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The Tiger of Qin (available February to October 2018)

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: English, Geography, History, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: World Museum
  • Price: £140 including VAT per session, including exhibition entry
    Why is there a charge?


The First Emperor of China was known by the name ‘Tiger of Qin’ by both those who hated him and those who were close to him. Like a tiger, he devoured his enemies quickly and ruthlessly, relentlessly sticking to his bold ideas for modernising the country.

In this workshop, which accompanies the major exhibition China's First Emporer and the Terracotta Warriors, pupils will use hands-on investigation and their powers of deduction to discover what our handling objects reveal about this legendary man and his infamous army who, over 2200 years ago, created the China we know today.

Please note this session is only available on Wednesday mornings and exclusive entry to the exhibition for school groups is between 9.30-11.30am on Wednesdays.

Further details

detail of terracotta warrior's faceImage © Mr Ziyu Qiu

A welcome delivered by museum staff will introduce pupils to the archaeological site from which the Terracotta Army came, explaining their discovery and how they were excavated. The group will then be divided into three smaller groups to take on the role of junior archaeologists as they look at our handling objects.  

The workshop will look at three topics:

  • The art of war. Pupils will learn about what made Emperor Qin’s real ‘terracotta’ army so powerful and effective.
  • The Emperor’s tomb. Pupils will discover some of the myths about this famous burial site and investigate what treasures Emperor Qin buried in his tomb for the Afterlife.
  • Lasting legacies. Pupils will explore some of the innovations the First Emperor introduced which have endured for more than 2000 years and are still in use in China today.

During this workshop pupils will examine and handle replica objects such as:

  • terracotta warrior figurines,
  • a warrior’s leather armour plate,
  • identification seals,
  • spade money
  • and a selection of grave goods.

We need adult help to ensure the pupils have the best possible experience and to ensure the safety of the artefacts. For this reason you must bring at least three adults for this session. If you don’t bring this ratio of adults we may still be able to run the session but it won’t unfortunately involve the same level of interactivity for the pupils.

Please arrive on time for your workshop or we may not be able to run it for you. Please share these notes with your adult helpers before your visit. This will help them to support your pupils have a successful and enjoyable day.

Curriculum links


  • Know and understand significant aspects of the history of the wider world: the nature of ancient civilisations; the expansion and dissolution of empires; characteristic features of past non-European societies; achievements and follies of mankind.
  • Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make connections, draw contrasts, analyse trends, frame historically-valid questions and create their own structured accounts, including written narratives and analyses.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.


  • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.

SMSC – Fundamental British Values

Through participating in this session students are encouraged to think about democracy, individual liberty and tolerance. 

 Individual liberty:

  • Through the participative approach in the session individual liberty is promoted by enabling students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. This also promotes mutual respect as children listen to and begin to respect each others contributions.

Mutual respect and tolerance:

  • By understanding the Museum’s rules about how to handle our collections tolerance and respect are encouraged.
  • By investigating a wide range of everyday objects from the home, battlefield, and places of work children develop their understanding of different ways of life thus promoting respect and tolerance of cultures differing from their own.

Social skills:

  • Students develop their social skills as they work together as junior archaeologists to investigate what grave goods of the First Emperor may have buried in his tomb.

Rule of law:

  • As students discover the impact and power of the First Emperor and his army in uniting the Waring States to create China they develop their understanding of the rules of law.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • note connections, contrasts and trends over time.
  • understand  characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.


Pupils will:

  • recognise and identify handling objects used in the sessions and some of the evidence they reveal about life in the past.
  • begin to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.
  • begin to recall, select and organise historical information.
  • develop the use of appropriate historical terms.
  • address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.


Pupils will:

  • be introduced to the work of an archaeologist.
  • be introduced to the work of curators and the reasons why the museum has a collection of objects from the past.
  • realise why we use replicas, that have been made in the same way as the ancient items, for a handling workshop.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.


Pupils will:

  • appreciate that the objects they see at World Museum are thousands of years old and the ones they handle are replicas that have been made in the same way.
  • see World Museum as a resource for historical research to help understand  the ancient world.