“On School Report!” – A fun way of evaluating factors and individuals

When assessing the successes and failures of a particular historical figure, consider approaching the task in the form of a “school report”. This can be the basis of a consolidation exercise at the start of the topic, or an intensive and efficient way of covering fresh material step-by-step. Start by identifying the main ‘subjects’ that…

Create a “Fakebook” Profile for a key character

When researching a key character, students could frame and present their findings by creating a fake “Facebook” profile using the Fakebook application at ClassTools. Using this tool, students can create a timeline of a person’s life, written in the first person and in the present tense (to help prevent ‘cut and paste’ syndrome). They can…

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…

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…

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: –…

Living Graph

A “Living Graph” encourages students not only to select the most important events within a topic, but also to rate them (over time) against criteria such as success and failure, strength and weakness, significance and insignificance. Stage 1: Brainstorm: Ask students, working individually or in pairs / small groups, to identify what they consider to be…

Silent Discussion

This is a great way of getting students to conduct some close reading of detailed sources. The lesson is framed around a key question for investigation (which could be about causes, consequences, significance…), and then carefully selected sources are placed at different points around the room. Students move between the sources in pairs, in silence, annotating and…

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…

“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…