Monday, 19 June 2017

Building a Stone Age Den


We have been learning about the Stone Age as part of our history curriculum. We have done many crafts and activities, which you can read about in this post, as well as attending a workshop at the local museum. After all that, I thought it was time to get outdoors for a practical lesson.


Children's books about the stone age



We started off by reading some story books about the Stone Age for some inspiration. The first book we read was 'Stone Age Boy'. This is the story of a boy who goes back in time to the time of the Stone Age. He meets a Stone Age girl who shows him how they live. It is full of facts about the Stone Age and gives you a really good insight into what life must have been like back then. The children all enjoyed this book.


The second book we read was 'the First Dog'. It is a story all about how dogs became the first domesticated animal. It follows the story of Kip, a cave boy, on an adventure through the Pleistocene landscape with his bag of Woolly Rhino ribs. This bag of ribs attracts a Paleowolf, who follows Kip around in the hope of scavenging a rib to eat. The Paleowolf warns Kip when danger is around because of his heightened senses that are able to sense danger before Kip can. In the end, a Saber-Toothed Cat eats the Woolly Rhino bones and Kip decides to keep Paleowolf as a pet and promises to share his Woolly Rhino ribs with him in exchange for protection. It is really a lovely story that enthralled the children.

Stone Age den



After our reading session, it was time to build. We found some long sticks in the garden and propped them against a tree. Then we got a sheet and draped it over the sticks to create our den. We talked about what else we would need to survive in the Stone Age. Tools were needed for hunting, cooking and protection. These would have been made from wood and stones.

Homemade Stone Age tools



R made a bow out of a stick and some string. You can see it here, hanging on the tree next to the den. He found some narrow sticks to use as arrows.


Then we made an axe from a stick and a stone. We tied the stone to the stick using string. In the Stone Age they would have used plants and fibres to make string.


Here is D using the axe.

Campfire roleplay



D made a fire outside the den to cook food and for warmth.


She collected plants from around the garden to cook on the fire. We talked about the kinds of things the people living in the Stone Age would eat; plants, berries, wild animals and honey.


When everything was ready, the children had a lot of fun role playing, pretending they were Stone Age people and acting out scenes from the books we had read. Role play is an excellent way for children to learn. It encourages development of imagination and social skills such as cooperation, listening and turn-taking. It allows them to think about and reflect on a topic and develop their knowledge of it during play.


K also joined in and had fun with the cooking equipment.





Country Kids
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14 comments

  1. What a great idea, I love the den and the tools you made!

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  2. Fantastic activity! This axe looks so cool, and so does the den.
    #CountryKids

    Annette
    Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chĂȘne

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    1. Thank you. It was really fun to search for materials in the garden and make them into tools.

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  3. This way of learning is fantastic. Far better to have a mixture of activities than just read a text book. #CountryKids

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    1. Yes I agree. Far better to do something practical, especially with young children.

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  4. I find I learn better when I do something hands on so I can see why it works for kids more. I love the little axe! Great idea for a home schooling unit. #CountryKids

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    1. Thank you. I always try and add practical elements into our home school.

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  5. I can just imagine them re-enacting story lines from the book. Best way to learn. Brings it all to life. #CountryKids

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    1. It's great to see them using their imagination to recreate the stories.

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  6. I need to get some kind den fixed for the summer we have no cover in our back garden for the kids. Love how you've tied in play with the book.

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    1. I get a lot of inspiration from books.

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  7. This looks like a fab little project for them all, it's great that you have such a hands on approach to learning. I bet the kids loved reading about the first dog and what it might be like to go back to the stone age as a modern child. The den you built is fab, I bet it will be used lots throughout the summer now.

    Thanks for sharing with me over on #CountryKids.

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    Replies
    1. Hands on learning is best with young children in my opinion. Always good fun.

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