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A Literary Leaf for Black and British: a Short, Essential History


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 5

Literary Theme: Belonging & Acceptance

Author(s): David Olusoga

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 15 session Literary Leaf for Black and British: A Short, Essential History by David Olusoga which covers all aspects of the Upper Key Stage 2 content domains.  Children will begin by considering the author's reasons for writing the book and how their previous knowledge fits with new historical facts they are presented with.  Through the series of lessons children will answer various retrieval questions and consider differences in inference from non-fiction compared to ficational texts, as well as sequencing, summarising and defining key vocabulary relating to specific historical periods.  There are also opportunities for linked writing, such as to debate whether the World Wars had a positive or negative effect on integration.

Synopsis of Text:

We chose this children's version of David Olusoga's Black and British: A Forgotten History as a Literary Leaf as it presents children with an essential opportunity to study often-overlooked details of British history. At a time when there is huge debate around the best ways to teach children about the history of the British Empire and race in the classroom, Olusoga himself describes this book as 'the book I wish I had been given to read when I was at school'.  Throughout, children will be presented with thought-provoking questions and provided with answers otherwise not encountered on the History Curriculum.

Links to Curriculum areas, other Literary Leaves and Planning Sequences:

Freedom Bird by Jerdine Nolan (Y5 planning sequence in the Literary Curriculum) would be an ideal text to teach this alongside.

Black history, British Empire, colony, colonialism, slavery, slave trade, Romans, Tudors, Stuarts, Georgians, Victorians, First World War, Second World War

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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