Year 8 History: Stand-Alone Resources

Early Modern History: Stand-Alone Resources


The following resources can be used either as Miscellaneous homework / extension activities or as stand-alone lesson units in themselves.

1. ActiveHistory Mysteries [Interactive]
A series of engaging "Historical Mysteries" designed to develop skills of question formulation, deduction, research, groupwork and essay writing. Using a range of visual and written "clues", students piece together a genuine historical mystery and work towards an independent conclusion. Worksheets and markschemes included.

The Worst Jobs in History: Early Modern [Interactive]
This activity can be used as a stand-alone lesson, homework assignment or as part of a broader unit on "Was life Good or Bad during this particular period?". The worksheet has basic activities for a 30 minute lesson, and extension tasks that could be followed up later.

Research Task: What were the Wars of the Roses?
Students are presented with a family tree of the English Royal Family during the Wars of the Roses. They make deductions from it, identify questions arising, and then conduct their own research using the web and the school library to solve the mysteries they have identified. They then complete a quiz on this topic. If each student has a computer, then a competition can take place: 25 points to the first 5 people to finish, 20 points for the next five and so on. If you keep a running total during the course of the year for each time you play a quiz like this, it can get quite competitive!

4. "Timeline of my Birthday" - worksheet
Replace [DATE GOES HERE] with the month / day of your birthday (e.g. “November 30th”).
Go to and input your birthday. It will provide a list of events, births and deaths that took place across a wide range of time on the day you were born.
Select AT LEAST FIVE of these entries to put into your timeline, following these rules:
            a. At least one ‘event’, one ‘birth’ and one ‘death’ must be included
            b. No more than one entry in each row (=century)
            c. Put a picture relating to this entry in a cell next to it, with a caption.
Complete the final row with information about yourself.
5. Essay Writing Exercise: What happened to the Princes in the Tower?
A genuine mystery! Students are presented with a series of evidence slips and then have to organise them into categories to determine whether they were killed (either on the orders of their uncle or of Henry VII) or whether they in fact survived. At the end of the investigation they are presented with a writing frame to produce an essay. As an extension task, students could play the interactive exercise: The Princes in the Tower.
6. Picture Analysis: What is the message of 'The Ambassadors'? [Interactive]
A challenging lesson, but students often get a great deal from it, especially if they have some understanding of the Reformation by this point.
7. Role-Play Exercise: The Dissolution of the Monasteries
Gets a bit of kinaesthetic learning into the unit! This is a good way of dealing with the impact of the Henrician Reformation without getting students too bogged down in the theology (which they will have already covered in depth in the European Reformation unit).
7. Changes in Art during the Renaissance: Optics and Perspective
Changes in Art during the Renaissance: Anamorphism
3Changes in Art during the Renaissance: Optical Illusions


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