The lessons that follow were undertaken at the end of the term.

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1 Title: Ancient Greece The Agora Author Carol Seymour, Shropshire Background The class attends a large urban school that has five year 3/4 classes and five year 5/6 classes. The school adopts topic themes on a termly basis which are part of a two yearly cycle. Each class has approximately 30 children. The children s ability in years three and four range from level two to four in most subjects. The topic for the term was Ancient Greece. The children had a good knowledge of the location of Greece, its climate and geography. They knew about the gods, godesses, myths and heroes of ancient Greece. They have investigated looking at evidence via artefacts. Focus on Classical Greek period. The lessons had an historical focus whilst incorporating learning objectives from the Literacy Strategy, such as identifying key words and phrases. The agora and using a simulation was aimed at giving the children an awareness of everyday life in Ancient Greece. The lessons that follow were undertaken at the end of the term. Aims and Objectives Historical: 1. To study the everyday lives of men, women and children in Ancient Greece. 2. To gain knowledge and understanding of the agora in Ancient Greece, a characteristic feature of the period. 3. To promote other aspects of the curriculum, which will be processing and evaluating information, describing and explaining events; developing pupils understanding of the economic factors that affect people in different classes of society. Literacy: NLS Year 3 term 2, Text level 17 to make clear notes through: discussing the purpose of note-making and looking at simple examples; identifying the purpose for which particular notes will be used; identifying key words, phrases or sentences in reading; Sentence level 9 to experiment with deleting words in sentences to see which are essential to retain meaning and which are not; Key Questions What foods were available in Ancient Greece? Where did the ancient Greeks go to buy and sell their food? 1

2 Year Group / Class Mixed Year 3/4 class of 30 children of mixed gender and ability. In relation to English attainment these children are: 1. 8 children working towards level four (all Year 4 ), 2. 2 children working towards level 2, 3. 6 working towards level 3 and working at level 3. Teaching Time Four one hour lessons Resources Copies of text from information book Food and Feasts Highlighters / coloured pens Ancient Greek clothes Worksheet frames Learning Outcomes Historical The children were able to experience what it might have been like living in Ancient Greece. The children were able to identify the commodities that were available in Ancient Greece. The children were able to co operate within a group and experience the difficulties faced by the ancient Greeks. The children were able to develop their economic understanding of what it might have been like for a market trader and ordinary Greek person in the period. The children were able to process and evaluate information as the simulation progressed. Literacy The children were able to identify key words and phrases. The children were able to understand that note-making is a useful tool in certain writing activities. The children were able to realise the advantage of highlighting key words, phrases or sentences for the purpose of picking out the most important pieces of text. Teaching Activities 1. Purpose of note-making, to highlight text in a pair so as to identify key words, phrases and sentences. 2. To play a simulation of a market day at the agora Lesson One Introducing Greek foods 2

3 Episode One Purpose of notes and highlighting key words, phrases and sentences. Focus Whole class. Using a piece of text to highlight important words and still keep the meaning of the notes clear. Explanation to the children that they were going to investigate what the ancient Greeks may have eaten. We read through the text from Food and Feasts page 16, the chapter Food from the sea. The children were able to identify some of the foods the Greeks ate. They were able to name olives as an important food as we had talked about this before. Along with lamb as again we had discussed animals that could live on hillsides and poor quality land. They did not know the sort of fish that they might eat, and this sheet was useful for them to gain knowledge of the variety of fish eaten. The children then went into a mixture of ability and mixed ability groups to identify key words, etc., from selected pages that had been photocopied from the book Food and Feast (excellent book for this area of investigation). Some pairs of children had the same text, so comparisons could be made. Selected pairs reported back at the end of the session on the notes that they had made. Lesson Two The market sheet Episode One Children in groups discuss, decide and write on the Market sheet what they are going to take to market with them. Focus Introducing the market activity, with each group deciding on what to take to market Groups of mixed ability had to cooperate within each group to decide on above; I had previously put the children into groups, they were mainly mixed ability groups, but it was also dependent on individual children as to whom I wanted to work together for various reasons, e.g. some could not work well together in other situations, friends who worked well together and those who would not normally work together. I told the children that they will be acting out the market in costume in the dining area and they are extremely excited. Each group was given a label that told them what they would be selling and a sheet that they had to fill in. They were only to fill in what they were going to take to the market with them, I thought it would be too complicated to tackle the taking to and bringing from market all in one go. We will look to undertake the whole sheet at the next session. See attached. Episode Two Deciding on what to take to market and reporting back to the class Focus Group decision making and reporting back. Towards the end of the lesson I asked all the groups to report back on what they had decided to take with them to the market. A member of the group was appointed a spokesperson (by the group), and read out what they had decided to take to the market with them. A result of this discussion at the end led to information being given with regard to containers that may have been used. They had used the word amphora before and this was offered. However, some of the groups were going to bring litres, bottles, 3

4 metres. This was a teaching point for the next lesson when the correct containers and measurements should be used. I also suggested to the children that if they had no money what could they do to bring back what they needed from the market at the end of the day. They were able to suggest that they could barter and exchange the goods they had brought to market that day. We will undertake this next session. Lesson Three Completing the market sheet Episode One Groups completing the final Market Sheet Focus Group to write the correct items that they should take to and bring back from the market, using the correct terminology for containers and measurement. After a short initial introduction to recap on the items the various groups are going to take to the market with them. I put the question How did they get their goods to the market? The children made good responses, again using their knowledge gained during Shared Reading (all the class had read this book in groups during a previous week). It was an information book about Greece today, but it showed that the Greeks still used donkeys and mules for transporting goods. The children are much more familiar with the terminology of the food, the containers and the measurements and as a group they will write the final Market sheet. Lesson Four Running the Greek market Episode One Groups taking part in role play at the agora Focus Group to take on role of market trader Each group took on the role of a market trader to barter and exchange goods that they have brought to the market and goods they want to take back at the end of the day. Most of the children put on costumes for this simulation. They took their Market sheet with them where we had set up the dining area in the school as the agora. Tables were placed in a U-shape to represent the market stalls, and the groups of children went and stood behind them. So that we could all see and hear what each group was selling we went round and the children told us their group and what they were selling. I selected a group to visit another group to barter / exchange with goods that they wanted. This was repeated with the other groups. Episode Two Plenary What did the groups bring back from the market? What can the children remember? Focus Group and Individual responses Question children as to what was brought back from the market. What vocabulary has been learnt and what can they tell everyone about the lives of ordinary people in ancient Greece? Most of the children had brought back enough food to last them a day or two and they realised that they would have to return to the agora most days. Some children realised they had brought back too much. When questioned as to how they were to solve that problem, those that had too much fish were able to say that they could 4

5 preserve it in salt or oil. They realised that they had to work together to sustain themselves and produce enough food to sell and exchange for goods they required. Most of the children were able to remember to types of fish available, what was not available in ancient Greece, such as oranges. Most of the children were able to remember the word amphora. Most of the children were able to offer the various jobs that the Greeks may have had. Most of the children were able to say that rich people had slaves who did the shopping, along with women who also shopped. Evaluation Starting from the beginning, most of the children grasped the idea of why it was useful to make notes in certain situations. Except for children working towards level four, the children will need reinforcement of identifying key words, phrases and sentences. It is a high level skill that needs to be revisited regularly, which it is in NLS, although this can be incorporated into other areas of the curriculum, for example, I focused on children making notes from a video, which was quite successful. Here though, opposite to the written word, where too much was included generally, not enough was included by some children. The simulation of children enacting scenes from what it might have been like on market day in the agora in ancient Greece was very successful. The children were so enthusiastic. They really took on the roles of whatever they were selling and were very serious about exchanging and bartering with each of the groups. I feel that they gained a deeper understanding of the ordinary lives of people in ancient Greece by undertaking a simulation than just researching and writing about the lives of ancient Greeks. A few of the children were very astute and recognised that while we were going through what the groups were going to sell and what they wanted to buy, that they did not have enough of what people wanted. The two children were members of the potters and the fishers groups, particularly important goods as it happens. A bit of supply and demand here realised, which was great. Overall, I was pleased with the group dynamics and was pleased to see that other aspects of the curriculum were covered that are not usually visited, for example, financial capability, where children are put into a situation where they are involved with economic factors. It was pleasing to see how the children s thinking skills were being developed through this simulation. How they were having to process and evaluate information was exciting to experience. What I would change next time I would first let the children have open house at the agora on market day. The market day itself seemed manufactured in as much as it didn t have the feel of a what a busy market is like. This was due to the necessity for the children to hear each other and it was being videoed. After the open house, perhaps then some time to let the groups visit other groups to exchange and barter. I would perhaps get each group to record what they were taking to the market and what they hoped to bring back onto audio tape, that would mean perhaps that it was not that 5

6 important to video such an orchestrated scene on the actual market day itself. I would also like to record the conversations that took place between the market traders when they were bartering, some of them were excellent. I wish I had taped them. An example of the conversation is as follows, this was after I had intervened when the first groups taking part just agreed straight away with what they were offered; Potter 1: Fisher 1: Fisher 2: Fisher 1 Fisher 2: Fisher 1: Potter 1: Potters: Potter 1: We will give you one amphora for three baskets of fish. Umm, (turns to members of group) What do you think? No, I think we need more amphora. How many amphora then? Three. We want three amphorae for three baskets of fish. (turn to members of group) What shall we do? Yes. OK. Alright, OK, three amphorae for three baskets of fish. Isn t that great? I was thrilled with this and the other conversations like it. 6

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