leighton and the midddle east

Classroom activities

Key Stage 1&2:

Art and Design
Investigating Materials (Unit 1b)
Can Buildings Speak (Unit 2c)
Investigating Pattern (Unit 3b)

Living in a Diverse World
(Unit 5)

Key Stage 3:

Art and Design
What's in a building? (Unit 7b)
Change your style (Unit 9b)

Britain – a diverse society?
(Unit 4)

What were the achievements of the Islamic State 600-1600? (Unit 6, section 5)

Leighton House Webquest (download Word document)download pdf

Key Stage 3 Citizenship:
Britain - A Diverse Society
(Unit 04)

These ideas for activites can be used as preparation for, or follow up from, a museum visit. Alternatively they can be used in conjunction with a 'whole class virtual tour'. The webquests offer separate activities and can be used alongside these activities.

Section 1 & 2: What are my identities?

Use History to 'unpack' contemporary issues of identity. It is useful when discussing this topic with pupils to give an external 'case study' prior to bringing the focus on themselves. A historical case study establishes a sense of distance but also enforces the idea that identity is an age-old reality of humanity.

Aim: To get pupils to understand that everyone, including themselves have multiple identities that must be respected.

Method: Examine Frederic Leighton as a historical figure to give notion of 'identity' a context. Do this via a 'Who Lives Here' exercise using our website.

Resources: Image of Leighton from website, whiteboard making use of museum virtual tour (Flash or simple version), paper and colouring pencils


1) Familiarise yourself with the character of Frederic Leighton by reading the information contained in 'Who was Frederic Leighton' in the Extras Box on our website. Supplementary information can be found in 'Art, Travel, Empires'.

2) Introduce your pupils to Leighton and the period he lived in via a whiteboard lesson making use of the museum virtual tour. By viewing Leighton's home and the contents of the rooms, your pupils will get a more concrete sense of his personality.

3) At the end of the virtual tour get your pupils to jot down words or sentences that they feel might describe the person that once lived in this house.

4) Using the information that your pupils have come up with, construct a sense of 'identity' for Frederic Leighton. Although a British citizen, words such as artist, traveller, interest in other places/peoples should emerge (focus on Arab Hall to illustrate this point).

5) Moving the focus to your pupils, ask them to jot down words that they feel give them a sense of 'identity'. At this point it is best to not include ethnic, cultural or religious definitions but rather guide them towards a more 'light touch' approach as described in the Teachers Guide for Citizenship. Abilities in music, sport, other hobbies etc. are an ideal 'way in'.

6) Once you feel a solid basis has been created, it is then more appropriate to build in definitions of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity.

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