • Hotseating: from the chosen book ask pupils to hot seat and answer questions about the character. Develop a play with a given scenario either from the story or an imagined one to show how the character changed the world and what their legacy was.

Keywords: Hotseat, Empathy, Role

Key skills: Speaking and listening, Drama

  • Recount a section of a book that tackles the issue of women’s rights and create a mini-play.
  • Introducing students to the idea of democracy – discuss in class things that local people have done to make themselves happier – list top 3 or 5 (ie more parks, workers’ rights, local arts).  Students in pairs (with TA) go to different classrooms and take a straw poll of which is most popular reason. Differentiation – TA to go with SEN students and ask members of staff what their top idea would be. Students collect together their answers (numeracy skills could be extended here!) to find out the top answer. Through carpet discussion, is there a way that we could achieve this? Can students draw up a plan? Could be used as a basis for an assembly.

Keywords: Democracy, Vote, (SEN – Choosing)

Key skills: Group work, Speaking and listening, Planning, Taking different roles in discussion, Numeracy

Individual
  • Having read the chosen book, ask the pupils to write about the characters, about their ability to overcome adversity and why they chose to invoke change or how they are remembered. This can be done as a poem or a piece of prose.
  • Ask the pupils to write a book about what they would change, based on the stories that they have read and their own lives.

 

3. Writing: Writing allows for individual thought and can be a really helpful way to develop a range of mature responses to challenging issues.

Category Ideas
School
  • Choose a local heritage theme such as family, the sea, mining or poverty and wealth and explore in PSHE lessons. Ask pupils to write a story with a positive outcome from a negative event. Submit the collected stories.
  • Ask every child to write a short sentence about their favourite piece of local history or historical character and its role in their lives.
Group/class
  • Chinese whispers: Collectively write a story about a given local heritage theme, each writing a sentence or a paragraph to form a novel piece of writing.
  • Write together about your class or group of friends; what heritage do you share and what is unique to different members of the group?
  • Get a group of children and young people to write an imaginary blog about a designated day – an ordinary day in their lives to see, compare and contrast individual experiences, what their individual rights are, which needs are met/not met, how differently we exercise reason and conscience or good friendship, how we act towards one another. Compare this to verbatim accounts from your local library, museum or history society.
  • In table groups, students are given a ‘problem’ that a character from a well known local historical event story is experiencing – eg, the dissolution of the Glasney monastery in Penryn sparking rebellion or the fishing conflicts experienced by villages like Mousehole and Mevagissey. Students are then to act as problem-solvers and must use their skills in positive behaviour to discuss how to resolve this problem. (Extension: they can then write their response to the character, explaining how they can resolve the situation).

Keywords: Character, Role, Empathy

Keyskills: Writing, Drama, Problem Solving, Speaking and listening

Individual
  • Write a poem or piece of prose about what you give to others, what you want to leave behind – describing yourself, your interests, your joys and fears, your hopes and values, your skills and strengths, your needs, your inspiration.
  • Write a modern day fable, celebrating and explaining change and choice.
  • Ask the pupils to write about a specific and important event in their lives which made them consider what it means to be a good friend, a good member of the community or that leaves a positive legacy.
  • Students write a list of things that make them happy (this list can be personal and doesn’t need to be shared with anyone else)

 

4. Music and dance: Expression through music and dance can be a wonderful way of bringing heritage to life, celebrating positive experiences and challenging difficult situations.

Category Ideas
School
  • Develop a composition, either a song or a piece of music written by a group of young people on behalf of the school that captures a local historical event or moment of heritage note.
  • Listen to “Lamorna”, “The Rio Grand” or “Trewlaney”. Ask the pupils to consider what these tell us about local history and encourage them to see if they agree with the interpretation the song-writer has given to the heritage. Create a short play, piece music or dance from responses.
Group/class
  • Ask students to write and perform a musical composition about someone or something you think it important from local history.
  • Ask students to create a vocal sound collage on a number of local heritage themes, such as peace, fear, war, freedom. Explore how the environments created by each sound collage make you feel.
  • Ask students to create a group dance that demonstrates individual talents and interests within your local history and how combining different skills creates impact/strength.
Individual
  • Write a song about your hopes for the world/for others, with music and lyrics.
  • Choose a favourite song from your past, explaining why the song is so special, what feelings it evokes and what it says that makes it important.

 

5. Artwork: Artwork can range from collages, posters, paintings and drawings using a range of media, including 2D or 3D work.

Category Ideas
School
  • Create a frieze of the history of your school with contributions from each pupil and member of staff, identifying in art form acts of note or outstanding events.
  • Make a piece of artwork on a large canvas with every child’s family portrait and name represented.
  • Identify a character from local history and create an mdf model for the playground as a reminder of the whole school commitment to be the change you want to see in your world.
Group/class
  • Find unique characters and photographs from library, museum or history society archives explaining why they have been chosen to contribute to a group picture about engagement in society and heritage.
  • Get a group of young people to pick a local heritage theme, eg friendship, change, freedom, care and create a piece of interactive artwork.
Individual
  • Create a piece of artwork with a mixture of photographs of themselves, their families, their heritage.
  • Do silhouette pictures from local history celebrating relationships.
  • Design posters and banners to get the message across about the importance of working together and remembering achievement.

 

Games and Activities: Further Ideas

These are some ideas that can be an impetus for further creative games and activities.

  • United Nations – Rights of the Child: Introduce the Rights of the Child to the young people. Ask them to consider them, choosing one to illustrate what it means to them and for someone else in their lives. See if they can identify in local heritage something that has made better or worse their rights as children or young people.
  • Newsletter: Create a school newsletter collating a series of articles from the whole school about local history and heritage which is edited by the young people themselves.
  • Graffiti Wall: Designate a space in the school, for example in the school hall or upstairs corridor. Cover in paper and provide pens and ask pupils to draw and write responses to a question such as “How can we be the change we want to see in the world?” or “Why is our past important?”
  • Story Wall: As above, designate a space in school where a large piece of paper can be displayed. As staff, write a starting paragraph for a story. Invite the children and young people to contribute to the story, either a word or sentence or two at a time and see where it leads.
  • Discussions: Film a debate or discussion on work and play, change, freedom, families in our local heritage.
  • Balloon Debates: Get each child to choose and research a famous or not so famous resident of their local area, current or historical, and discuss why they are or were important in their society.
  • Interviews: Contact your local councillor to be interviewed about the positive aspects of change and community in the borough. Contact your local museum or history society and interview them about an event or location in your community’s history.
  • Imaginary Communities: Ask the young people to consider starting their area from scratch. What would make the place better? What would they need? What would be similar or different to reality? What sort of records would they keep, what events would their society want recorded, how would they record and preserve them and how would they agree on what to record?