What were houses like in the Stone Age?
These resources have been created by pupils from The Hall Primary School, Leicestershire. They are based on information from this Interactive Prehistory Timeline showing the changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age and other research done by the pupils.
Hunter-Gatherers in Mesolithic Times
Skara Brae – the Excavations
Life in Skara Brae and Quiz
Neolithic Houses and Quiz
Use the resources with your pupils to help them find out more about Stone Age houses. Two of them also have quiz elements to help your pupils test their knowledge. Having worked through the resources you could ask pupils to:
- Try and think of ‘seasonal’ foods we eat today – for Mesolithic people they could only eat what was in season and had to move their camp at different times of year to where the food was. You could look at any packaging on the fruit and vegetables in your fridge and see which came from Britain to find out what’s in season right now!
- Imagine you are either Gordon Childe or one of the 4 female archaeologists excavating the Skara Brae site for the Ministry of Works after the 1926 storm. You must write a letter to the officials back at the Ministry of Works in London explaining your most exciting discoveries and making the case for why they should keep funding your excavations.
- Find modern equivalents of some of the household artefacts found at Skara Brae, such as: ‘beads for jewellery; pots to hold some sort of paint; ivory needles to sew animal skins together; air-tight storage boxes to keep meat and food fresh; cupboards to keep the boxes in; and stone seats to sit on’. You could either take photos or make sketches of any modern ‘artefacts’ within your classroom or as part of a homework project.
There are also other co-created pupil prehistory resources available as the following Teaching Activities:
Learning aims and outcomes
- Learn about the types of houses used in the New Stone Age (Neolithic)
- Learn about the everyday life of people in the New Stone Age (Neolithic)
- Assess the different types of archaeological evidence from the New Stone Age (Neolithic)
- Understand how knowledge of the past comes from a range of sources
- Recall facts you’ve learned to answer the quiz questions
- I can provide reasoning to justify my answers
No prior knowledge is required, but pupils might find it helpful to also look at our Stone Age to Iron Age timeline.
Extended learning and useful links
- Find out more about Skara Brae on Historic Scotland’s CANMORE website.
- Find out more about the reconstructed Neolithic Houses at the Stonehenge Visitor Centre.
- Learn more about the Mesolithic with the Tees Archaeology Mesolithic Leaflet and Hunter-Gatherers Booklet
- Teaching Activity Prehistoric Rock Art
- Teaching Activity Must Farm: What was life like in Bronze Age Cambridgeshire?