Just over a month ago I wrote about the collaborative project funded by the MLA which I have been working on with Kate Barton from Neston High School. The aim of the project was to create two sets of teacher resources which would allow groups to come into the museum on a self-guided tour of the new Manchester gallery and also to utilise objects within a ‘Museum comes to you’ Outreach box for use within the classroom. All of the objects highlighted in the resource pack would be suitable for teaching the themes of Trade and Empire within the KS3 National Curriculum.
On the 10th February, me and Stephen Welsh – the Curator of Living Cultures – visited the school to take part in two lessons with a number of Year 7 and Year 9 students. We took with us various objects from the Museum collection for them to examine and engage in discussions about their origins and worth. Using the prepared resources the teachers provided the basic lesson plan and the relevant links with their schemes of work (thank you Kate and Jo!) while Stephen and I provided support with information and handling.
Both lessons seemed to go well, with students responding excellently to all the objects within the outreach box.
Comments made by those involved included:
“I now know how things from around the world got to the museum”
“I didn’t realise that Britain stole artefacts from Africa”
“I was surprised that the empire was so big”
“By the end I had learnt lots more and really enjoyed it”
We now hope to trial this again with another school to see if this approach would be beneficial to other students and teachers. If you might be interested in this kind of project we would love to hear from you!