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…

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…

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)

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)

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…

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)

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…

IGCSE History Revision 2017

Completely updated and relaunched, this section of the website provides comprehensive revision materials for Cambridge IGCSE Modern World History. (569 views)

Vietnam veteran John Kerry’s statement at the Senate hearings of 1971

Vietnam veteran John Kerry’s statement at the Senate hearings of 1971 The class will be divided into pairs, representing 18-year-old US citizens in 1971. Imagine that you and your partner are good friends who have just been drafted into the US army. You are both well educated and have strong opinions about the war: one…

Compare and contrast the policy of Johnson and Nixon with regard to Vietnam

Compare and contrast the policy of Johnson and Nixon with regard to Vietnam Students are provided with a detailed timeline of events covering the Nixon administration and conduct further research of their own. They then consider carefully their completed research to provide an essay plan to the past exam question “Compare and contrast the Vietnam…

Could LBJ have handled the Vietnam War more effectively?

Could LBJ have handled the Vietnam War more effectively? In this decision-making exericse, students imagine they are advisors to President Johnson. As the crisis in Vietnam deepens, their job is to advise him on the best course of action to preserve his administration (How should LBJ respond to accusations that he is being insufficiently honest…

SOLO Hexagons: The Rise of Hitler

SOLO Hexagons: The Rise of Hitler 40+ factors are provided to students to organise into meaningful and connected categories as part of the essay-planning process. Full details of the hexagons approach can be found at Tarr’s Toolbox. (425 views)

How successfully did Elizabeth deal with the problems of her reign?

Part of the new materials to support a study of Elizabethan England, for example: Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 (Edexcel) Elizabethan England, c1568-1603 (AQA) How successfully did Elizabeth deal with the problems of her reign? In this exercise, students will reach a final judgement about Elizabeth I by writing an essay. In this way, they will:…

Elizabeth’s refusal to marry, conclusions and sourcework

Part of the new materials to support a study of Elizabethan England, for example: Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 (Edexcel) Elizabethan England, c1568-1603 (AQA) Why did the Spanish decide to invade England in 1588? > Elizabeth’s refusal to marry Conclusion: Elizabeth’s Refusal to Marry Students are provided with a list of factors explaining Elizabeth’s decision not…

Elizabethan England: Why did Elizabeth refuse to marry?

Part of the new materials to support a study of Elizabethan England, for example: Early Elizabethan England, 1558-88 (Edexcel) Elizabethan England, c1568-1603 (AQA) Why did the Spanish decide to invade England in 1588? > Factor 1. Elizabeth’s Refusal to Marry | Teacher Presentation | Teacher Notes (164 views)

The Gulf War Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Gulf War is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?”, designed for IGCSE History. (224 views)

Rule of Saddam Hussein Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Rule of Saddam Hussein is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?“, designed for IGCSE History. There is also a 75-question Fling the Teacher Quiz on Events in the Gulf. If you like this resource you might also enjoy the “Which 20th…

The Iran-Iraq War Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Iran-Iraq War is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?”, designed for IGCSE History. (141 views)

The Iranian Revolution Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Iranian Revolution is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?”, designed for IGCSE History. (138 views)

Why did Events in the Gulf Matter? Revising the Five Big Questions

Part of the complete scheme of work on “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?“ “Revising the Five Big Questions” “The class will be divided into four team (1, 2, 4, 5). For each of the following key questions, work individually, to complete one of the incomplete rows of this table. The row on Saddam’s…

What were the consequences of the First Gulf War?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” What were the consequences of the First Gulf War? Students use the information provided to provide an infographic about the impact of the First Gulf War, then complete two sourcework questions (“To what extent does Source A prove that the…

Why did the First Gulf War take place?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” Why did the First Gulf War take place? Focus Point 1: Why did Saddam invade Kuwait? “Listed below are various factors relating to the decision to go to war. Use these to produce TWO brief speeches in role as Saddam:…

Why did the Iran-Iraq War last for so long?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” Why did the Iran-Iraq War last for so long? Before reading the additional information in the worksheet, students should have made notes from the two short video clips [clip 1 | clip 2], focusing on the question “Why did the Iran-Iraq War…

Sourcework Practice: Causes of the Iran-Iraq War

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” Sourcework Practice: Causes of the Iran-Iraq War 1. According to Source A, why did Saddam Hussein decide to invade Iran in September 1980? TIP: as with any ‘why’ question, provide several reasons, substantiated with quotes from the sources. 2. How reliable is Source B…

What were the causes and consequences of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” What were the causes and consequences of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88? Task: A biased government speech explaining the causes of the war On the 22nd September 1980, the longest conventional war of the 20th Century began when Iraq launched an…

Saddamarama: Propaganda Images from Saddam’s Iraq

Saddamarama: Propaganda Images from Saddam’s Iraq “You will be divided into teams. One person from each team will come to the front and collect a propaganda image. Without showing it to the rest of the team, this person should describe what they see, who it appears aimed at, and what it is trying to say…

Saddam’s Rule of Iraq. Overview: Terror, Achievements, Propaganda

Overview: Terror, Achievements, Propaganda “Using your findings from this resource, produce a written response to the following question: ‘Was Saddam’s rule of Iraq was based on fear, propaganda or genuine achievements?’ Explain your answer by connecting all three factors.” (267 views)

McCarthyism and the Second Red Scare: Design a school exhibition!

Design a school exhibition! The Impact of McCarthyism in the USA in the 1950s is such a rich topic of study that it is difficult to know what to focus on, so I let each student choose their own area of interest (music, film, politics, science….) and then gave them their own exhibition space to…

The Yalta Conference – activity and follow-up

The Yalta Conference: Interactive Computer Simulation! [Interactive] An artificial intelligence simulation, complete with a worksheet: students choose whether to play as Churchill, Roosevelt or Stalin, and then pit their wits against their opponents to achieve their objectives. This computer lesson runs itself and is a great way of learning about the personalities, issues and results…

Individual Research Task: Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt

Individual Research Task: Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt The class is divided into three teams, each representing the press officer for one of the Big Three. a. Using your own knowledge and other research, provide THREE key points suggesting your man will work well with the others. Write these into the left hand column. b. Then…

The Grand Alliance, 1941-44

The Grand Alliance, 1941-44 | Teacher Notes Students conduct independent research on eight key wartime events, focusing specifically on how each one raised tensions, and between whom. There are links to appropriate video clips which can be used by the students as part of their research, or watched together as a class. Part of the…

Causes of the Iranian Revolution, 1979 – Introductory Slideshow for IGCSE

Introductory Slideshow In this teacher-led presentation (during which students should take notes), the class is presented with some of the key questions, images and personalities relating to the 1979 Revolution. In particular, the presentation encourages students to see Iran in its long-term context and to consider how today it appears to again be going through…

Cold War – Historical Context, 1917-39

Historical Context, 1917-39 Students are presented with a detailed, interactive timeline of events and two key questions for consideration: 1: Was the Nazi-Soviet Pact proof that the West were right to distrust Stalin all along, or was it the direct and unfortunate result of that distrust? 2: Based on Question 1, who was therefore more…

Gifts and Christmas Cards of World War One

In this new stand-alone lesson, the teacher will start by delivering this ActiveHistory Teacher Presentation (which comes complete with a useful video clip) to outline some of the gifts that were marketed to soldiers in World War One. The main task involves deciding how to categorise these 30 Xmas cards from World War One. Students should cut them…

Weimar Germany Decision Making Simulation – 1921-29

Weimar Germany Decision Making Game – Part 2: 1921-29  This comprehensive decision-making simulation is now complete with follow-up factual test, the answers for which can be shared with students using this online presentation. This simulation is a great way of introducing or revising the issues surrounding Weimar Germany in the years 1921-29. Each of the 7 key decision points…

Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?

Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, c.1970-2000? This page is currently a work in progress. This is the compulsory 20th Century Option for the iGCSE sourcework paper for students taking the examination in Summer 2016. I will be teaching this topic to my own students in Year 11. By then, this page will consist…

Origins of World War One Sourcework Assignment Pack

Sourcework Assignment Pack A comprehensive pack of sources and questions in the style of GCSE/IGCSE examinations, designed to be printed off at the beginning of the unit and used as homework exercises over the course of several weeks. This forms part of the newly updated ActiveHistory Scheme of Work on the Origins of World War One….

Origins of World War One: Model answers and exam questions

End of unit exam-style structured question (there are also some model answers available in the teacher area – model answers[1] | model answers [2]) “Your teacher will choose one (a), one (b) and one (c) question from this extensive list of past questions for this test, which will take place in timed conditions next lesson. As homework, you should…

Mr. Men History: The Origins of World War One

Mr. Men History: The Origins of World War One “In this task we will convert the story of the outbreak of the war into a fairy tale. The background will be provided to you. Your job will be to tell the story of how events unfolded using your knowledge of key events”. This forms part…

Historiography: Quotes about the Origins of World War One

Historiography: Quotes about the Origins of World War One “A. For each quote, decide which theme it relates to: 1. Nationalism and Imperialism | 2. Alliance System | 3. Arms Race | 4. Colonial Rivalry | 5. July Crisis B. Circle off the best quote for each theme. Incorporate this into your summary sheet /…

Classroom Trial: Who was to blame for World War One?

Classroom Trial: Who was to blame for World War One? (there is also a completed version for stimulus material in the teacher area). Each person in the class will be given a number (1-6). Each student’s task is as follows: 1. To frame TWO prosecution questions against ONE particular country, in this order: Examples (in this case, against…

The Willy-Nicky Telegrams

Extension Task: The Willy-Nicky Telegrams How could both the Kaiser and the Tsar use these telegrams to “prove” they were not responsible for the war breaking out? Which of these two men do you think most genuinely wished to avoid war? This forms part of the newly updated ActiveHistory scheme of work on The Origins of…

The July Crisis – Decision-making exercise

The July Crisis – Decision-making exercise (requires teacher support sheet). This key period – often overlooked by students who say that the assassination was simply followed by a ‘domino effect’ of countries declaring war – is approached in a ‘decision-making’ format. “Your teacher will provide you with a “decision point” for the first event. Discuss with a…

The Moroccan Crises and Colonial Rivalry

Colonial Rivalry as a Cause of World War One  Tension between Germany and Russia (over the issue of Bosnia) and between Germany and Britain (over the Naval Race) was compounded by tension between Germany and France over Morocco and Alsace-Lorraine. This forms part of the newly updated ActiveHistory scheme of work on the Origins of World War One. (1281…

The Arms Race and the Role of Kaiser Wilhelm II

The Arms Race This worksheet covers both the arms race on land (Russia and France v. Germany) and at sea (Britain v. Germany). The Role of Kaiser Wilhelm II Imagine you are interviewing Kaiser Wilhelm in 1914. Come up with a series of questions you would like to ask him. Now use the internet to…

Factual Test and Keyword Challenge: The Origins of World War One

Factual Test: The Origins of World War One [teacher password required] This factual test assesses how much knowledge students have acquired so far from their studies. Students should take this test after the class has played the Causes of World War One keyword challenge [play the game | rule of the game] This forms part of the newly updated ActiveHistory…

The Development of the World War One Alliance System

The Alliance System “The idea of an “alliance system” was developed by Bismarck, chancellor of Prussia (a state in modern Germany). Before 1871, Germany was not a unified country, but a collection of independent states. The story continues below. Your job is to show the changing pattern of friendships and enmities in the diagram to…

Nationalism and Imperialism as Causes of World War One

The clash of Serb Nationalism with Austrian Imperialism The tension between Austria and Serbia is explained through a focus on the Bosnian Crisis of 1908 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913. Cartoon analysis: Nationalism and Imperialism A simple worksheet with scaffolding sentences to develop sourcework analysis skills. This forms part of the newly updated ActiveHistory…

“Sarajevo Sandwich Syndrome” – Questioning the Reliability of Historical Sources

“Sarajevo Sandwich Syndrome” – Questioning the Reliability of Historical Sources Your task is to investigate six assertions made by a famous BBC documentary about the Origins of World War One. For each one, determine whether it is: (a) Incorrect: Other vidence contradicts the documentary; (b) Inconclusive: Other evidence shows that historians disagree about this point (c) Imaginary:…

Introductory Overview: The Origins of World War One

Introductory Overview This handout sets up the topic by providing key facts about the war and asking students to consider how they would answer ‘big’ questions such as “In what circumstances would you be prepared to fight in a war? How can we prevent wars from happening? Does war have any positive effects? What is…

“Poppy Fascism?” – a new worksheet for Remembrance

A new worksheet and supporting resources for teaching Remembrance. Students consider questions such as “What does the British Legion actually stand for? What does it do with the money it raises? Why do you think some people might object to the Poppy Appeal?” They then read an article, and read through a cartoon produced directly…

Remembrance Day: War Poetry

War Poetry “Your teacher will allocate the poems between the members of the class. Use the poem you have been allocated to answer these questions: (a) What is the best word to describe the tone of this poem? (b) How does the poet make you feel this way? (c) How reliable is your source as…

Remembrance Day: Debating the Issues: The De Bono Method

Debating the Issues: The De Bono Method Starting with a teacher’s introductory PowerPoint, “The teacher will take the role of someone with a ‘Green Hat’. They will choose (or ask the class to vote on) one of a range of ‘Discussion Points’ and each person in the class will be given a number between 2-5…

Was the 20th Century a Period of Progress? New Study Unit!

This project is designed to allow students to develop a broad but comprehensive overview of the main events of the 20th Century. Each student will research one key event, theme or individual of their choice to produce an attractive display piece. They will compare and contrast their findings with other people in the class to…

World War One Battlefields Trip Materials, newly updated and developed

The following materials [click here] are designed to help teachers plan a trip to the World War One battlefields of the Somme and Ypres. There are two versions of the trip available. Each one comes with a detailed student workpack (plus teacher notes) which opens in Adobe Acrobat Reader. There is also a detailed itinerary…

The Cuban Missile Crisis – Revision Quiz (30 Questions)

An interactive computer game to test factual knowledge. The first student to finish should be given 20 points; the second student 18; and so on. I build up a “Fling the Teacher Leaderboard” over the whole course to build up a bit of competition…! (3015 views)

Vietnam War – Fling the Teacher Revision Quiz (45 questions).

An interactive computer game to test factual knowledge. The first student to finish should be given 20 points; the second student 18; and so on. I build up a “Fling the Teacher Leaderboard” over the whole course to build up a bit of competition…! (2583 views)

The Vietnam War – Endgame

Timeline Quiz | Teacher answer sheetThis ‘fill the gaps’ quiz recaps the entire topic and rounds it off with information on how the war eventually came to an end. (1265 views)

Military causes for the US defeat in Vietnam

Military causes for the US defeat in Vietnam In response to the growing involvement of the USA in Vietnam, the Vietcong began a highly effective campaign against the North. Students learn about this topic by using two video clips: Video Clip 1 | Video Clip 2 Economically, they secured aid from China and the USSR Strategically, they…

How and why did President Johnson escalate US involvement in the Vietnam War?

How and why did President Johnson escalate US involvement in the Vietnam War? | Teacher mutimedia presentationBy 1963, Kennedy felt that the US military advisors had done all that they could. He decided to announce a phased withdrawal from Vietnam to be completed by 1965.However, three events transformed the situation and meant that instead US involvement was instead…

The Vietnam War – Sourcework Questions: Why did the US get involved in Vietnam?

Sourcework Questions: Why did the US get involved in Vietnam?Several sourcework questions, culminating in:Here are three reasons why the US may have got involved in Vietnam: which do you agree with most, and why?i. Because they wanted to protect the world from communist dictatorship ii. Because they were paranoid about the communist threatiii. Because they were…

The Vietnam War – Kennedy’s own words on the subject

JFK Speech writing Task Part [3]: Kennedy’s own words on the subjectIn this final part of the speechwriting exercise, students listen to a couple of speeches made by Kennedy on the subject of Vietnam, and then complete their press statements.Video Clip 1 | Video Clip 2 (1558 views)

The Vietnam War – Why was the USA so keen to prevent communism spreading?

JFK Speech writing Task Part [1]: Why was the USA so keen to prevent communism spreading? “Imagine you are a speechwriter for the President Kennedy of the United States. Using your knowledge of the Cold War so far, draft a speech (starting “Fellow citizens…”) justifying Kennedy’s actions.” (1665 views)

Consequences of the Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis Roleplay Unit One of the most dramatic moments of the 20th Century and a particularly exciting topic to teach and to study! This unit is based around extended roleplay activities firstly from the Soviet, then from the American, perspectives. Students gain a thorough understanding not just of the events but also…