Practical classroom strategies for every learner
In each volume, more than 60 tried and tested activities and approaches are organised into helpful categories and explained with step-by-step instructions and topic-specific examples to illustrate how they can be immediately employed.
A History Teaching Toolbox Volume 1 and Volume 2 are written for both new and experienced classroom practitioners keen to bring history alive for their students and is written by award-winning history teacher Russel Tarr.
Russel Tarr is an exceptionally creative teacher. I've used many of his ideas in my own classes. After you read his book, I'm sure you'll be doing the same!- Larry Ferlazzo
This creative compendium of strategies is rooted in real-life classroom practice.- Carmel Bones
This is collection of great ideas and resources, and it is much more than nice things to do and whizzy digital gimmicks.- Ben Walsh
The no nonsense approach is perfect for busy teachers.- Carmel Bones
There is a clear intellectual and conceptual underpinning which gives the activities and ideas meaning and purpose- Ben Walsh
The History Teaching Toolbox is designed for practising teachers in mind.
The History Teaching Toolbox is divided into ten key chapters to reflect different stages in the learning process.
Volume 1: Chronologies | Character cards | Using maps effectively | History mysteries | Sweets to measure change | Hexagon learning | QR Treasure Hunts
Volume 2: Escape the room! | Three effective role-play techniques | Hand gestures to reflect changing relations between groups | Unlock the box | Mysterious moments | Image flash | Time-wipes
Volume 1: Socratic seminars | Balloon debates | Silent discussion | Students as teachers, not presenters | Put the teacher on trial | Ditch debates
Volume 2: Chat-show challenges | Tell us something we don't know! | Protest placards | Brilliance or Baloney? | Guess the statistics | Sticky notes | Boxing match debates
Volume 1: Children’s storybooks | Museum exhibitions | Hollywood film posters | Memorials | Social media profiles | Propaganda cartoons
Volume 2: TripAdvisor graphics | Design a theme park based around the topic | Statistics into infographics | Design / destroy a banknote | Google Doodles | Board games | Guess who?
Volume 1: Decision trees | Linkage bingo | Paper people linkage | Target diagrams for categorisation | Venn diagrams | Wedding invitations and bio-poems
Volume 2: Biased sports commentaries | Crime board analysis | Dialogue poems | Speed dates / Blind dates | Top trumps | Which one doesn't belong? | Which one doesn't belong?
Volume 1: Counterfactual history | Diamond diagrams | Continuum lines | Wheel of life | Matrix grids | Interpretation battleships | Triangulation | Write a school report
Volume 2: Relationship webs | Living graph | Factor auction | How would geographers approach this question? | Design a DVD Inlay | Time travel agent: complaint letters v. advertising blurb
Volume 1: The Apprentice | Jigsaw groups | Collaborative essay planning using sticky-notes | Talkers and listeners |Discussion group role cards
Volume 2: Destroy or deploy? | Random name picker | Re-enact a conference | Which part of the body were you? | Image jigsaw | Peer assessment slips
Volume 1: Revision leaderboard | Keyword challenge | Share possible test questions in advance | Spot the mistakes | Who, where, what am I? | Arcade game generator
Volume 2: Takeaway mark scheme | How certain are you? | Plot holes in history | Spiced-up ìclozeî exercises | Alphabet challenge | Rhyming timelines | Exam questions from hell
Volume 1: Who tall are you? | “Inspirational quote” posters | Classroom windows as word walls | “Currently being studied” posters | Share video projects with QR codes | “In the news…!” posters | “Open me” display pieces
Volume 2: Knowledge cubes | The big picture | Rice above the statistics | Affordable props | Meme posters | Turn the topic into objects
Volume 1: Visual essay-writing in groups | Write a script, not an essay | Banned word list | Rubric grids | Miscellaneous essay approaches
Volume 2: Sketch-noting and beyond | Backward rainbow essays | Student vocabulary bookmark | Biased words knockout challenge | Online essay-writing tools | Compare opening paragraphs of several books
Volume 1: Choose your own homework | Bounce the detention | Create bookmarks as rewards | Hands up if you DON’T know | Cross-curricular speed-dating | Local history scavenger hunts
Volume 2: History in the calendar | Wheel of emotions | Using Emojis | Dream sources | Fake news | Breaking news | Biographies beyond the syllabus | Use music effectively
Here are some history teachers who have made use of the History Teaching Toolbox.
A History Teaching Toolbox really is the go-to guide for innovative and engaging History lessons. It really is a fantastic book. We have a student teacher at the moment so I'm going to buy her a copy for her as it's an absolute bible! It's rare to find such creative, adaptable ideas which are clearly explained. My new schemes of work won't know what has hit them by the time I've woven in all the different strategies from the book. Bring on the Socractic debate masks!
This creative compendium of strategies is rooted in real-life classroom practice. The Toolbox is carefully structured around outcomes allowing the teacher to immediately select the right tool for the desired end result. The no nonsense approach is perfect for busy teachers. Sections outline the content, process and benefits of each idea. Add these to your armoury - you and your students will be the victors!
This is collection of great ideas and resources, but it is much more than nice things to do and whizzy digital gimmicks. As Professor Robert Coe has pointed out it is entirely possible to have engagement without any learning going on. On the other hand it is also possible to have engagement and learning going on. This is particularly the case, when, as in this book, there is a clear intellectual and conceptual underpinning which gives the activities and ideas meaning and purpose.
Russel has created and curated an enviable collection of strategies and techniques to achieve specific learning outcomes in consistently engaging and intellectually challenging ways. By identifying and categorising the broad objectives, and grouping his suggested strategies accordingly, he has produced a well-organised book that should be on every history teacher's desk. Whether you are planning a new unit of work, or looking for a different angle from which to approach a particular aspect of the course, the Toolbox will provide a wealth of practical ideas that can be implemented immediately.
This truly is the type of book that provides activities and suggestions that any social studies teacher could implement tomorrow. It would also be a great book for history departments – go through a chapter together, try out a few of the ideas, and come back together to tweak and adapt. So spend some time at his websites and then head over Amazon to get the old school print. Both totally worth your time.
Without doubt this is an important book for history teachers. There has been a real need for such a book specifically for history teachers and Russel is the ideal person to write a book to fill this gap. This book is jam-packed full of great, simple to implement ideas which would enhance any lesson. Just a cursory read or flick through will make you stop and think when you catch a great idea. If you are a history teacher, whether a NQT or, like me, a bit of an old lag then this book is an essential purchase. I cannot recommend the book highly enough!
The History Teaching Toolbox is just that: a hands-on, 'let's get messy' approach to History which allows students to explore some highly challenging concepts in ideas that are grounded in reality. These are the lessons the students love: engaging, active, and above all, useful. They can see how a thought translates to a sentence, then to a paragraph, and then an essay which is great for building their skills, but also their self-efficacy.
If only this had been published 40 years ago my lessons would have been so much more involving and effective – and the latter is the key point. This collection of teaching strategies is driven by the desire to help students learn more effectively – it’s about far more than ‘just’ involvement or variety or enjoyment. So this is highly-recommended for anyone who’s seeking to improve their teaching – there’s just so many good ideas to develop to fit the needs of your students. My only complaint is that it should have wider margins so there’s space to jot down all the possibilities prompted by each teaching idea!
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch!