“Uprise or negotiations?” Oskarshamn, Sweden 1542

We all met on a big field the 29th of April 1542. It was a sunny day in spring and the vicar had gathered us there to decide whether to revolt against or negotiate with the king. During the day everyone discussed what is the best thing to do? At the meal every farm had to motivate their decision. A majority decided to revolt against the king…

For many years Time Travels and cooperation with Kalmar County Museum have been part of education at Rödsle School, Oskarshamn. Time Travels is a way of linking different subjects together for a better understanding. For one day we get the opportunity to experience what it was like to live at the same place as us, a long time ago. Wearing the same kind of clothes, using the tools people used, sharing their joy and fears of course add something extra to lessons at school.

For us teachers it is crucial to use the special knowledge of the staff from the Kalmar County Museum. This helps us to recreate our local history and make it more interesting for the learners.

Together we plan and write a scenario for the Time Travel. To find a special issue or key question for the day is of utmost importance. This will engage our learners and make them take a stand as characters in the Time Travel. It also starts discussions and reflections afterwards when we compare with life today…

This year, the 16th century and the King Gustav Vasa was a theme for grade 5, so we chose our Time Travel to be the 29th of April 1542. We started with the learners questions and finding facts; How were conditions for ordinary people in Oskarshamn those days? Who ruled locally and in the country of Sweden? Before the Time Travel day the learners made up a story of themselves and their family, chose their first name and also the name of their farm.

The day after the event, we discussed in school the decisions made in the Time Travel. We compared the problems of those days with life today. The learners then realised that human problems are of the same kind regardless of time, and we often try to solve them in the same way…

We also took some time discussing the role of the UN in peace making.

Comments from learners:

  • It was more interesting than I thought it would be
  • It was a good feeling to be another character
  • I remember coming back to 2014. It really felt like we had been in 1542!

Astrid Lundqvist, Rödsle School, Oskarshamn