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Primary Aged Children Online Resources

Welcome to Durham University Library and Collections’ primary online learning resources. These resources will help bring our collections into your learning. 

Using Primary Sources Interactives

What is History: Introduction to Primary Sources

Suitable for KS2 to KS3 pupils, this is a quick introduction to what are primary and secondary sources.
Image of documents

Rich and Poor in Tudor Times: What Can Inventories Tell Us?

Find out more about life in Tudor Times by using one or more of the eleven inventories in this online investigation.
Archival documents of Tudor inventories

What was Durham Market Place like? A Local History Study

An online investigation which uses the example of the Market Place in Durham to examine what life was like in the past.
Archival map showing the Durham Market place in the Speed Atlas, 16th century

Victorian Durham

To help you find out more about life in Victorian Durham we have developed a series of case studies highlighting different themes or aspects of life.
Photograph showing Durham City from Framwellgate Peth. DUL ref: Gibby City

Why did the Indus Valley Civilisation collapse?

Investigate the Indus Valley civilisation and its ‘collapse’. Pupils and teachers can explore photographs and objects from the Oriental Museum's collection.
Image of an Indus Valley ceramic decorated bowl from the oriental Museum collection.

Throwing it Out There

Explore these interactive and free learning resources using the museum of Archaeology's under water archaeology to find out more about the stories they can tell us.
Pixalated image of a person standing on a bridge throwing a personal item into a pixelated river.

Downloadable Resources

Please download these free resources to use in your classroom or to complement your visit, outreach or online session with us to further build our collections into your curriculum.

Pre and post-visit activities (jump to section) 

Interactive resources (jump to section)

After your visit, play these fun Post-visit quizzes with your class.

Pre and post-visit activities

To complement your visit to our venues please download these resources.

Lunar New Year

Find out about Spring Festival, observed in many Asian countries and celebrating the beginning of the new year on the lunisolar calendar. 

Watch the story of the Great Race

Museum Collection Timelines

Explore the Museum of Archaeology, Durham Castle and the Oriental Museum through our objects. Use our timelines to see what was being made across the world throughout history.


Discover more about the prehistoric tribes, their coins and what the Romans thought about the people of Ancient Britain. 

Ancient Egypt

Find out more about ancient Egyptian food, writing and mummification with these downloadable resources. 

Ancient Greeks

Explore the Museum of Archaeology from home with activities based around the collections. 


Download our free Roman resources and learn all about how Latin influenced the English language. 

Anglo Saxons

Find out more about Anglo Saxon Art with these downloadable resources. 

First World War

Use our collections to find out more about the First World War. Learn how to send messages using semaphore. 

Local History

Learn about the importance of the national census and discover how to read the 1911 census. 


Discover more about this major world religion. 


Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Learn the epic story of Princess Sita, her capture and ultimate escape from the evil King Ravana which Hindus retell during Diwali. 

Watch the story of the Ramayana

Ancient Games

Explore our free, downloadable games inspired by our collections which you can play at home with your family. 

Either print out these sheets or draw the simple game boards yourself. Collect some counters (stones, buttons, anything will do!) and some dice. Then you are ready to play these exciting games of chance, skill and strategy. There are nine games for you to try, find the free downloads below.

From Ancient Egypt: Senet (The Gateway)

Senet is one of the oldest known board games in the world. To win the game you will need a keen eye, a strategic mind and a little bit of luck!

From Ancient Greece: Pente Grammai (Five Lines) 

Known as ‘the game of heroes’ and it is said to have been played by Ancient Greek heroes Ajax and Achilles, in their camp during the famous siege of Troy. 

From Ancient Rome: Ludus Latrunculorum (The Game of Brigands) 

A game of military strategy, Ludus Latrunculorum allowed Roman soldiers to plan moves and countermoves in battle, but it was also played purely as a pastime. 

From Anglo-Saxon Britain: Merels (Six Men’s Morris) 

Merels, or Six Men’s Morris, was played across Anglo-Saxon Britain. The objective of the game is to try and make a ‘mill’, a line of three counters running vertically or horizontally, while blocking the mills of your opponent. 

From Viking Britain: Hnefatafl (The King’s Table) 

This game allowed Viking warriors to practice how to protect their leaders, as well as how to ambush enemy parties. 

From Tudor England: The Game of the Goose 

The Game of the Goose is a race game played with dice where the first player to reach the end is the winner. The first commercially-produced boardgame in history, played in royal courts and at home by wealthy families. The race is on! 

From India: Aadu Puli Attam (Goats and Tigers) 

The game is designed to show the importance of teamwork and that even if you seem small and weak, you can beat a larger and more powerful enemy by working together. Good luck! 

From Early Islamic Civilisations: Mancala (Move) 

Mancala is a strategic ‘count and capture’ game, with players timing their turns and choosing their positions to collect more stones than their opponent.

From Japan: Gomoku (Five in a Row) 

Originally played on the squared boards of the much more complicated game, Go, Gomoku has many variations across the world but has existed in Japan since the mid-19th century.

A Trip to the Theatre

Playscripts, activities and more! Make your own ancient theatre experience at home and share your experience with us. 

The Ancient Greek playwrights wrote some amazing plays, performed in the great theatrical festivals of the god Dionysus. The three main types of Greek plays were tragedies, comedies and satyr plays. These play scripts are based on the original surviving scripts but we have simplified them and made them more accessible to younger children, so all age groups can join in the fun! 

The Frogs 

The Frogs was a comedy written by Aristophanes and was performed at one of the festivals to Dionysus in approximately 405 BCE in Athens. This simplified script is appropriate for primary school children and is written with a modern twist of comedy. 


Medea was a tragedy written by Euripedes and was first performed in approximately 431 BCE. It is based upon the myth of Jason and Medea and is a tale of betrayal, murder and tragic downfall! Suitable for older primary school children and younger secondary school children. Written to be child appropriate. Adults, please read the script to decide if appropriate for your children. 

Interactive resources

Jericho: An Ancient City Revealed

Explore archaeology and Ancient Jericho through two downloadable resource packs designed for KS2. These lesson packs feature tasks for critical thinking, expanding vocabulary, and for arts and crafts, all around the theme of history and archaeology. 

Jericho: An Ancient City Revealed Online Exhibition

Hidden Stories from the River Wear

Explore the collection of Gary Bankhead, an underwater archaeologist, with two downloadable resource packs for teachers designed for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Our mascot, a mini Gary Bankhead, will guide you and your pupils through this pack, offering helpful hints and tips. 

Post-visit quizzes

After your visit, play these fun quizzes with your class. See just how much they remembered!