Another great day at the museum!
Debbie and I trialled the trading activity. In a nutshell the children win cards with words or objects as a reward for answering questions and then try to form sentences from the words - trading cards with each other or using money to buy more useful words. We talk a lot about value - in terms of the worth of things changing depending on how much someone wants things, and how many people want things, and how the value of a sentence depends on whether you think the best is the funniest or the weirdest or the truest. Or just the one you mates make up.
Because the task was so open-ended the children went about it in different ways. We had haggling and bidding wars, we had gentle persuasion. We had one child who bought my stock of cards to sell on at a profit. We had children reneging on deals and hoarding to stop other children getting the good words. I think it helped them think a lot about how money works and hopefully what's fair and isn't fair. (Can you stop children thinking about what's fair and isn't fair?!)
At some point I'm going to write a Hermes poem that signposts some of the interesting issues around trading and also to bring it back to thinking about the values that are attached to words.
But for now, I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself.
Also, this article about Benin came up in the Guardian, so I'm popping it here for later.