Language as History

A short history unit for Year 7 to encourage curiosity about some of the things we usually take for granted: words, place names and surnames!

1. Everyday Vocabulary - What does it tell us?
Why does the English language have so many German, French, Celtic and Scandinavian words within it? An original way of looking at the waves of immigration that have characterised British history in the past 1000 years.
2. Place names in the British Isles - What do they tell us?
Students are given advice on how to spot Celtic, Roman, Norman, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon place names, research the meaning of some of the most famous places, then plot a whole series of them on a map to try to identify meaningful patterns.
2. Place name challenge - knockout competition!
An optional lesson. Students compete to see which group can come up with the most place names from a particular origin. Any repetition, hesitation or incorrect answers knocks them out of the competition.
3. Surnames from the British Isles - What do they tell us?
Students research the origin of surnames of students / teachers in the school and either plot these on a Google Earth map (if the names originate from places) or in a Diamond9 Diagram from to distinguish between high-status and low-status professions that existed.
4. Creating a Family Tree
Students create their own family tree after analysing that of The Simpsons cartoon characters.


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