Year 3 Autumn 2 Early Britain Activities

Early Britain

Year 3 Autumn 2

Time Team takes Year 3 on a virtual journey through the early beginnings of man. Children will learn how our ancient ancestors lived in Great Britain, from the types of house they lived in, to the food they ate and the tools they used.

Do It!

Write It!

  • Imagine you are living in the Stone Age, write a diary. Write about what animals were around e.g. mammoths, what materials people used e.g. animal skins and what activities people did e.g. making tools or cave painting.
  • Compare Stone Age people to modern people, what do you think the main differences are?
  • Would you liked to have lived in the Stone Age? Write about your thoughts and feelings and give reasons why you feel that way.
  • Imagine you are an archaeologist. Write a report of your most recent archaeological dig and describe your discoveries and how they made you feel.

Read It!

  • ‘Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura, is about a boy who ends up living in the Stone Age and what he does there.
  • ‘The Stone Age (Step into) ‘ by Charlotte Hurdman is an interesting non-fiction book.
  • ‘Hands-on History! Stone Age Step Back in the Time of the Earliest Humans, with 15 Step-by-step Projects and 380 Exciting Pictures’ by Charlotte Hurdman is full of arty activities for you to try.
  • ‘The Savage Stone Age (Horrible Histories)’ by Terry Deary
  • ‘Stone Age (Sounds of the Past)‘ by Clint Twist is a pop-up book with a difference.
  • ‘Who Were the First People (Usborne Starting Point History)’ by Phil Roxbee Cox
  • ‘Prehistoric Britain (Usborne History of Britain)’ by Alex Frith is a colourful book full of history.
  • ‘The Stick and Stone Age (Cartoon History)’ by Jacqui Bailey is a comic book with a difference.
  • ‘Ug : Boy Genius Of The Stone Age And His Search For Soft Trousers’ by Raymond Briggs is a beautifully illustrated story brought to life by the famous author of ‘Father Christmas’ and ‘The Snowman’.

Work It Out!

  • Do you think that Stone Age people understood and used numbers? Have a look at this website for ideas.
  • Make your own archaeological dig site. Use a patch of your garden (ask permission first!) or a tray, fill it with soil and lay tape or strips of card across the top length ways and width ways to create a grid. Next take different small items that you might find in the stone age such as shells, beads, tools or fossils (if you have made your own fossil as suggested in the Create It! section even better!) and bury them in the grid. Now draw your grid onto paper using a ruler and label the x and y axis. Challenge someone in your family to find all your hidden objects and draw their location onto the paper grid, writing the corresponding coordinates underneath. Once they’ve finished you could ask them to re-bury the objects in different places for you to have a go.

Investigate It!

Year 3 will be learning about rocks for science this half term. They will learn about the different layers that make up our planet from the core to the crust. They will investigate different types of rocks and soils and their properties. They will learn about how fossils are made and how the planet has changed over time creating layers of earth, mountains and volcanos.

Making Chocolate Rocks

(makes approximately 30 rock cakes)


  • 200g grated milk or dark chocolate
  • 200g grated white chocolate
  • 30 cups
  • 30 squares of cling film

Sedimentary – created from sediment layers under the sea.

Sandstone, Limestone, Chalk, Shale

  1. Place the cling film into the cup.
  2. Place 2-3 teaspoons of grated milk or dark chocolate into the cup.
  3. Place 2-3 teaspoons of grated white chocolate into the cup.
  4. Repeat with a second layer of milk or dark chocolate.
  5. Fold the cling film over the top.
  6. Push down hard with fingers until the chocolate feels like is has stuck together.
  7. Pull out gently and unwrap.
  8. Break the rock in half to reveal the layers.
  9. Put a some of this rock to one side and use the rest to make metamorphic rock.

Metamorphic –  sedimentary or (igneous) rock that has been changed by heat and pressure underground.

Marble, Slate.

  1. Start with a sample of chocolate sedimentary rock (see above).
  2. Put the sample into the square of cling film and seal it in.
  3. Squeeze the chocolate into a sphere.
  4. Massage the sphere with fingertips until the heat from your fingers begins to melt the surface of the chocolate sphere.
  5. The longer and harder you squeeze the stronger the finished rock will be. The heat and pressure change the shape of the rock. (Link metamorphic with root ‘morph’ – to change shape – animorph from Harry Potter – Morph on Art Attack)
  6. If you squeeze too hard you just get a slimy mess of melted chocolate covering the cling film – keep the sphere shape.
  7. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
  8. Unwrap and use a metal or plastic spreading knife to cut through the sphere.

Igneous – formed from molten rock from underground forced up the surface e.g. through volcanoes.

Granite, Basalt

  1. Start with a sample of chocolate sedimentary rock (see above).
  2. Put the sample into the square of cling film and seal it in.
  3. Squeeze the chocolate into a sphere.
  4. Dip the sphere in its cling film into a cup of hot water (or tea) for 30 secondss to a minute depending on size.
  5. Leave to cool.
  6. Unwrap and use a metal or plastic spreading knife to cut through the sphere.
  • Make your own rocks and soils poster. Draw and label different types of rocks or soils. Underneath each picture list their properties, use words such as: dull, man-made, natural rocks, rigid, strong, hard, smooth, rough, gritty, heavy, sharp edges, shiny, light igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic, volcanic, fossil, sediment soil, top soil, sub-soil, rocky soil, bedrock, humus, particles, sandy, loam, clay, sticky, heavy, light, drain, permeable, impermeable, floats, hardwearing, breakable.
  • Make a mini-glossary or dictionary using all of the above key-words, maybe you can add some more of your own.
  • This website has lots of information to read that will help you.

Remember It!

Children will learn about British prehistory from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age to the Iron Age. They will compare Neolithic hunter-gatherers to early farmers. They will learn about important settlements such as Skara Brae, and the way the inhabitants lived. They will find out about how tools changed through time, how buildings were constructed, how food was prepared and how clothes were made.

  • Make a poster comparing hunter-gatherers to early farmers, how are they different? How are they the same? You could draw and label them and the tools they use.
  • Stone Age people are often depicted as not very clever. However they achieved lots of amazing things such as: creating fire, making sharp wooden and stone tools, taming horses to ride them, farming (rather than hunting and gathering), inventing wheels, making pottery, using metals, trading with each other and building houses. Talk about each of these achievements and skills and discuss how it would have changed the people’s lives.
  • Use clay and pebbles that you have gathered outside (just like a real cave man or lady!) and create your very own Stonehenge model. Roll the clay into a flat pancake shape and stand the stones up in the clay, pressing them down so that they don’t fall. How close can you get your ‘henge’ to look like the real thing?
  • Use white polymer clay such as Fimo or air-drying clay and make a selection of animal teeth. Before the clay hardens carefully use a thin stick or pin (ask an adult to help) to make a hole through the tooth. When your teeth are dry thread them onto cord or string and voila, your very own Stone Age necklace!
  • This website has lots of information, activities and videos all about the Stone Age.
  • Learn about Skara Brae at the Historic Scotland website.
  • Watch videos and play games about Skara Brae on the BBC Scotland website.
  • Look at a gallery of photos of Skara Brae in this gallery.
  • ‘The Story of Britain’ is a series of cartoons for children that tell the story of early Britain from the Stone Age through to the Domesday Book.
  • The BBC Bitesize website is full of useful information.
  • Treat yourself to the ‘Horrible Histories – Savage Stone Age’ DVD starring Matthew Baynton and Simon Farnaby.
  • Or the ‘A History of Ancient Britain: Celtic Britain’ DVD presented by Neil Oliver.
  • Check out the Museum of Stone Age website.
  • This fun history website is designed especially for kids.

Explore It!

Year 3 will learn about different types of settlements. They will discuss the reasons why some locations are better than others and discuss the reasons why our ancestors chose particular locations.

  • Have a look at an A-Z atlas or on Google Maps at the local area, what features can you see that would explain why early man might have settled in our area? Remember the buildings that you can see now wouldn’t have been there then, but what would have?
  • Have a look at some of the videos on the BBC Bitesize Settlements page. Why do you think the different communities chose to live there? Would you like to live somewhere like that and why? Talk to your family about each place shown and what you think.
  • Write and draw different places for settlements, which are good,  which are bad and why? Think about water sources (rivers and seas), forests, mountains, and hills. What makes a good settlement?
  • Why do settlements in different locations and climates around the world use different types of housing? For example, would housing in the equator be similar or different to housing in the Arctic? What different things would each settlement need?
  • Play some games, take a quiz and learn about early settlements in Great Britain here.
  • When you think you’ve learnt lots of facts about settlements try this quiz and see how many questions you can answer.

Compute It!

Children will be using a special computer program to create story boards.

  • Make up your own story using a story board. Try making a story board with or without words, which was easier and why?
  • Can you make a story board using PowerPoint by inserting photos or clip art?
  • Plan a story board then use a camera to photograph your friends and family posing as characters in your story.

Create It!

Children will recreate Stone Age art and make their own plaster cast fossils as part of their art work.

  • Try using pastels, chalk or charcoals to draw Stone Age style pictures of your family or different animals.
  • Watch this video to learn more about cave paintings and Stone Age art.
  • Use blue paint, black paper, scissors and glue to make a beautiful picture of Stonehenge.
  • This website has several different, fun art and craft Stone Age activities you can try at home, including a Stonehenge cake!
  • Get some brown paint and make some Neolithic style hand prints on paper.
  • Make your own shell, tooth, plant or bone fossil from air-drying clay.
  • Get an old tin foil cake or pie case and half fill it with clay, pressing it down to create a smooth, flat surface. Next carefully press a shell or a little toy dinosaur into the clay making an impression. After that remove the shell or dinosaur and pour in some plaster of Paris that you have mixed with water (half plaster of Paris to half water). Leave your ‘fossil’ to dry for a few hours. Once the plaster of Paris is set carefully remove the tin foil case and peel off the clay and you should be left with your homemade shell or dinosaur ‘fossil’! You can then paint or varnish your fossil to make it look even more effective. WARNING: Only use Plaster of Paris under the supervision of an adult. NEVER put your fingers in it. DO NOT pour liquid Plaster of Paris down the drain, it will set and block/damage your drain.

Make It!

Children will plan, build and evaluate a model Stone Age or Iron Age village.

  • Watch this video of archaeologists building a replica Stone Age village for inspiration.
  • Play this game on the National Museums of Scotland website to build your own Celtic round house.
  • If you like to play Minecraft maybe you could try to build a Stone Age or Iron Age inspired roundhouse or long house?
  • Can you make any other types of buildings using old cardboard boxes and other packaging? You could make a little house and furniture for your dolls or teddies. If you like cars you could build a garage or car showroom. Could you make some famous buildings and monuments such as Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa?
  • If you have any air-drying clay, Play Doh or Plasticine why not build a roundhouse or long house out of that, you could make an entire village.
  • If you’re more of a Lego fan, have a go at using your skills to make a Lego Stone Age or Iron Age village.
  • What about making something from K’Nex or Meccano?

Listen to It!

For their Time Team topic Year 3 will be learning a variety of Christmas songs in preparation for their Christmas performance.

Get Active!

In PE children will be learning different gymnastics skills, focusing on using shape and balance.

  • Try different balances at home, how many different positions can you find that balance on one foot? Or one foot and one hand? Can you balance on just your hands? Is there any other part of your body you can balance on?
  • Try joining your different balances together to create a sequence. Are you able to hold each balance for five seconds before gracefully moving onto the next? Show your performance to your family or friends.
  • Contact Walsall Gymnastics Club if you’re interested in having regular gymnastics lessons.

Understand It!

For RE children will be exploring what it means to be a pilgrim and to undertake a religious pilgrimage. They will learn about Hajj in Islam and about the journey of Joseph and Mary at the birth of Christ for Christianity.

  • If you are a Muslim talk to your family about the origins of Hajj and why Muslims make the journey to Makkah. Share the stories talk about what the Hajj means to Muslims.
  • If you would like to understand more about what Hajj means watch this short introductory video.
  • Or watch the video on the BBC website.
  • Have you been on Hajj? If you have you could write about your experience and what it meant to you.
  • What do you know about the Nativity Story? Why were Mary and Joseph travelling? Where were they going? Talk to your family about the story of Christmas.
  • If you are a Christian how do you celebrate Christmas? Do you go to Church?
  • This cartoon tells the story of the Nativity and the journey that Mary and Joseph took.
  • The BBC website has more information and videos about Christmas.
  • This fantastic website has loads of fun suggestion for things to make and do at home about Christmas such as: cards to make, printable word searches, pictures to colour in, crafts, origami, games, jokes and recipes.

Take a look at our Early Britain Parent Information page here