11th Nov 2013
Would you prefer the life of an affluent Athenian or a spartan Spartan?
Such were the questions posed to Year 5 on their day dressing, debating, playing, writing and even fighting as an ancient Greek. Members of the Living History Team brought the period to life, keeping the children enthralled all day, listening, learning and joining in with various fun activities.
They explained how to play board games such as Pente (or Connect 5) and explained where we find the archeological evidence to support our understanding of the rules. We all practiced games involving throwing hoops at a target and an early version of bowling, learning that if we were Spartan children we would have been beaten for every miss or mistake made. Spartan children learnt lessons quickly!
We held a civilised debate and vote to decide whether the Athenians with their democracy and civilisation or the Spartans with their virtually unbeatable army would rule the area (the Athenians had to call on the Oracle of Delphi for the swing vote in their favour).
We tried counting in Greek – a long winded method because they have no zero to use as a place marker – and wrote with a quill and ink in ancient Greek characters. The day was rounded off with battle formations using shields and spears and practicing our marching and battle cries to scare our Persian opponents.
The whole day was excellent fun and children and staff alike came away understanding much more about this important part of history and how it has influenced so much of the society we have today. Fascinating!