We’re studying the prehistoric period in my English Language Learner World History class, and did a simple lesson last week that went fairly well. I thought readers might find it a useful one that incorporates reading, writing, speaking and listening domains.

Here are the instructions I gave students (you can also download them here):

Cave Painting Project

Hunter-Gatherers did not have a written language.  Instead, they “wrote” by paintings stories on the walls of caves.

Take notes about what you see in the cave paintings we view using the computer projector.  Look at the page of symbols archeologists have found on caves around the world.  Review the text and images in the book about the tools hunter-gatherers had and the animals that were in their world.

Imagine that a large sheet of paper is the cave of a wall, and your colored pencils are minerals that the Hunter-Gatherers mixed with clay to create colored sticks.

For a few minutes today, we will close our eyes and imagine what our day would be like if we were Hunter-Gatherers.

Then, you will “paint” the story of your day on the paper. 

You will also write a short paragraph explaining in words what happened that day.

The page of symbols I refer to in the instructions can be found here.

The other resources I used can be found at The Best Sites For Learning About Prehistoric Cave Paintings.

The visualization part of the lesson went particularly well, as I walked them through a rather difficult day for a prehistoric person – I assume most days were pretty difficult for them!

After they completed their “drawings,” we did “speed-dating” with students showing and telling their stories.

Here is an example of one of them: