Tuesday 25 July 2017

Learning about Stonehenge

We have been learning about the Stone Age using our history curriculum, Story of the World. We have made crafts and built our own Stone Age den.  Now it was time to learn about Stonehenge, one of the ancient wonders of the world. It is 5000 years old and why and how it was built still remains somewhat of a mystery. 

There are some interesting theories trying to explain it, perhaps the most well-known being that it was a place for ritual ceremonies on Midsummer and Midwinter's day. Today it is still a place for festivities on these two days every year.

There are many legends and folk tales about Stonehenge. I was surprised to learn that one of these legends is that Merlin, the wizard, put the stones there and if you lick one of the stones you will get Merlin's powers! Apparently, people do try to do this but they are immediately arrested as the stones are closely watched and protected. 

Salt Dough Stonehenge

We started off by making some salt dough, shaping it into oblong shapes to represent the stones of Stonehenge.

We baked them in the oven on a low heat for a couple of hours.

While the stones were baking, we got a cardboard box and painted it for the scenery for our recreation of Stonehenge.

Once the paint had dried and the stones cooled, the children arranged the stones to look like Stonehenge.

We had to use blue tac to stick the stones together and stop them falling over as they were a bit wobbly.

Here is the aerial view of our Stonehenge model.

Paper Model of Stonehenge

Next, we made a 3D paper model of the ancient site which I printed from the Twinkl website.

Here is the finished model.

Trip to Stonehenge

Finally, it was time for our field trip to the ancient site. Luckily, we do not live too far away and I have been to visit a few times myself. However, this was the children's first trip to the site.

When we arrived we saw some exhibitions by the visitor's centre before making our way to the site of the stones. Here is a replica of one of the stones on some logs; how it is thought the huge stones would have been transported.

Next to this, there were about five or six replicas of ancient huts. The buildings are made of chalk mixed with some other substances. Chalk, apparently, is an excellent building material and is what gives the building it's white colour.

Inside, there was a fire in the centre of the hut. These are sometimes used by volunteers who test out the huts and try to figure out what life would have been like during the Stone Age.

This little hut was an interesting shape.

Inside another hut were more household items as they would have looked in the Stone Age,

We saw a table full of Stone Age tools. Then, we made our way to see the ancient stones themselves. 

Seeing the Ancient Stone Circle

Finally, we set eyes on the magnificent Stonehenge. It is easy to see how this is said to be one of the wonders of the ancient world. We sat on the grass and had our picnic whilst looking at the awesome sight.

Then, we walked around the circumference of the stone circle, listening to our audio guides. It was such a wonderful trip that really brought our learning to life. If you ever have the chance to go to Stonehenge I would highly recommend it!


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