Class 4 took part in a Stone Age Day in our school wildlife garden. We were transported thousands of years into the past to learn what life was like for our ancestors. Over the course of the day, we took part in some fabulous activities linked to our History lessons…we had an incredible time!
First, we created a timeline and used objects from different eras to represent the different parts of the Stone Age (Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic), Bronze Age (including the brief Copper Age) and the Iron Age. We even included a computer mouse to represent today! Next, we learned how to make an axe using techniques that our ancestors would have used thousands of years ago. We selected our axe heads then shaped and sharpened them using a flat piece of slate. Then, we picked our wooden handle and partially split it using a knife (thanks Iron Age!) and a Stone Age hammer: it was just a smooth rock! Finally, we wedged the stone axe head into place and used twine to tie it and secure it.
After playtime, we learnt how to make rope using bull rushes. We learned that the rushes were harvested and dried out last year, before being soaked in water ready to make rope. Carefully, we split each rush into two pieces, then twisted them together to make our length of rope. It was a very calming process!
Once we had finished our lunch, we became hunter-gatherers. We found out that our ancestors hunted animals by looking for what had been left behind: bones, footprints, leftover food and…poo! Once we’d been taught how to identify different remains, we worked as a tribe to search for clues around the wildlife garden.
Our penultimate activity required us to travel forwards in time into the Bronze Age. We discovered that people in this era made beautiful objects using the newly discovered metals around them. Sun discs were made from very thin sheets of copper and were often used as decorative pieces. We were given a sheet of copper and a nail (thanks again Iron Age!) before we carefully engraved our designs onto the metal. Finally, we used tiny nails to attach our sun discs to pieces of wood ready to be displayed.
Finally, we discussed the importance of fire to our ancestors. It was used for heat, light and to cook food. Without it, our ancestors would have had a pretty tough time! We learned that fire needs three essential ingredients: heat, fuel and oxygen. With this in mind, we each used a flint and steel to ignite a cotton wool ball, ensuring that our fire had everything it needed to roar into life.
We had a fantastic day and would highly recommend it to anyone!