11,000 Years Ago: Stories from the Middle Stone Age

This resource consists of a set of 9 short stories.

All the stories can be downloaded here.

For each there is:

  • a set of background notes for each story;
  • a set of suggested classroom activities.

Some of the activities have supporting information or worksheets:

Moving home

Sister and brother (Neska, aged 9, and Mutil, aged 6) move back with their family from the coast to the lake inland where they live during the summer. They have to repair last year's houses, but look forward to the plentiful food from the lake and the forest.

Making things

The family set about making the different tools they need from the natural materials in the landscape. Neska's father is injured by a wild boar.

This story has a separate activity guide:


Neska's mother goes off hunting with her uncle and comes back with a deer. The others have been preparing for fishing and gathering plants. That night they ate a full meal and were thankful to the spirits of nature.

The following worksheets can be used with this story:

Friends and strangers

They spy another group of people coming towards them on the lake shore. Are they strangers and dangerous? They turn out to be cousins and part of their wider family. They come together over summer to share their lives and help each other.

A hint of winter

The day grow short and the weather becomes colder. The family will have to decide soon whether to leave the lake and return to the coast for the winter where they can fish and eat the shellfish and seaweed of the seashore.

Coming of age

Lagun is nervous today. He will undergo a ceremony that will turn him from a boy into a man. He will wear the antler headdress, be hunted by the adults and 'die' to be reborn as a man.

A new life

Neska is older now, married to Lagun and today gives birth to her first child. This is a new life for the family and the birth must be done right with the old rituals.

This story is supported by an illustration of a burial from Denmark:

The bad old days

The elders love to tell stories around the camp fire. Tonight's story is of the old days, long ago when the world was very cold. The old animals were disappearing and new animals, trees and plants replacing them. They had to learn new ways and leave their old life behind.

This story is illustrated by a map of northern Europe at 11,000 years ago:

Boys or girls, animals or plants

Gazte was annoyed. She wanted to go and hunt with her father, not spend the day picking plants. Her brother Gorri was happy doing that, but not she. It was so unfair. She would be as a good a hunter as any of the boys when she grew u