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.     (143 views)

Printable Calendar of Historical Anniversaries 2017-2018

Printable Calendar of Historical Anniversaries 2017-2018! I’ve now finished work on my classroom calendar of notable anniversaries for the forthcoming school year, which you can download by following the link. I’ve also added a facility so you can search for your own alternative events too. (5688 views)

Using Knowledge Cubes for hands on discussions

Overview When students conduct research on key individuals, get them to write up their findings on a cardboard cube, with each of the six faces covering a different theme. After the class has exchanged its findings in the form of a balloon debate or similar, collect the cubes in and, as an extension activity, invite pairs of students to…

Protest placards: design, anticipate, react

Overview When studying an issue, event or personality which is open to different interpretations, get students to design a placard summarising their personal viewpoint. Alternatively, ask students to suggest how particular historians or observers would summarise their viewpoint in just a few words, or even anticipate what the actual slogans were in photographs of genuine protest marches. Example 1…

“Create a Google Doodle to represent our topic”

At the close of a topic or as a revision exercise, ask students to design their own ‘Google Doodle’ to represent the essence of the subject. What symbols, colours, terms could they use? This is an idea from @littlestobbsy on Twitter. (2185 views)

PieChart Prioritisation

At the end of a unit of study about causation, ask students to divide responsibility between factors in an Excel template which automatically converts the percentage splits into piecharts; thereafter they have to explain their reasoning. Here’s an example where students had to reflect upon WHO and WHAT was most responsible for the First World…

Causation Diagram Template

The following image comes from an old textbook, and illustrates the respective importance of long, mid and short-term factors in causing World War One. I created a ‘blanked out’ version which I provide to students at the end of a topic and ask them to decide what factors they would place in the various spots in the…

Create a tweet for a fictional/historical character

The “Twister” template allows you to create fictional “status updates” that can then be printed off for display purposes. Students could be asked What are the most important people in this topic? What was their most important moment within the topic? What would their comment be about it? What particular keywords would they use within…

Design a children’s storybook

After studying a complex topic, challenge students to turn it into an illustrated storybook that can be understood by primary school students. Spend time in class talking through the main concepts, events and personalities that should be covered in a brief story. Consider too which images could be used to bring the subject to life….

Museum in a Box

I really like this idea from @ChrisWaterworth, who shared this nice picture of “Our school collection of Borrowers Homes” as a primary school project. This reminded me of the concept of a “Museum in a Box”, which would follow on neatly from the ‘Curate an Exhibition‘ task outlined in this earlier post. Once students had decided…

Balloon Debates!

“You are in a hot air balloon that is losing height rapidly. It will soon crash into the side of a mountain because it is overweight. To prevent the certain death of everybody on board, only one person will be allowed to stay in the balloon!” Balloon debates are a great way of promoting research…

Make a Mask!

When conducting debates in role, get students to create a simple mask to add an extra dimension to the event. Use Google Images to locate an image of the character’s face. Copy and paste this into Word. Scale it up so it fits the available space. Print off on A4 and it will be roughly the…

“Design a DVD Inlay”

As a way of consolidating or revising knowledge and understanding of a study unit, students have to design a DVD inlay for a fictional documentary film / biopic. They should give careful thought to the images to include, the cast list, the reviews, the ‘blurb’ at the back, and so on – using real DVD…

“Design a new page for your textbook”

Students identify an aspect of the topic that is not covered in sufficient detail in their standard level textbook. They then have to produce a page or a double-spread in the same style of the textbook covering that particular topic area, complete with sources, questions and other tasks as appropriate. Thanks to @BSB_Humanities for the…

Students design a Hollywood Film about the study topic

A great way to get students familiar with the key events of a historical person’s life and consider concepts of significance. Stage 1: Start by outlining the central task  [themify_box style=”purple comment rounded” ] You are a Hollywood director producing a film about [person / topic]. You will produce a poster advertising your film, including: –…

Image Wipe

Provide students with an image with key details partly obscured. Ask them to anticipate what might be going on, when and where it comes from, and any other relevant questions (see image slideshow for ideas). Then uncover the image and ask them the same questions again. Finally, ask them to speculate about what happened before /…

“Open Me” Display Pieces

When producing a display poster summing up several ideas, students should identify a ‘cover image’ for each main part of the  piece. This should be ‘lifted up’ to expose the written detail. See the image for an idea of how this works. Taking it further: An even simpler method is to take a piece of A4,…

Design a Cartoon

For a homework exercise, get students to design a political cartoon to illustrate one key aspect of the topic from either a negative or a positive perspective. No words allowed. In a subsequent lesson, the pictures are swapped around and each student answers the question “What is the message of this cartoon?” using the framework…

Modern Makeover: Where would they be now?

Overview: After studying a historical character, students have to superimpose their face onto an appropriate modern scene / character and explain their choice. Taking it further: Some students should focus on producing positive impressions, other negative – in other words, some images are designed to work as propaganda, whilst others could have been produced by their…

Using Hexagon Learning for categorisation, linkage and prioritisation

The ability to select, prioritise, categorise and link evidence is a valuable skill that students learn in History. It is also highly transferable to other subjects. Using hexagons is a particularly simple and effective way of developing these skills. Read a detailed case study here. I have created an Online Hexagons Generator at ClassTools.net.  …

“Wheel of Life” Template

A simple, visual way to evaluate historical and literary characters from more than one perspective! Students choose a fictional or historical character to evaluate and write their name into the template. Decide on at least 4, but up to 8, ways to rate your historical/fictional character (e.g. loyalty, friendliness, intelligence, determination, tolerance – this is…