Expeditions for Time Travellers
Experience life as an early settler in 1600s Salem, figure out why the Mary Rose sank and discover more about the life of soldiers fighting in the trenches during the First World War, as we bring you some of our favourite history Expeditions.
Reconstructing World War 1 Trenches
Five, four, three, two, one…FIRE! You are about to leave your trench and enter No Man’s Land as a soldier fighting at the Western Front during the First World War. The ground will quiver and you will experience the deafening crumps and spurts of earth and smoke.
In this Expedition, which reconstructs what life was like in the trenches, your time-travelling pupils will get to experience the fear soldiers felt about going ‘over the top’ as well as the appalling daily conditions, where trench foot and fever spread by lice were common.
As Explorers head through the journey they will come across mustard gas rattles and are introduced to medics, who had to make tough decisions on whether it was worth risking their life to save injured soldiers.
Immersing pupils in the trenches not only allows them to discover how they were constructed and defended against enemy attacks, it also highlights in the nearest way possible without actually being there, the incredible human sacrifice made by the the soldiers who fought in them, many of whom were only five or so years older than the KS3 students studying this Curriculum-based topic for History.
Experience life on the Western Front as a soldier fighting in the trenches during WW1
Salem in 1630 Pioneer Village
This Expedition takes place in Salem’s leafy Pioneer Village where pupils will encounter examples of Wigwams, Witchery and God-fearing Puritan settlers.
The village, built in 1930 and a living history of what it would have been like to be a new settler in 1600 Massachusetts, also features examples of Colonial architecture and early settlements.
Pupils entering the village will get a real sense of the villagers’ puritanical existence as they encounter sparse homes with bibles and stocks and pillories planted firmly in each settlement to act as a deterrent against crime.
Explorers will also start to understand why there was such a strong belief in witchcraft and, in the absence of any real health care, why herb gardens were so important (they were even used to ward off evil spirits!).
Want to discover more about the Salem Witch Trials? Then also worth checking out are these further three Expeditions: Salem Village and the 1692 Witch Hysteria, Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Salem Witch Trials and The Witch House, Salem Home of Judge Jonathan Corwin.
Left: A Pioneer's cottage; Right: The women who started the Salem Witch Trials
Death at Sea: The Mary Rose
Was it overloading, human error, strong winds or French canons that caused the King Henry VIII’s battleship the Mary Rose to sink? In this Expedition pupils get to play time detectives. Under the magnifying glass are artifacts that not only inform them about the vessel but also reveal details about its inhabitants too. As students move through the Expedition they will form a picture of what may have caused the ship to capsize, and along the way the Guide will be able to pull up extra visual material – including images of vintage engravings, etchings of the ship and images of gold coins (pictured) from the time. Even the ship’s dog, Hatch, is presented for inspection, whose job was to ensure that the ship didn’t become overrun by rats. Explorers can also experience what life was like aboard the Mary Rose in a second Expedition, The Mary Rose (pictured).
What caused The Mary Rose to sink? Pupils get to play time detectives
Time Jump – beyond Doomsday
Beware! Your pupils are about to travel to some of the most dangerous and tumultuous periods in English History in this Expedition, which covers the 8th to 15th Centuries.
We start mid–battle in 8th century Northumberland, where the local Anglo Saxons are defending their land from the Pirate Vikings.
In another scene, which explores the life of a freelance torturer in 1000 AD, pupils discover how even stealing sheep is an offence punishable by thumbscrew, as they watch the instrument being prepared, ready for use!
A fierce game of thrones was played out in Medieval England where the throne was won in combat and battle was a way of life. Pupils are introduced to the master of strategy, William of Normandy, who decided not to make a play for the throne until King Harold’s battle weary Anglo Saxon forces returned from their successful but fierce battle against the Vikings.
One of the suggested tasks in the accompanying annotations asks students to research the game of chess and to see how it compares with the game of power played out on the battlefield.