This enquiry is intended as an overview of the history of the Kingdom of Benin. It is a great way of introducing students to African history, particularly if they have not studied the African kingdoms before.
Artistic sources are placed at the forefront, and students come to appreciate the symbolic value of sources like plaques and bronzes.
Students begin by making their own inferences from a set of plaques made in the Kingdom of Benin, before using information and other clues to work out what the artworks might represent.
This enquiry process helps students to develop an increasingly nuanced and detailed understanding of life in the Kingdom of Benin. It will empower them to decide whether a number of statements about Benin are true or false.
Finally, they respond to the enquiry question, using evidence to back up their claims.
Students should come away from this lesson with an understanding not only of the ideas and beliefs of ordinary people in the Kingdom of Benin but of the importance of artworks as historical sources.
- Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
- Lesson write-up: PDF
- Resource 1: PDF
- Resource 2:PDF
- Worksheet 1: PDF