This lesson is aimed at KS3/4 students embarking on a study of Alexander the Great.
It was designed with the OCR Ancient History Spec in mind but can also be used as a stand alone lesson as its aim is to introduce students to the debate surrounding Alexander and his ‘greatness’.
The lesson begins with a quick-fire drawing game based on the Alexander Mosaic from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. Students are then given Mary Beard’s views on Alexander and discuss whether she believes Alexander is ‘great’ etc.
It then moves onto a look at a timeline of his life with students encouraged to identify what might have been they most significant events in his life and why. There is then a task where students have to decide whether key events in his life were either positive or negative and draw conclusions about his greatness from this. They are then encouraged to compare their analysis with Mary Beard’s opinion, followed by Philip Freeman’s.
The final task involves looking at a map of Alexander’s empire at the time of his death and the routes he took. Students then use this to feed into their gradually evolving opinion on Alexander which they can explain at the end and link to the lesson’s success criteria. This lesson should ideally cover around 2 hours, but could be reduced to 1 if necessary.
Reading is included which students do as homework following the lesson with an accompanying short written task.