“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…

“Takeaway Homework”

In a ‘Takeaway Task’, students are given the flexibility to design their own project assignment based on one cell, row or column of the table. The task is constructed so that the table in itself provides a useful overview of the topic (in this case, the Origins of the British Empire). When students are told that they will be…

Creative Acronyms for Topic Revision/Introductions

For revision purposes, creating memory words, with each letter representing the first letter of another key word, is an effective way of getting students to reflect on factual information and construct an effective way of recalling a larger amount of information. At the start of a topic too, it can also be used as a…

“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)

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…

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….

Interpretation Tracker

At the start of the lesson, ask students to write down their initial answer to a key question that is about to be considered further. Partway through the lesson, and then at the end of the lesson, ask them to repeat the process. Students then read the comments. How have our interpretations changed? Whose views…

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…

“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…

“Guess the Stats”

To get students reflecting more closely on sources, it is a good idea to get the class to anticipate what they are going to say before showing them. The method by which this can be done with textual sources is the subject of this post. With statistics, this can be done in the form of…

“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…

Sourcework Anticipation Task

After knowledge of a topic has been developed, provide students with a written source addressing a key question relating to the topic, but with key details deleted. Students can then work alone or in pairs to anticipate how the source will look when complete. How will the author explain his points? What evidence will he use to substantiate…

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: –…

“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,…

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…

“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…