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Early Modern British:
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ActiveHistory provides entertaining, educational award-winning interactive simulations, decision-making games, self-marking quizzes, high-quality worksheets and detailed lesson plans for teachers and students.
View the top 75 activities here.
Teacher's Introductory Slideshow
The teacher uses this worksheet to help introduce students to the main themes, events and personalities. To be used in conjunction with the student worksheet below.
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Students' Timeline Worksheet - preparation for the videomaking task
Students are guided through the main events leading up to the Civil War using this timeline, which should be used in conjunction with specified clips from the first episode of Ken Burns' excellent documentary about the American Civil War. At appropriate times they should have time to locate extra images and information that they will use to help produce their own video documentary later on.
Timeline Challenge: The Causes of the American Civil War
Organise the class 5 teams. Display the first event by clicking the button. All the students should copy this information into their worksheet. The first team can play for up to 10 points depending on their confidence. They have to not only identify the mistake in the account, but correct it. If they do so successfully, they gain the amount of points they played for. If they fail, they lose the same amount of points. Proceed to the second event, for the second team, and continue this format until all the slips are used. The winning team is the team with the most points.
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Video Project - What were the Causes of the American Civil War?
This markscheme is designed to help students produce an effective video documentary about the Civil War using the information they have so far gathered. Examples of student projects are shown below.
History Mystery: The Causes of the American Civil War
This unit is in the form of an ActiveHistory Mystery [more]. Through a roleplay, stimulus images and information slips, students formulate questions, speculate answers, then research for themselves to produce a report which is then peer-assessed against a standard markscheme. The full investigation takes 2 hours of classroom time and at least another hour of individual research time.
If teachers wish to deliver this unit in less time, it is easy to do so. For example:
(a) Simply give each student a complete sheet of information slips from the outset to answer the questions;
(b) Don't require students to produce a full written essay on the topic - instead, simply choose one of the Extension / Additional Activities listed below.
Discussion points to follow:
a. If you had to divide 100% of blame for the outbreak of the civil war between the slave states and the free states, what percentage would you allocate to each side? Explain your answer.
b. At what point did the civil war become inevitable? Explain your answer.
What should we call the American Civil War?
Students are presented with a long list of alternative names that have been used for the American Civil War. They organise these into suggested categories, compare their ideas with a partner, and then choose what they feel is the best alternative title.
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Events (550 years ago today): 1471 – In England, the Yorkists under Edward IV defeat the Lancastrians under the Earl of Warwick at the Battle of Barnet; the Earl is killed and Edward IV resumes the throne.
Births (100 years ago today): 1921 – Thomas Schelling, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2016)
Births (50 years ago today): 1971 – Miguel Calero, Colombian footballer and manager (d. 2012)
Deaths (550 years ago today): 1471 – Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, English commander and politician (b. 1428)
Deaths (300 years ago today): 1721 – Michel Chamillart, French politician, Controller-General of Finances (b. 1652)
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