On a dull, wet afternoon, I decided to take myself to the McManus Gallery in Dundee’s city centre. The beautiful, 150 year old building is situated in Albert Square, Meadowside in Dundee.
Inside the museum is a range of different displays spanning over 400 million years telling the city’s fascinating history, ranging from the skeleton of the famous Tay Whale to Rossetti paintings. Art, history and nature have been combined to make a wonderful and unique experience for people of all ages.
After visiting the McManus myself, I can see it as being a really influential and eye opening trip for young people to experience. I would plan the trip for primary 5 pupils whilst studying ‘The History of Dundee’ as their topic. The visit would be most effective during the topic so that pupils have some sort of idea of what they have been learning and put it into reality. They will also have a clearer picture in their heads of what they have been learning and can then talk and write about what they have seen – they can understand the reasoning behind their learning and this will help them to understand future learning.
When the pupils arrive at the McManus they will look around the museum and galleries and pick one area/topic to focus on. They can take photos of objects or displays using the school cameras as well as taking any important notes on information they see as significant. This will improve their note taking skills as they will have limited time, therefore they will need to only take note of what is important and in limited detail. Pupils will then link their findings with one aspect of the topic they have previously studied.
Possible Experiences and Outcomes:
- By exploring places, investigating artefacts and locating them in time, I have developed an awareness of the ways we remember and preserve Scotland’s history. (SOC 1-02a)
- I can use evidence to recreate the story of a place or individual of local historical interest. (SOC 1-03a)
On the return to school after the trip, pupils will write a newspaper article about their visit and their chosen topic including their photos.
Relevant Interdisciplinary Links:
- Health and Well-being – safety on the school trip (getting on and off of bus, walking in the streets), manners whilst wandering the museum
- I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible. (HWB 1-16a)
- I know and can demonstrate how to travel safely. (HWB 1-18a)
- Technologies – using cameras correctly.
- I can explore and experiment with digital technologies and can use what I learn to support and enhance my learning in different contexts. (TCH 1-01a)
- Using digital technologies responsibly I can access, retrieve and use information to support, enrich or extend learning in different contexts. (TCH 1-02a)
- Literacy – Taking notes correctly, learning how to write in short hand, writing the article using the correct layout.
- I can write independently, use appropriate punctuation and order and link my sentences in a way that makes sense. (LIT 1-22a)
- I can present my writing in a way that will make it legible and attractive for my reader, combining words, images and other features. (LIT 1-24a)
Before heading out on the visit, I would allow the class to take some time to note down any questions they would like to find out the answers to about Dundee’s history. The key questions children will be aiming to answer throughout their visit may include:
- What animals used to roam our area?
- What were the lives of early man like?
- How have people and the city developed over time? (there is a model of the old town in the McManus which would be an effective visual aid for children, making the facts come to life)
After the class have completed their newspaper articles, they will each present their findings and what they have learned in small groups whilst asking one another questions and sharing their experiences. A selection of the pupils work will then be displayed on the classroom walls.