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How can we explain to primary school children what prehistory is and what was its importance in their time and also in ours? You are probably thinking of books or a visit to a museum. These are great ideas, of course, but we also have another handy resource at our fingertips: short thematic dictations on prehistory. Did you know that they are also ideal for working memory and reviewing the spelling rules seen in class? We started!
You will agree with me that dictations are a perfect exercise to deepen the use of grammar rules as well as to improve concentration, writing and to achieve a richer vocabulary. But they are also thought so that boys and girls know a little more in detail certain topics. In this case we are going to focus on prehistory. Thanks to these exercises they will understand everything wonderfully.
It is about choosing a text that is not very long (in the next point we will leave you some examples) and dictating it to the students slowly and emphasizing the most complicated words so that they can write it down correctly. The most successful thing is to do two readings: a first in which the children will write down the text and a second lighter reading as a review. As we always tell you, once the dictation is finished, correct it with them in front also using the green pen to mark everything they have put right and clarify all your doubts.
Let's see some examples!
1. Example of thematic dictation exercises
Let's start with a dictation for know what prehistory is and how we can study it. If you see that the text is a bit long, divide it in two and you will have material for a couple of days:
- What is prehistory? Surely we have all heard of it, however, when it comes to defining it, the thing is not so clear. Prehistory is neither more nor less than the period of time prior to History. It goes from the origin of the human being until the appearance of the first written testimonies. Therefore, it can be said that it is writing that marks the border between Prehistory and History as we know it.
The science that studies prehistory is archeology. It is responsible for reconstructing the events of the past so that we can understand them today. How do they do that? Well, carefully studying the materials and things of the past that persist today. This is how we know how they lived, what they ate or even what they played in prehistory. Interesting!
2. Second idea to dictate to your children or students
We continue with another dictation. This is somewhat more complex since names of the prehistoric stages are included. In addition to reviewing spelling rules such as the use of capital letters or the use of punctuation marks, with this dictation children will be able to know the names of the different stages into which prehistory is divided.
- For your knowledge I will tell you that prehistory is divided into three main periods that are related to the evolution of humanity itself. Do you know what the last stretch of prehistory is called? It may sound like you, the Age of Metals! People who lived in that stage discovered metals and not only that, but they also used them at will.
In turn, the Age of Metals is divided into three other stages; the Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The stone stopped being the only material used in these towns. It is on this date that the first civilizations and cultures are created.
3. Dictation with the dates of prehistory
Another idea that tends to attract the attention of primary school students is to dictate only dates. It is a good way to learn to write ancient dates as well as their meaning. Because they write them, they begin to memorize them.
Stone Age (up to 6,000 BC)
Paleolithic (2,500,000 BC -10,000 BC)
Mesolithic (10,000 BC - 8,000 BC)
Neolithic (8,000 BC - 6,000 BC)
Metal Age (6,000 BC - 600/200 BC)
Copper Age (6,000 BC - 3,600 BC)
Bronze Age (4,000 BC)
Iron Age (1,200 BC - 600/200 BC)
Once the children know the dates in which prehistory passed, they can go a little further and prepare for another day dictations on each of these stages. As for example, the text that we leave here about the first stage of prehistory: the Paleolithic. It is a somewhat more complicated text, so it is ideal for children in the last cycles of primary school.
- The Paleolithic goes from the appearance of Homo Sapiens until approximately 9000 BC. It is mainly spread across Asia, Europe and Africa. These civilizations do not know metals, so they only use stones to make tools that facilitate their day to day, such as axes and pointed spears. Towards the end of this era, society changes and evolves, they stop being nomads to settle in the same place. They live in caves and make what we know today as cave paintings.
And as a final exercise, tell your students that illustrate the dictation with a nice drawing. They are sure to be a work of art! You can also look up some of the more complicated words that you have found in the text in the dictionary, such as 'nomads'.
On our site we have many more ideas for short dictations for children. Do not miss it!
You can read more articles similar to Examples of thematic dictations of prehistory for elementary school children, in the category of On-Site Writing.