Guidelines for the use of Severn Ship Timeline

Activity title:
Severn Ship Timeline

Curriculum area: History

NC objectives: History: 1a, 1b, 2a, 2d, 3, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 5c, 6, 7, 8a, 9, 10, 11a, 11b

Main learning objective: To demonstrate how ships have changed throughout history and how cultures are affected by sea travel.

Lesson plan ideas, activities and resource sheets

10 minutes

  • Explain that the Severn was one of the most important waterways in Britain and that many different types of boats and ships have sailed along it. This mirrors the situation around the British Isles throughout history.

  • Tell the class that ships and boats have improved over the years, usually becoming larger which means that they can carry more cargo. Use Powerpoint 5.2a ‘The Severn Trow PP’ to demonstrate this.

MAIN ACTIVITY: 40 minutes

  • Give the children 5.2b ‘Create a Severn ship timeline’ and ask the children what they can tell you from observation about the ships illustrated.

  • Tell the class that the task is to see if they can work out where on the time line each ship should go. They should try to decide this based on their observations – but they could use books or IT if required. This can be done individually, in small groups or pairs. Children could cut out or redraw and colour the ships.

  • Answers are on 5.2c ‘Create a Severn ship timeline answers’. The periods are Prehistoric, Roman Britain (2 ships – warship & merchant vessel), Saxon/Viking, Early Medieval, Middle Medieval, Late Medieval, Tudor (2), Elizabethan, Stuart, Georgian, Victorian, 20th Century.

PLENARY: 10 minutes

  • Move around the class and allow pupils to show their work and give a brief explanation of the ship type and what period it belonged to.

Suggested extension activities or cross curricular links:

  • A&DT - Make models of the ships using craft materials.

  • Mathematics & Science – Look at tides on the river.

  • IT – use the Internet to research the types of ships shown.

  • Undertake a visit to the trow Spry at the Ironbridge Museum or to the Purton Hulks (contact Friends of the Purton Hulks at: )


5.2 Guidelines - Severn Ship Timeline

5-2a The Severn Trow

5-2a The Severn Trow (Powerpoint)

5-2b Create a Severn Ships timeline

5-2c Create a Severn Ships timeline - Answers

5-2d Create a Severn Ships timeline - Answers (Diagram)