Events of the French Revolution: Decision-Making Simulation

Part 2 of the French Revolution simulation. It is 1789. You are the French aristocrat, the Count of Camembert. You are an advisor to King Louis XVI of France. Your job is to give him good advice when he faces difficult decisions. The game is complete with sound effects and a worksheet. (934 views)

Causes of the French Revolution: Decision-Making Simulation

A major update to this popular simulation, which now includes sound effects and improved playability. Students journey around pre-revolutionary France and provide advice to the King in the hope of saving his dynasty. Worksheets provided. (1145 views)

History in the Headlines

The latest “History in the Headlines“! This newsfeed is updated (almost!) daily. It provides a hand-selected digest of the automated newsfeed at This provides a great way of adding contemporary relevance to your classroom studies. Why not print some of the articles out and stick them on a news board? Or get your students…

Year 9 History Revision

A selection of quizzes and activities designed to help Year 9 History students revise the year’s work prior to their summer exams. (1060 views)

Origins of the British Empire

An example of how Xtranormal can be used as a learning tool: this project was produced as a homework project by one of my Year 9 students. (665 views)

Year 9 History – Expansion, Trade and Industry

A new workpack to accompany the Coalbrookdale Interactive Census. This completely stand-alone workpack provides 5-6 hours worth of lessons and is a great way to develop sourcework analysis skills. (705 views)

Napoleon Bonaparte: Hero or Villain?

Students conduct a “round robin” exercise, gathering information from their classmates after each student is given just one piece of information from this list. They then have to categorise their points and put them into a diagram using (1054 views)

The Tennis Court Oath

A role-play lesson. Students consider how they would have voted on each of the key issues discussed at the Tennis Court, then compare these to what was actually decided. (1198 views)

Causes of the French Revolution: Assessment

Students are provided with a list of possible questions for a GCSE-style test. In a subsequent lesson, the teacher should pick one question at random and the students write their answers in a timed exercise. (1236 views)

Tsar Alexander II’s Other Reforms: Introduction

Students get into role as government advisors and consider the merits and drawbacks of various possible reforms. They take a class vote and they can then compare these ideas to what was ultimately decided to reach a deeper judgement on the value of Alexander’s reforms. (621 views)

Short Term Causes of the French Revolution: Marie-Antoinette

The teacher should start by showing students this PowerPoint Presentation of stills from the Kirsten Dunst film to decide what impression is being created. They then use the worksheet to decide how accurate the interpretation actually is. (1954 views)

The Edict of Emancipation: Sourcework Analysis

Students read through the Edict of Emancipation of 1861 and use it to consider the motives and methods of Tsar Alexander II. In addition, students are asked to consider how he seeks to allay the fears of the nobility. (731 views)

The Emancipation of the Serfs: Dangers

The benefits of Emancipation are obvious – so why did it take so long for the Tsars to carry out the programme, and why did the prospect generate so much opposition? This worksheet gets students in role to consider the possible drawbacks of various courses of action. (514 views)

Tsar Alexander II: Conclusion

Students are required to produce an obituary – either positive or negative – in this structured task. (844 views)

The Emancipation of the Serfs: Causes

Students consider the main problems facing Imperial Russia when Alexander became Tsar, and how each of these could be improved by the Emancipation of the Serfs. A good way of providing an overview of the situation, and of encouraging students to link factors. (1283 views)

Alexander II: An Introduction

Students consider accounts about the assassination of Tsar Alexander II to start considering why he was a figure who divides historical opinion. (500 views)

Worst Jobs in History

A totally updated version of this interactive, self-contained game designed to teach students about some of the worst jobs available to young people in Victorian, Tudor and Middle Ages Britain. Simply answer a series of questions about your personality and preferences, and get a full description of your perfect working-class job. A workheet is provided…

Create a Map of Imperial Russia

In this worksheet, students are given a list of cities, regions and natural features in Imperial Russia, a knowledge of which is essential for an understanding of the topic. They then have to produce a labelled, colour-coded map which they will be able to refer back to throoughout their studies. (682 views)

Transatlantic Slave Trade – Unit Starter

Students are presented with a series of images of objects, then of people from different continents, and have to deduce from this evidence what the next topic of study is likely to be. (651 views)

The End of Alexander III’s Reign

This final worksheet covers the last days of Alexander III and invites students to offer some closing judgments about his reign. (582 views)

Alexander III: Primary Sources and Questions

The next stage is to conduct some in-depth research based around primary sources from the time which cover some of the big themes: politics, education, the famine, the pogroms. These sources come complete with questions and discussion points to further understanding. (1828 views)

In-Depth Analysis of the Alexander III’s Reign [interactive]

Students make notes from this interactive newsfeed exercise and then organise their findings into various themes and categories using this worksheet. By so doing they start to formulate a view as to how far Alexander’s reputation as a reactionary is deserved. (590 views)

An Introduction to Tsar Alexander III’s Reign

An overview of the upbringing and the personality of Tsar Alexander III. To what extent will his personality and politics equip him to be a good ruler of 19th Century Russia? (628 views)

Starter Activity: Arguments of the Anti-Abolitionists

Students read an extract from the “Gentleman’s Magazine” of 1789 and underline all the arguments the writer puts forward in defence of the slave trade, the considers how these arguments could feasibly be challenged. (809 views)

The Slave Trade – Test

Students are provided with a selection of possible questions in the GCSE Paper 1 format (a. Describe, b. Explain, c. Assess). They are told that one of these three-part questions will be set as the end of unit assessment – it is up to the teacher which to choose! (1702 views)

Conclusion: How was the Slave Trade Abolished?

Students are presented with a detailed timeline of the process of abolition, and then provided with four different tasks to choose from which will enable them to make sense of the information. Students can choose one or a combination of these tasks to complete. (877 views)

The Balloon Debate – Who was the most important abolitionist?

Each student is allocated a different character to research and to produce a wiki about. The class then has a balloon debate over several rounds to determine the overall winner. The debate from students at the International School of Toulouse can be seen here. (2739 views)

Starter Activity: Methods of the Abolitionists

This PowerPoint provides students with an overview of the actual methods used by the real abolitionists. How do they compare with the campaigns the students came up with for Alan Sugartrader? (693 views)

The Apprentice – A Campaign to Abolish the Slave Trade!

Alan Sugartrader of the good ship Amistrad leads the abolitionist movement in your local town. He has invited ambitious young businesspeople to come up with a brand new national campaign designed to generate support for the anti-slavery cause. Using a range of sources and a structured framework for preparation, groups of students have to produce…

Head2Head Worksheets

I have uploaded two worksheets to accompany the Head2Head Virtual Interviews. These are designed to work “off the shelf” and provide focus and direction to students conducting their virutal interviews with Hitler, Henry VIII, Martin Luther King, Dr. Fox and Stalin. 1. Newspaper Interview Task 2. Truth or Fiction Task (586 views)

Life on the Slave Plantations [2] – Images and Explanations

Students are presented with a series of images and explanations and placed into teams for a competition over several rounds to test knowledge and understanding of life on the slave plantations. Instructions for the game can be found here. (1241 views)

Life on the Slave Plantations [1] – Slave Narratives

Students are placed in role as a real-life slave and read a first-person narrative from this sourcepack. They are then interviewed by the class, who records their findings in an attempt to determine the sorts of punishments inflicted for different types of “crimes” on the slave plantations. (815 views)

Runaway Slave Advertisements

This PowerPoint displays a series of advertisements for runaway slaves. Students are encouraged to read through each to deduce the sorts of conditions that slaves had to endure (493 views)

The Art of JMW Turner: PowerPoint Starter

This powerpoint presentation encourages students to analyse two of Turner’s greatest paintings: The Slave Ship and The Fighting Temeraire. Each painting is a great comment on the British Empire and its Slave Trade. A good cross-curricular link! (2170 views)

IB History, new syllabus resources

A new page outlining how I plan to teach the new International Baccalaureate syllabus as from September 2008, complete with links and resources. (522 views)

Origins of the British Empire

Students have to copy and paste key details into the appropriate cells of a table which outlines who, why, where and how the British Empire developed. A great way of providing an overview of the growth of the British Empire. (1484 views)

Jack the Ripper Source Work

Maxi-sourcework assessment Complete with markscheme to test knowledge and understanding about the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 (1 hour). (1013 views)

Other evidence about Jack the Riper

Students are presented with other key facts about Jack and use this to make their own deductions about the killer. These ideas can then serve as the basis for a lively discussion in class. (405 views)

The Personality of Tsar Nicholas II

For IB / A-Level historians. Students should have a good understanding of the main issues and personalities relevant to the topic. This worksheet pushes things forward by considering the particular contribution of Tsar Nicholas II’s personality to the situation by looking at some primary source accounts and inviting students to form their own judgement. (1312…

What did Jack the Ripper look like?

In this worksheet, using witness reports from the crime scenes, students build up their own profile of the killer. How old was he? What social background? What witnesses can be trusted? Why are there such discrepancies between the witness reports? (1036 views)

The Geography of Imperial Russia [interactive]

For IB / A-Level historians. This task, which is best set as a homework exercise, involves getting students producing a map of Imperial Russia which highlights the range and location of nationalities, climates, time zones and natural resources. In this way they can reflect on the idea that maybe the problems of Imperial Russia were…

History Shop

It’s with a great sense of relief that I’ve finally launched the ActiveHistory History Store – a massive repository of history books, history CDs and history DVDs available from Amazon, organised by date period and by genre (historical fiction, popular history, history study books, history dvds). There are hundreds of resources available here which I…

Jack the Ripper – The Police Investigation

This worksheet introduces Charles Warren and Sir Robert Anderson, the policemen in charge of the investigation. Students consider a detailed list of the measures that could have been taken and try to deduce which ones were simply not possible at the time; which ones were possible but which were vetoed by the Home Office and…

An Overview of the Issues Facing Nicholas II in 1894

For IB / A-Level historians. This pack can be used by students following their completion of the simulation to produce a mindmap and / or a powerpoint presentation about the state of Russia when Tsar Nicholas II came to the throne. (724 views)

Who were Jack the Ripper’s victims?

Students investigate the sad lives of each of Jack’s victims: Polly Nicholls, Annie Chapman, Lizzie Stride, Catherine Eddowes and Mary Jane Kelly – and compare similarities and differences between them by construcing parallel timelines. Were these women to blame for the condition they found themselves in by 1888, or were they victims of the system?…

What was the East End like in 1888?

In this worksheet, students are introduced to the terrible social conditions that prevailed in East End of London and make deductions about how these could have helped “Jack”. They are presented with a list of the problems and deprivations in the East End and consider how each would have helped the killer. They also analyse…

Black History – The Middle Passage – Simulation

Take on the role of a kidnapped young African in this simulation and see how well you can maintain your strength in the gruelling “Middle Passage” across the Atlantic in this decision-making activity. Complete with five different lesson plans. Part of an up-and-coming new Black History unit which I am currently developing which will be…

Causes of the Industrial Revolution

I have now added a new factual test to the popular “Horatio Ramsbottom: Victorian Entrepreneur” computer simulation. The game itself has also been expanded to include a new decision point relating to Brunel’s “Great Eastern” project. (708 views)

Who was the most important person in the Industrial Revolution?

A balloon debate lesson plan and worksheet. Each student produces a single powerpoint slide as a key figure from the industrial revolution period explaining why “they” deserve to be remembered as the most important character overall. The debate which follows is a great way of encouraging students to link and prioritise different types of achievements….

Who was Jack the Ripper? – Simulation

Armed with the profiles that they have built up using the worksheet unit about Jack the Ripper, students go to this ActiveHistory Simulation which asks them a series of questions about what they think they now know about the personality and appearance of the Ripper. The computer then analyses their responses to present them with…

Video Worksheet [2]: Who were the top suspects?

This worksheet accompanies the final 20 minutes of the video available from Amazon. In this part of the documentary, the top suspects are suggested and the video narrator offers his own view on who the murderer was. This is a stimulating way of following the classroom debate and usually provides some lively discussion. (591 views)

Coalbrookdale Interactive Census

I spent some time over half term completely rewriting the activities based around the Coalbrookdale Interactive Census of 1861. There is now a complete history lesson pack to accompany the searchable database, which I’ll be trialling with my own Year 9 students over the next two or three weeks. Hope you like it! (1395 views)

GCSE Crime and Punishment: New Resources page

Crime and Punishment Through Time – In response to member feedback, I added a brand new section to the site to cater for students and teachers following this popular SHP course. (738 views)

SPLAT the Industrial Celebrity!

A brand new version of the popular game, now with a high score board – can you get onto the Hall of Fame with your historical knowledge? (1597 views)

GCSE Crime and Punishment: Worksheets

A Series of Crime and Punishment Worksheets donated to ActiveHistory by Cathy Warren: Defining Crime: (a) What are the different types of crime? (b) How and why do different periods define crime in different ways? (c) How are laws made? (d) Nature of Crime – Practice Questions Determining Guilt: How do we decide if someone…

GCSE Crime and Punishment during the Industrial Revolution

Crime and Punishment during the Industrial Revolution – Worksheet designed to be completed over a double lesson; students are given a series of crime case studies, and decide what punishments they would have given. These are then compared with punishments actually given at the time. (1996 views)

History Quizzes: New Developments

Uploaded a new Medicine Through Time game to Wordshoot; CannonBall Fun and Manic Miner Developed the Manic Miner Game to make the initial levels a little easier after feedback from members. (470 views)

History Games: AS / A2 / IB History

Cannonball Fun Quizzes a. Russia under Alexander II b. Russia under Alexander III c. Russia under Nicholas II Wordshoot Quiz a. Russia under Alexander II b. Russia under Alexander III c. Russia under Nicholas II (453 views)

Causes of the French Revolution: Interactive game

Decision Making Adventure Game: The Causes of the French Revolution Would you have been able to help Louis XVI keep his throne? A major interactive decision making game for use in the history classroom, complete with a worksheet. Just log students onto a computer, and away they go! (3093 views)

Play Your Dates Right: Dating Game

Play Your Dates Right Code updated do that all the timelines can be printed off for revision prior to taking the quizzes. (536 views)

The French Revolution: Worksheet unit

Yr8/9 Completed uploading the worksheet unit on The Causes of the French Revolution, designed to be taught over three weeks. The complete unit now looks like this:     Interactive Exercises 1. Interactive Exercise By C. Warren at Rochester Girls’ Grammar 2. Interactive Running Dictation: The Fall of the Bastille An innovative activity designed to…

Gladstone and Disraeli: History Quizzes

Play Your Dates Right New interactive quizzes uploaded using the new format: The Life and Career of William Ewart Gladstone, 1809-98 The Life and Career of Benjamin Disraeli, 1804-81 (862 views)

The Storming of the Bastille

Interactive Running Dictation. This first example is on the subject of the Storming of the Bastille, and develops note-taking skills by bombarding them with a series of fast-moving news feeds accompanied by illustrations. I’d welcome members’ feedback on this activity – could it be improved? what other topics would lend themselves well to this approach?…