The Iron-age Farmer's Story
Source:Second Nature - Environmental Studies Pack (5-14), SNH & RSPB - available from the RSPB.
Inspired by an outdoor programme 'Woodland Ways' developed by English Nature at Lathkill Dale NNR.
- To use storytelling to describe the changes that woodland has undergone in the last few thousand years and to appreciate that woodlands were once essential for survival.
- To develope a sense of stewardship for local woodlands
You will need
- Blindfolds - one for each child (optional)
- The iron-age farmer's story (see downloads)
- A costume or accessories for the Farmer to wear (optional)
Did you know?
The Iron-age farmer's story tells us that from the late Stone Age
onwards, the Wildwoods were gradually cleared in small patches for
homesteads and fields. The woods provided the timber for building
and farm implements. He explains that metal-working has grown in
importance and trees are used to make charcoal to fire the forges. This
story can be told in an area of woodland, or open area adjacent to
Before the ActivityThe Time machine stories were originally written to be told as a sequence of six stories, see Introducing the Time machine for further explanation of how to sequence and use the stories.
Decide where in your visit you will tell this story. Prepare blind folds and Iron-age farmer costume if required. If possible learn the basic content of the story so that you avoid reading from a script and thus can use gestures and eye contact to make the story come alive.
The activityExplain to the children that you want them to imagine that they are going to travel back in time. Five thousand years ago wildwoods covered most of Scotland however something happened that changed the wildwoods. To find out, they are going to travel back in time 1,500 years and meet someone who lived here at that time. Use blindfolds or ask the children to cover their eyes, then all count back to 1,500 years ago, 100 years at a time. On an agreed signal they uncover their eyes and meet the Iron-age farmer who tells his story. They then recover their eyes and count forwards 1,500 years to the present day. Once they have returned to the present, use the discussion points below to reinforce what has been said in the story.
- What was the farmer doing in the woodland?
- Can the children think of a name beginning with 'F' to remember him / her by?
- Where did the farmer live?
- What had happened to the wildwood?
- Why was woodland precious to farmers?
- How did the farmer feel about the woodlands?
- If the children have previously listened to the Hunter-gatherer's story - Did the farmer depend on the woods as much as the huntergatherer ?
Suggested Follow up
This story can be followed by other Timeline stories, either taking place in the same spot or by moving to other relevant spots in the reserve or local area.
Back in class you could enact a Timeline drama. Create props and costumes and count back in time, visiting stages of the timeline, with the children playing the role of the various characters.
DownloadsThe iron-age farmer's story
The resource pack 'Telling Stories' is available from the Scottish Storytelling Centre.
- Language - main
- Social studies - main
- Technologies - associated
- Expressive Arts - associated
- 2. Primary
- 3. Lower Secondary