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. (113 views)

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. (275 views)

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. (243 views)

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. (158 views)

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. (101 views)

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. (89 views)

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. (70 views)

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. (86 views)

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. (113 views)

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…

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!     (2033 views)

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. (613 views)

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…

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]. (127 views)

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)   (137 views)

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…

Richard Holmes: War Walks – The Somme (28m) | Student Worksheet | Teacher Answers

Video: Richard Holmes: War Walks – The Somme (28m) | Student Worksheet | Teacher Answers The late, great Richard Holmes is still the best TV military historian. Here’s a video, worksheet and teacher answers on the Battle of the Somme. Part of the comprehensive set of materials on World War One from ActiveHistory. (392 views)

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…

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. (534 views)

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…

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…

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 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. (203 views)

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…

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.   (707 views)

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. (492 views)

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…

Civil Rights Movement – Student research tasks / presentation instructions

Student research tasks / presentation instructions Each member of the class chooses one research task from a list of 10 options provided. Suggested sources and approaches are given in the worksheet. The students should then share their findings with the class. Links to useful sources are provided, such as this short video about the Black…

Student-friendly Sourcework Rubric

Student-friendly Sourcework Rubric This rubric provides a student-friendly mark scheme and tips for structuring each of the answers for the IB Sourcework Paper. For example: [Sourcework Rubric] (288 views)

“Advisor to the Kaiser!” – A new online simulation!

I have completely rewritten and relaunched the Origins of World War One online simulation (available on this page), which now has a detailed work pack, multimedia video clips, a leaderboard, a ‘save game’ feature so that students can return to it as a homework exercise if they don’t complete it in class, and much else besides….

The Rise of Hitler – Images

The Rise of Hitler – Images This double-sided sheet of selected images relating to the rise of Hitler can be used to develop the hexagons display piece still further, or as the basis for a visual essay writing exercise. (172 views)

President Johnson – An Introduction to “LBJ”

LBJ: An Introduction In this engaging task, students are given an overview of LBJ and his famous ‘treatment’, along with video clip links and an extract from an acclaimed biography of the President. From this they are encouraged to identify five key aspects of the “Johnson Treatment” and substantiate each with an extract from the…

Factual test – Kennedy’s Foreign Policy

Factual test – Kennedy’s Foreign Policy In the ‘how certain are you?’ format, this test determines not just what students know, but also how confident they are in their knowledge. (141 views)

Escape the Room! – Mission Havana, 1959

Escape the Room! – Mission Havana, 1959 “You are American business people from the United Fruit Company, placed under house arrest by the new Castro regime due to your close ties to Batista. You have managed to ply the guard with rum and he has passed out. But you have only one hour to find…

Cold War – Random Essay Question Generator!

Cold War – Random Essay Question Generator! This tool is desiged to help teachers and students prepare for the IB Paper 2 exam by generating possible questions to practice and discuss. It is based on the command terms and syllabus bullet points provided in the IB syllabus. Use this tool to generate a random question…

The Treaty of Sevres [1]: The Middle East

The Treaty of Sevres [1]: The Middle East | teacher answer sheet Students learn about the conflicting promises made by the British in the Middle East during World War One, and then tackle this: “It is now 1919. You are Prime Minister David Lloyd George, about to head off for the Paris Peace Conference. Complete this official…

Nixon’s Domestic Policy: Student research task

“Higher level students will write a timed essay on the key question outlined above. You will self-study this topic in your own time. When it comes to revision time we will compare and contrast Nixon and Johnson’s achievements. Your task will be to use a variety of sources to decide for yourself what the main…

Model Essay: “Assess the successes and failures of Nixon’s foreign policy”

Model Essay: “Assess the successes and failures of Nixon’s foreign policy” [teacher password required] Students should close this unit by tackling one of the essay questions outlined above in timed conditions. The essay provided here was written by me in timed conditions whilst my own students tacked a similar question. Part of the new scheme of…

Nixon’s foreign policy: the second administration

Nixon’s second administration (1972-1974) “Nixon’s second administration was mired in the Watergate Scandal, but no less controversial is is handling of foreign affairs in this period. In this part of the investigation you will reach your own judgement on whether Vietnam, Chile, Israel and the Middle East, or South Africa deserves to be regarded as…

Nixon’s foreign policy: The 1972 Presidential Election

The 1972 Presidential Election | Teacher notes “Imagine it’s 1972 election year, with inauguration day due to take place in January 1973. You are deciding how to vote, and Gallup (the public opinion pollsters) have asked for your approval rating of Nixon in the realm of foreign affairs. Using your existing knowledge, discuss with a partner what…

Nixon’s foreign policy: the first administration (1969-72)

Nixon’s first administration (1969-1972) | Teacher notes Students complete a gap-fill exercise providing them with an essential overview of Nixon’s foreign policy. They then conduct extra research and reading to answer such questions as: What were the essential features of the Nixon Doctrine? Use quotes from Nixon himself as appropriate. / Complete the following table to provide an…

Nixon’s Foreign Policy: New study unit

A study of Nixon’s foreign policy makes a great deal of sense if students have already studied the Vietnam War and / or the 1973 Chilean Coup (each of which provides a major area of overlap with Nixon). In this compact study unit, students revisit these topics and broaden out to consider not just Nixon’s policies with the USSR…

Model Essay: Compare and Contrast the Rise of Pinochet and Franco

Model Essay: Compare and Contrast the Rise of Pinochet and Franco Students first have a brainstorm about what are the most frequent causes for the rise of single party state rulers. They then analyse the key methods and conditions which led to the rise of particular individual dictators, then compare and contrast them. In this…

LBJ and the “Great Society”

A new teaching unit on LBJ and the Great Society. After the 1964 election, the Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress. This gave Johnson the mandate to realize his vision of a “Great Society”. Emboldened by his election by more votes than any president in history, Johnson prepared to inundate the 89th…

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre – Teacher model answers

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre | Teacher answers 1) a. According to Source A, why was the campaign in Sharpeville so badly coordinated? [3 marks] 1) b. What is the message conveyed by Source B? [2 marks] 2) With reference to its origin, purpose and content, analyse the value and limitations of Source C for…

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre 1) a. According to Source A, why was the campaign in Sharpeville so badly coordinated? [3 marks] 1) b. What is the message conveyed by Source B? [2 marks] 2) With reference to its origin, purpose and content, analyse the value and limitations of Source C for a historian studying…