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School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Prehistory to Primary Schools: using archaeology research to help teachers in the classroom

Manchester researchers have developed resources to help primary school teachers to better teach archaeology to their pupils.

Illustration of prehistoric events.

Archaeology has the potential to engage and positively impact local communities, and recognition of this has led to the introduction of archaeology, and prehistory more specifically, into the Key Stage 2 curriculum.

However, many primary level teachers feel under-equipped to teach prehistory, as current resources are limited.

Members of the Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA) department at the University decided to put together resource packs that can be requested by teachers for use in the classroom.

Professor Dr Nick Overton, Professor Hannah Cobb, graduate student John Piprani and lecturer Elizabeth Healey collaborated with primary schools across Greater Manchester, including William Hulme Grammar School, Park Road Primary School and Bridgelea Pupil Referral Unit, to create the reusable packs.

The resources include activities, information booklets, graphic novelettes and replica artefacts created using experimental archaeology and 3D scanning and printing, based on artefacts from archaeology collections held by CAHA and the Manchester Museum.

The process of creating the packs has helped enhance expertise within the experimental archaeology group at Manchester through training workshops led by experimental archaeology practitioners, enabling the production of a wider range of outputs for the resource packs.

Voluntary student involvement in the production of the packs has benefited both students and communities, produce socially responsible graduates in the process.

Find out more about the packs and how to request them on the Archaeology website.