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Ancient Greece

History Lessons

The Ancient Greece Lessons Pack contains a complete 10-lesson history unit of work for Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11), with detailed lesson plans, Powerpoint slides, teacher guides and printable activity sheets.

Lessons in this unit:

1. Who were the Ancient Greeks?

This lesson introduces the who, when and where of the Ancient Greek civilisation. Pupils will look at maps and timelines to place Ancient Greece in context and then zoom in to find out more about key events from the five distinct time periods associated with Ancient Greece . Pupils will engage with historical sources to find out clues about life in Ancient Greek times.

Objectives:

  • To find out when and where the Ancient Greeks lived

  • To make a timeline of key events

  • To use historical sources to infer information about the past

2. Why were Athens and Sparta so different?

In this lesson, pupils will learn how Ancient Greece was divided up into ‘city-states’, each with its own laws and armies. They will draw contrasts between two of the most powerful city-states – Athens and Sparta – and use their knowledge to develop a balanced argument about which one they would prefer to live in.

Objectives:​​

  • To know what city-states were

  • To compare the city-states of Athens and Sparta

  • To make a balanced argument based on historical knowledge

3. What was Alexander the Great’s impact on the Greek empire?

This lesson explores the life and impact of Alexander the Great. Pupils will look at sources that give clues about Alexander’s global impact and then they will act out the story of his crucial role in expanding the Greek empire. Once familiar with Alexander’s story, pupils will be given a map work challenge to record the four stages of the expansion of Alexander’s empire.

Objectives:

  • To find out why Alexander the Great was a significant figure

  • To analyse the historical impact of Alexander the Great’s rule

4. Why did a small Greek army win the Battle of Marathon?

Why did a small Greek army win the Battle of Marathon? In this lesson, pupils will play a starter game to learn about warfare in Ancient Greek times, including armour and fighting formation. Pupils will find out what happened at the Battle of Marathon and why it had such a surprising outcome, before using their knowledge to analyse key reasons for the Greek victory in a group sorting activity.

Objectives:

  • To find out what happened at the Battle of Marathon

  • To analyse the main reasons for the Greek victory

5. What were the Ancient Greek gods known for?

This lesson looks at Ancient Greek gods and goddesses and how they were recognised. Pupils will play a game to find and identify hidden gods and goddesses using their associated symbols, before applying their knowledge to sourcework by identifying the deities on an Ancient Greek wall relief. Then pupils will work in groups to focus on one particular Olympian god in a super-size poster challenge ready for a lightning quiz at the end of the lesson.

Objectives:

  • To learn about the twelve Olympian gods and their associated symbols

  • To identify key Ancient Greek gods and goddesses from historical sources

6. What happened at the Ancient Greek Olympic Games?

In this lesson, pupils will find out about the Ancient Greek Olympic games. After matching up ancient and modern events, pupils will find out about the why, what, who and when of the Ancient Games and may be surprised to learn that competitive sport was not the main purpose of the games. Pupils will make a sample 5-day programme to show the balance of sporting, religious and social activities before taking part in a Classroom Olympic Games of their own, complete with its own winners’ ceremony.

Objectives:

  • To explain the importance of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greek culture

  • To explore the balance of religious, social and sporting activities at the Ancient Greek Olympics

7. What were the Ancient Greek philosophers famous for?

This lesson allows pupils to find out about key thinkers from Ancient Greece. After getting into some philosophical debates of their own, pupils will compare three famous Greek philosophers and choose one to focus on in detail for a museum exhibition, with an optional clay modelling challenge. Pupils will finish the lesson by performing a song about famous Ancient Greek thinkers.

Objectives:

  • To find out about famous thinkers from Ancient Greece
    To explore key ideas and questions from Ancient Greek philosophers

8. Did the events of the Trojan Horse story really happen?

In this lesson, pupils will learn about the tradition of oral storytelling in Ancient Greece. Pupils will listen to the Trojan Horse story and analyse the evidence to decide which parts of the story are likely to be based on true events. Pupils will use their analysis to form a structured response to the question Did the story of the Trojan Horse really happen?, before being left with a challenge to imagine their own trick to break through the walls of Troy.

Objectives:

  • To draw my own conclusion about the Ancient Greek story of the Trojan Horse

  • To evaluate stories from history by examining sources of evidence

9. What was daily life like for children in Ancient Greece?

This lesson is designed to help pupils to understand more about key areas of daily life for Ancient Greek children. Pupils will play a game to compare elements of their own lifestyles to life for different children in Ancient Greece. They will research food, education, clothing and entertainment and then design their own version of an Ancient Greek pull-along toy. At the end of the lesson, pupils will examine how four historical sources give clues about daily life for children.

Objectives:

  • To explore different areas of daily life for Ancient Greek children

  • To find out about popular Ancient Greek toys

  • To consider how we can know about what daily life was like so far in the past

10. How significant is the legacy of Ancient Greece for life today?

In this lesson, pupils will explore some of the key legacies from Ancient Greece that influence life today. They will consider the significance of each legacy in terms of its impact on their own life, before working in a group to complete a ranking challenge to decide the most significant legacy.

Objectives:

  • To explore the influence of Ancient Greece on various areas of modern life

  • To consider the significance of different legacies on life today

Full Unit

Download the full unit containing all 10 lessons, with detailed planning, printable activity sheets and Powerpoint slides.

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