Medicine Through Time Expert: Head2Head Virtual Interview Relaunch

Over the Xmas holidays I completely re-coded and relaunched the popular “Head2Head Interview with Dr. Fox” which can be found here. The new version has an improved artificial intelligence engine and a modernised layout so that students appear to be having a text chat with the character on their mobile device.

Adolf Hitler: Head2Head Virtual Interview Relaunch

Over the Xmas holidays I completely re-coded and relaunched the popular “Head2Head Interview with Adolf Hitler” which can be found here. The new version has an improved artificial intelligence engine and a modernised layout so that students appear to be having a text chat with the character on their mobile device.

Martin Luther King, Jr: Head2Head Virtual Interview Relaunch

Over the Xmas holidays I completely re-coded and relaunched the popular “Head2Head Interview with MLK” which can be found here. The new version has an improved artificial intelligence engine and a modernised layout so that students appear to be having a text chat with the character on their mobile device.  

William the Conqueror: Head2Head Virtual Interview Relaunch

Over the Xmas holidays I completely re-coded and relaunched the popular “Head2Head Interview with William the Conqueror” which can be found here. The new version has an improved artificial intelligence engine and a modernised layout so that students appear to be having a text chat with the character on their mobile device.

Josef Stalin: Head2Head Virtual Interview Relaunch

Over the Xmas holidays I completely re-coded and relaunched the popular “Head2Head Interview with Josef Stalin” which can be found here. The new version has an improved artificial intelligence engine and a modernised layout so that students appear to be having a text chat with the character on their mobile device.

25-Question Factual Test – the Korean War

25-Question Factual Test To test knowledge and understanding at the end of the unit (teacher password required). Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

The Korean War: Collapsible Revision Notes

The Korean War: Collapsible Revision Notes Interactive notes which can be collapsed or expanded to various levels of detail for revision purposes. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

The Korean War: Interactive Cartoon analysis

The Korean War: Interactive Cartoon analysis Analyse a series of cartoons by hovering over details and answering exam-style questions. When you have finished, the computer will provide you with a printout comparing your answer to a model answer. A great way to revise and develop sourcework skills. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on…

Korean War Fling the Teacher Quiz

Korean War Fling the Teacher Quiz 75 possible questions: I like to get all the students playing it simultaneously, and award 25 points for the first person to finish, 24 for the next, and so on; over the course of a few weeks you can build up a “Fling the Teacher Leaderboard” if you play…

Cartoon story analysis – The Korean War

Consolidation activity [3]: Cartoon story analysis Students take a cartoon story about the war and analyse it for partiality and omissions. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

Mapwork – The Korean War

Consolidation activity [2]: Mapwork Students have to match a range of maps to key moments in the war to consolidate their understanding. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

Korean War – Mini-Debates

Mini-Debates Students are placed into prosecution and defence teams to analyse Truman’s handling of the Korean War. There are some completed teacher notes available for this exercise. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

Truman makes his decision about MacArthur

Truman makes his decision about MacArthur “Read the following sources, then use them to answer the following question: In your view, do you think that Truman was right to fire General MacArthur? Explain your answer by considering both sides.” Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

Should Truman tolerate or fire MacArthur for his criticisms?

Should Truman tolerate or fire MacArthur for his criticisms? MacArthur asks Truman to threaten atomic attacks on China if they refuse to withdraw from Korea. Rejecting MacArthur’s advice, Truman refuses to threaten retaliation against China, fearing that this could lead to a Third World War. As a result, MacArthur starts openly criticizing Truman’s policies in…

Should Truman support MacArthur and commit the USA to a ‘total war’ in Korea?

Should Truman support MacArthur and commit the USA to a ‘total war’ in Korea? Using a variety of sources within a timeline, students decide whether Truman should follow MacArthur’s advice and threated retaliation against China unless they withdraw from Korea. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

Korean War – Interactive Newsfeed Exercise

Korean War – Interactive Newsfeed Exercise Students are presented with a series of “newsfeeds” about the Korean War, which they use to complete this worksheet, and then answer a series of questions. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War.

Primary source analysis – causes of the Korean War

Who was responsible for the outbreak of the Korean War? Was Truman right to commit troops to the conflict? Partway through the presentation students will be required to evaluate a series of primary source documents regarding these issues. An additional optional source is extracts from NSC-68. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the…

“Z-A” QUIZ GENERATOR – ideal for lesson starters/plenaries!

A new quiz generator at www.classtools.net. How to play: Organise your students into teams. Your list of terms will slowly be revealed, letter by letter, in reverse alphabetical order. Students raise their hands as soon as they think they can: EITHER identify what the terms are (for 1 point) OR identify what all the terms…

James Spod: Undercover in Nazi Germany!

By popular request, a ‘Save Game’ feature has now been added to the “James Spod: Undercover in Nazi Germany” game. Let me know if there are any other requests!    

Guidance for writing the coursework essay for students

This document – guidance for writing the coursework essay for students – outlines how to write an introduction, a conclusion, and provides a range of key words and phrases to help them analyse significance. It also makes use of the ClassTools “Essay Writing Bookmark” which I have made freely available for download here.

Calendar for Educators, 2018-2019

Calendar for Educators, 2018-2019 The following project developed from my “History in the News” facility which I also recommend you look at. 1. Here is a FREE printable calendar providing notable anniversaries (multiples of 50 years only) for research, discussion, assemblies and personal projects. Ideas for student tasks: Choose one event to research further and deliver a…

October Revolution: Historiography and Primary Sources

C. Was the October Revolution a coup d’etat or a popular uprising? Primary / Secondary Source Material As the next phase of the investigation, students read through a series of selected primary and secondary accounts of the events of October 1917 and decide where each can be used, and which quotes are best to include….

How stable was the Tsarist regime on the eve of World War One?

How stable was the Tsarist regime on the eve of World War One? Politically, one of the major events that occurred in Russia during World War One was the overthrow of the Tsarist regime. Assessing the significance of World War One in this context requires us to consider whether the war CAUSED or merely ACCELERATED…

Significance of WW1 for Russia: Study Guide

Overview and study guide During the Cold War, the debate about the nature and origins of the 1917 Communist Revolution was particularly heated. The Capitalist West was eager to discredit the origins of the USSR, and the USSR was equally determined to romanticise them. Since the end of the Cold War, the debate has continued…

“Drag and Drop” quiz generator

Simply input your items here, one per line, and click ‘submit’ to create a quick and easy drag-and-drop exercise [sample]. TIP: Split items with an asterisk to create a quiz with a fixed left-hand column, as in: July 1916 * Battle of the Somme begins

Certificate Generator

I’ve just finished coding a new Certificate Generator at www.classtools.net. Simply fill in the fields to get an editable certificate you can award to students.    

The Rise of Hitler: Essay Planning Generator

This new essay-planning generator helps students consider how five key factors which caused the Rise of Hitler can be linked in various ways. The computer shuffles the various factors as a pack. It then deals out the first two and connects them using a database of possible links. It then takes the third factor and…

Origins of World War One: Essay-Planning Generator

This new essay-planning generator helps students consider how five key factors which caused the First World War can be linked in various ways. The computer shuffles the various factors as a pack. It then deals out the first two and connects them using a database of possible links. It then takes the third factor and…

Causes of the Spanish Civil War: Essay Planning Generator

This new essay-planning generator helps students consider how five key factors which caused the Spanish Civil War can be linked in various ways. The computer shuffles the various factors as a pack. It then deals out the first two and connects them using a database of possible links. It then takes the third factor and…

IB Induction – WW2 Trivia Challenge

As part of the IB Induction Project outlined here, I have uploaded a ‘trivia challenge’ which I use within the opening assembly: [student version | teacher answers].

IB Induction Project – Assembly Presentation

As part of the cross-curricular IB Induction project outlined here, I have uploaded my own personal assembly presentation and presenter notes. Assembly (based around this PowerPoint presentation and these presenter notes)  

New decision-making simulation: “Time Machine Journey to the Renaissance”

Recoded, rewritten, relaunched: the popular “Time Machine Journey to Renaissance Florence” has been completely revamped with fresh features including: A live ‘leaderboard’ so that teachers can monitor student progress; The ability for students to print off a certificate of achievement at the end; Factual questions testing essential knowledge throughout the simulation.  

What is history all about? The who, when and why!

What is history all about? The who, when and why! A teacher-led online presentation, based around three central themes and leading neatly into the ‘time machine’ activity which follows: 1. When (Periods): Historians are Time Travellers! 2. Who (People): Historians are Friendly Time Travellers! 3. What (Evidence): Historians are Friendly Time Travelling Detectives! Part of the…

Time machine display card

Time machine display card A nice stand-alone activity that can take place at any point during this study topic. Ask students to consider when, where and who they would visit (any why!) if they had a time machine. Then instruct each student to produce their own completed version of a foldable card which can form…

JFK: Speech on Castro and Cuba, 1960

JFK: Speech on Castro and Cuba, 1960 The centerpiece of JFKs attack on the Eisenhower administration was its failure to anticipate and then deal with the rise of Castro. The following speech is therefore very useful evidence for developing your analysis of the conditions which brought Castro to power. Moreover, it is a classic example…

Virtual Reality Images: War Memorials

Tip: Access this page with your smartphone, and click the Google Cardboard icon which will appear on the image. View the image with your VR Headset, and simply shake or nod your head to move to the next image! Part of the “Delivering a World War One Battlefields Trip” resources from ActiveHistory.

Berlin Residential Trip: Maps, Multimedia, Itineraries and Workpacks

In 2018 I took history students to Berlin on a residential trip for the first time after they completed this preparatory task based on selected video clips. The Google maps and work packs on this page illustrate the division of Berlin during the Cold War, and the clear outline of the Berlin Wall (with inner/outer…

History of Berlin: Multimedia note-taking task

In 2018 I took history students to Berlin on a residential trip for the first time after they completed this preparatory task based on selected video clips. The following Google maps illustrate the division of Berlin during the Cold War, and the clear outline of the Berlin Wall (with inner/outer walls marked, and the death…

Model Essay: Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War

Model Essay: Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War A sample essay by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. 40+ Model History Essays by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make it a habit to write essays in timed conditions whenever I set such assignments…

Model Essay – How successful were Mussolini’s Domestic Policies?

Model Essay – How successful were Mussolini’s Domestic Policies? (note: teacher password required). An essay completed in timed conditions by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. 40+ Model History Essays by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make it a habit to write essays in timed…

Model Essays on Mao’s China

Model Essays by RJ Tarr (note: teacher password required). Analyse the methods and conditions which led to to the rise of Mao as ruler of China. Compare and Contrast the Rise of Mao and Stalin (originally published in History Review) Compare and Contrast the Rise of Pinochet and Franco Compare and Contrast the Rise of Mao and…

Analyse the causes and consequences of the Korean War

Model Essay: Analyse the causes and consequences of the Korean War (teacher password required). A sample essay written by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. A sample essay written by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. 40+ Model History Essays by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make…

Analyse the causes of the Italian Wars 1494-1516

Analyse the causes of the Italian Wars 1494-1516 (model essay by RJ Tarr – teacher password required). 40+ Model History Essays by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make it a habit to write essays in timed conditions whenever I set such assignments with my…

40+ Model History Essays by Russel Tarr

As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make it a habit to write essays in timed conditions whenever I set such assignments with my classes. These serve as very useful teaching aids which help students to develop their own essay-writing skills. Provided here are more than 40 essays and…

Who is your historical hero?

I have updated this popular project with some several more illustrative examples and a link to the Amazon store where you can purchase cardboard cubes to allow your students to make more professional “History Cubes”!

Crime Board: Who was Jack the Ripper?

Crime Board: Who was Jack the Ripper? As an alternative to producinga straightforward ‘Wanted’ poster for the killer following the computer simulation, students could instead consider producing a ‘Crime Board’ connecting the various pieces of evidence to different suspects to produce an overall theory.

Turbo-Timeline Generator!

I have developed a brand-new timeline generator over at ActiveHistory’s sister site, ClassTools.net. All you have to do is COPY and PASTE a timeline from a website or word document, click a button and you get an animated timeline you can navigate through. Here is an example on the Life and Career of Cromwell, and…

How did Cromwell rule England 1649-1658?

How did Cromwell rule England 1649-1658? Students fill the gaps in a detailed account with the words listed at the bottom of it, then use this information to answer the questions which follow.

England without a King: How should the country be governed?

After the execution of Charles I in 1649 England became a republic – a country without a King – and was called the ‘Commonwealth’ after the phrase ‘Common Weal’ or ordinary people. No-one had any experience of how to run the country, but there were several groups who had their own ideas…

Oliver Cromwell’s Life and Career

Oliver Cromwell’s Life and Career Oliver Cromwell is a controversial character. There are often calls for his statue outside Parliament to be taken down. In this lesson we will investigate his life and career in more detail to decide whether he deserves to be remembered as a famous hero or an infamous villain.

What sort of a man was Oliver Cromwell?

What sort of a man was Oliver Cromwell? A series of sources are provided and students consider such questions as “What is the difference between ‘famous’ and ‘infamous’?” / “How far do these sources agree about Cromwell?” / “Why do you think they might disagree about some things (hint: think about who wrote them, when…

Rule of Pinochet / 1973 Chilean Coup: Dialogue Poem Starter Activity

Starter Activity: Dialogue Poem After a study of the 1973 Chilean Coup, and before/during a study of Pinochet’s rule of Chile, ask two female students to read out the following dialogue poem to the class as a powerful starter activity. For further ideas about using “Dialogue Poems” in class, follow this link on Tarr’s Toolbox:…

“Backward Essay Planning” – the Rule of Pinochet

“Backward Essay Planning” – the Rule of Pinochet In this activity, students are presented from the outset with a model essay on the subject of the Rise of Pinochet. They then go through this reading it carefully for style and content, highlighting off key features and discussing their thoughts with the class. Next, each student…

New Interactive Timeline Generator!

Create an interactive classroom newsfeed using this simple interface! Simply provide a list of points you wish to share with your students. ClassTools will then turn it into an ‘race against the clock’ newsfeed for your students to take notes from as efficiently as possible! Here’s a sample, but you can easily create your own!

Escape the Room: Mission Rivonia!

A new one-hour introductory lesson to Apartheid South Africa. “It is 1966. You are anti-apartheid fighters who have been captured after being in hiding since the Rivonia Trial of 1964. Following the assassination of Prime Minister Verwoerd, you have been discovered and placed under house arrest following a dawn raid by the police. You have…

The Victorians through Paintings: Video Clips List

Was life good or bad in Victorian Britain? – A study through paintings The following stand-alone study unit is delivered over 7-8 hours. Inspired by the excellent Jeremy Paxman series on “The Victorians”, it is designed to develop skills of visual literacy as well as essay writing. Students draw deductions from a range of Victorian…

The February Revolution of 1917

The February Revolution of 1917 Students take a detailed timeline of events and place each event into one of three columns: political damage, military damage, socio-economic damage. From this they decide when exactly the Tsar lost control of the politicians, the armed forced and the ordinary people. They then put each of these crises in…

From Yalta to Potsdam – the wartime alliance starts breaking down

From Yalta to Potsdam Through a focus on primary source analysis, students investigate how far Truman’s bellicosity towards the Soviet Union was apparent from the outset, or was merely a position he adopted once he was in possession of the atomic bomb. Part of the comprehensive unit on Cold War Origins to 1949.

Introduction to Racism: An introduction to Rights and Protest

Racism – A (provocative!) introduction to “Rights and Protest” Before starting study for the IB Sourcework Paper “Rights and Protest” I like to get students thinking about the concept of racism and its expression in the 21st century. By doing this, I hope to challenge them out of the complacent view that modern Western society…

Video worksheet: “Brunel” by Jeremy Clarkson | Factual Test 

Video worksheet: “Brunel” by Jeremy Clarkson | Factual Test  A worksheet to accompany the excellent documentary on Brunel by Jeremy Clarkson. I get students to play the Horatio Ramsbottom Game, then we watch this and complete the worksheet, then students choose whether to base their imaginary interview on Brunel or Ramsbottom. Based on their choice, they then…

Escape the Room – Mission: Rome!

“You are a team of famous archaeologists preparing an exhibition about the Roman Empire which is due to open in just 45 minutes. The prize exhibit has been locked away safely by your team leader, but he has now been kidnapped by a group of art thieves who are asking for a ransom. Your task…

Create a Xmas (his)Tree for your classroom!

Here is a festive list of Christmas-themed History lessons for all secondary school year groups! You can also download this new set of 25 ‘baubles’ of historical events that took place over the Christmas season to make your very own Xmas (his)Tree!

IB Extended Essay: Marksheet and Guidance

Marksheet and Guidance A student-friendly version of the IB mark scheme, combining the generic guidance from the IB as well as its subject-specific criteria for History.

How similar were the Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises?

Conclusions: How similar were the Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises? | Teacher Model Answers Students are provided with a writing frame which helps them compare and contrast the causes, course and consequences of the two crises.  

The Abyssinian Crisis

The Abyssinian Crisis Students are presented with a detailed breakdown of the crisis and watch several video clips to help them form judgements. A cartoon analysis exercise then follows.

Roleplay: The Manchurian Crisis | Rolecards

Roleplay: The Manchurian Crisis | Rolecards This roleplay exercise is a great way to get students thinking about the possible courses of action open to the League. Students are given an essential briefing about the Manchurian Dispute, and are then organised into five groups representing different countries. Each country is given a role card outlining…

*NEW* Simulation: Can you survive life in the trenches in World War One?

A brand new simulation! “In this simulation you will be a British soldier who joins the army in 1914 to fight the Germans. You will learn about the conditions which soldiers lived and fought in, and the dangers they faced. There is a worksheet to go with this activity which you should complete as you proceed.  You…