Please fill in the following form to contact the author, Russel Tarr (@russeltarr)
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 50 activities here.
You can also request a free trial.
If you would like to add a testimonial to this page, click here to access the feedback form!
"I thought I must tell you, that my IGCSE students have all got an A grade in History....and the credit goes to the help and guidance from you. The Paper 2 results were spectacular, all my kids got an A.
Thank you again for a super job on the worksheets and study plan!!"
"Just to say THANK YOU once again. I love this website so much and so do my pupils. We don't have great ICT access in the school but the kids go home and do the interactive games on their own and then come and tell me about them. It makes so much difference when they are enthused and willing to learn. Also, thank you for taking the time to ensure real learning is provided. I am really excited about doing the unit on witchcraft for the first time and am particularly impressed with the sourcework questions. I use the same format but sometimes I don't have the time to prepare them for the little ones so it is incredible when they are here for me already. Soooo, thanks again! :)"
"ActiveHistory should be compulsory for all teachers and students of history. It combines a range of learning and teaching ideas, worksheets and activities with innovative and truly inspiring use of ICT for learning. It challenges teachers to teach outside of their preferred style and engages learners in what can only accurately be described as 'stealth learning'. Games, quizzes, online lessons and much more besides, provide the context for history which is fun, progressive and cutting edge"
"An excellent site - interactive, informative and interesting. It stretches the most able, while making the subject more accessible to some of the weaker pupils. It is constantly updated and provides a real wealth of material on a wide range of historical topics, not just the 'mainline' ones of 20th century dictators, though they too are excellently covered."
"Active History has been used at PC across a wide range of year groups for three years now. It has brought history to life for many of our girls and has been enjoyed by both students and staff alike. Our girls historical learning journey has become much more fun through the use of such activities as 'interviewing Henry VIII' and Adolf Hitler and these sites have now been incorporated into our programmes of study. The interest and enthusiasm that these activities have generated have opened up the study of history in Upper School to many more students. We have also used the quotes section to much delight with many of our colleagues. The continual updating of the worksheets, tasks, games and interview data have made the site one which has kept up with the times and grown with the ever increasing technological development of the modern day school student. It is for us money very well spent and has been viewed enthusiastically by many other history teachers in Western Australia.
"ActiveHistory has been an excellent tool for me to use in motivating my World History students. My students love the games, simulations, and head to head interviews so much that they regularly vistit the website on their own time. ActiveHistory has enabled me to get more kids excited about World History class than I ever imagined. ActiveHistory will continue to be a big part of our social studies curriculum"
"ActiveHistory is an invaluable learning resource that my pupils use regularly. I like the fact that it can be used with all the age groups I teach. There is a huge range of variety and the ideas are well-received by pupils and older students alike. It is imaginative, challenging and fun - an ideal combination that helps to explain why History remains a popular subject on the school curriculum. I also find the materials for teachers useful when the time for choosing history as an option at 14 comes around."
"Active History engages pupils of all abilities; our high achievers love it as much as our supported pupils. Active History encourages less confident pupils to participate in discuss work while also motivating under achieving pupils to join in the learning activity. The learning materials prepared by Mr. Tarr are excellent. Active History supports and compliments my lessons in a stimulating and imaginative way. Mr. Tarr's teaching background is apparent in his work. He has developed materials with pupils' needs and learning aims in mind; while magically saving busy classroom practitioners time."
"I am the only AST for History in Staffordshire. A large part of my work is training teachers in the use of ICT in History lessons. I always heartily recommend ActiveHistory. The resources are superb and devised by a practicing History teacher (which really makes a difference!) at an extremely reasonable subscription rate. Many teachers I show the site to often pay the subscription themselves if the school has a particularly tight budget; they believe it is money well spent. In my opinion it is the best subscription site for History on the net - and I actually author for several other sites!"
"Learning By Grace.org is the leading provider of online Christian schools for homeschoolers. Our state of the art curriculum is rich with multimedia that kids love. Active History's engaging products make learning fun. The historical figures talk and interact with students and bring history to life!"
"The web based activities and the "Virtual Head2Head" interviews that activehistory.co.uk provides for student learning brings history to life. The activities engage students and allow them to analyze history through a journey in "cyberspace". The students are intrigued by the technology and the novelty of actually "talking" with major historical figures like Henry VIII, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler. The activities and web quests that Mr. Tarr has created definitely enhance student learning and achievement".
"ActiveHistory provides an excellent resource for a fun and different way to learn history and more importantly to experience history. The Simulations and Interviews are unique and fun for my students which always help to spark interest in the subject of history. Plus the fact that it is a British website my students are able to experience a little bit of how history is taught outside of the States"
"Every year my students rate the exercises they do from the ActiveHistory site as some of the most enjoyable and informative, and I hope to create a similar site that focuses on U.S. History. Russel Tarr knows how to engage students."
"Creative, interactive, fun resources that challenge students at all levels. I highly recommend it to all history teachers! The site has become integral to my teaching, especially for sixth form. It is an easily navigable site for both teachers and students and has provided me with ideas and resources on many occasions. I will be continuing to subscribe and would recommend it to all secondary history teachers."
"ActiveHistory is among the most useful online instructional tools that I have ever used in my history classes. The resources available on this site foster critical thinking skills in a manner that is often fun and engaging. My students have great fun interviewing Henry VIII and we use the many games (especially "Fling the Teacher") as review tools".
"We have found our subscription to be of great value and have incorporated a number of the tasks into our schemes of work. We like particularly the interactive decision making activities such as the Charles I and the League of Nations tasks. Our pupils, determined to do as well as possible, often go back to do the task again to get a better score and, of course, going over the material again helps them to learn the material. They can also access the site from home through our extranet and use many of the game activities for fun in their own time. These are not gimmicks but genuine paths through the material. All of this promotes solid learning and the love of History".
"My students learn when History is made fun. ActiveHistory makes learning fun."
"I am very fond of your website. At the moment I am teaching a unit on Jack the Ripper and your worksheet pack together with the power point presentations are excellent. The objectives of the worksheets are transported in a way that raises students' curiosity and also helps them understand the Victorian era and its dark sides much better. The chapter on the Black Death is equally well-developed and again captures students' interest without omitting important historical concepts such as cause and consequence. This is a well-designed and user-friendly website with many useful links and activities".
"ActiveHistory provides accessible menus with a wide range of activities for use individually or with whole classes. These provide great interest and variety for the students. Material is focused very much on the skills and knowledge required for examinations and a lot of 'fun' material on the site can be used as introductions to a topic or as revision. The site has been a great addition to my teaching material and has stimulated many ideas".
"Active History has helped make revision time a fun experience for all students of all abilities. The decision making activities has also been very useful in getting pupils to think and feel like the historical characters they have been studying. In short, an excellent resource".
"A great site that is used on an almost daily basis. The student especially love the interactive chats and interview. The activities are well structured and the support materials for teachers are user friendly and obviously tried and tested by experienced teachers (unlike some educational resources/activities found on the web which seem to be created by less effective history teachers who now work in museums/ libraries/record offices and students cant access!)"
"Activehistory has been great for inspiring staff and students in our dept. As new subscribers we have enjoyed burrowing into the site to find activities for all ages - in fact, our A Level teacher has found the material on the Tudors at AS level invaluable. I love the way the activities bring the subject to life - students relate to the topics we've studied as they see them on the screen, be it a Manic Miner game, Powerpoint or one of the great "fill the gaps" essays. Brilliant!"
"Active History is an excellent site full of captivating activities and interesting History. We love to visit it and it contributes significantly to our teaching of and our learning about history".
"We find ActiveHistory to be stimulating, informative and fun for our students. For example, the simulations of life in the trenches of World WarOne and the decisions facing a factory entrepreneur in the Industrial Revolution make them put themselves in the shoes of others, broadening understanding and imaginative experience of different situations in different times through empathy with the people involved at all levels, whether leaders or led. It is also of great use for marketing on open days, showing our use of IT in History in an exciting and accessible manner, and demonstarting how through history we can interact actively with the past - it brings this subject to life in a vibrant and relevant way".
"Active History has been super in offering a different, enjoyable way to approach some key characters and issues in History. The students love the 'talking heads'. Activehistory has effecfively used the internet to achieve what we've wanted for years, the sharing of excellent resources, easily accessible, well written but adaptable".
"There are many excellent websites to support the teaching of history in schools, but Active History offers some things which are distinctive; there is a degree of imagination and initiative in the nature of some of the activities, which require students to think carefully about the past. The site has provided a new generation of the historical simulations and decision making exercises which were so influential in popularising the use of computers in school history in the UK".
"Activehistory has enabled my History students to see that History is fun -they have been able to have an online conversation with Hitler and learn so much without realising it !!"
"I teach in the Falkland Islands, and Active History resources have helped me to provide students of all abilities with challenging and inspirational learning activities. In addition, I've found Active History to be the most accessible and enjoyable of all the school history sites available on the web: it really does make learning engaging and fun. Consequently, it's a bother that my history department budget doesn't extend as far as a subscription to Active History, because I know that Falkland Islands students would benefit from the opportunities it provides to learn history through ICT. On the other hand, for individual teachers like me, a subscription provides greater value for money than just about any other teaching resource".
"A fantastic range of resources with imaginative and accessible material. Hard to live without"
"Active History gives teachers more opportunity to bring History to life in the classroom, inspring our students to dig deeper and ask probing questions that allow them to have a more in-depth understanding of the subject, not to mention the sheer enjoyment of the head to heads and other activities"
"The website is clearly designed, very colourful and appealing to pupils. It is constantly updated with new activities or improvements to old favourites and it is very easy to navigate. There are so many great activities which I have used over the last three years. Some of my pupils` favourites are the Head2Head interviews; the Battle for the throne in 1066; Life in the Trenches and the Home Front in World War II. The games on the site make excellent starters and plenaries , especially being able to Fling the Teacher. Russel Tarr has really thought about the Activities, they never have glitches, they really appeal to the pupils and they always lead to a good piece of work at the end. I currently have some excellent "Hello" magazine articles about Henry VIII on my classroom wall!"
"ActiveHistory inspires students, it brings together their understanding to engage with the subject at a deeper level, aids revision and is a godsend for planning for overstretched teachers!"
"Active history adopts a tongue in cheek delivery for many of the online activities which the students love. For them, it makes such a refreshing change from the seriousness of many History sites. But within that, there is some really original teaching and learning going on, using a range of really strong primary sources and some great web links. Of course, students jump at the chance to interview charchters from History, although the questions asked can sometimes be a little personal!"
"Active History is a gold mine of great ideas and activities for the teaching of history. It makes it exciting and also challenges pupils to think for themselves. The games are a great way to provide educational but fun activities in stressful times before examinations".
"Active History allows the user to get right up close to history. It enthuses previously "bored" pupils and allows them to make the vital connections whilst learning the facts. Active History is one of the reasons why our numbers are growing in KS4 History. Russell Tarr is a great asset to all History teachers and should be kept
under lock and key. Safely away from others"
"ActiveHistory and an interactive whiteboard allows us to teach in the way that we know we should be teaching…with starters, quizzes and interactive exercises allowing the students to engaging with activites in a lively and involving way…my Year 9s love the Manic Miner games…and strive to get on the highest scores board barely aware that they are learning history along the way….This is a great site"
"It does what it says on the tin! This site has been invaluable in helping me to provide historically accurate, challenging and enjoyable learning opportunities for my students."
"I have really enjoyed using activehistory to enhance the learning of my pupils. They especially like the interview activities where they get to interview the likes of Hitler and Henry VIII!!"
"Active history engages pupils of all ability levels. The activities are thorough and accurate. My pupils just love to get on the games - a great incentive to get the set task finished!"
"I think ActiveHistory is a great educational tool for students to use in the classroom. I have used the WW I Trench Warfare simulation and the Stock Market Crash Simulation. The students seem to enjoy engaging in both and get mad when they lose all their money in the Stock Market Crash, which is the purpose as I see it. I also like that worksheets and study guides have already been supplied for the students to use. This gives teachers the ability to spend more time on planning other creative assignments for their students. I have used the talking heads in class and I am going to develop a lesson for students to use with partners or in small groups. This summer I am going to spend time developing more lessons that integrate lessons and simulations from ActiveHistory. Thank you for putting together great educational activities which actively engage students in their learning".
"This site is by far the best example of how IT can be used to support the teaching of History. The range is amazing: it provides me with ideas for A level lessons; it can even be used to deliver an A Level lesson (very useful if you have to leave cover). It has materials for GCSE and KS3. A teacher instantly recognises that it is designed by a practising teacher because it offers students activities that they can cope with at their own level. The "head-to-head" interviews are highly entertaining. Watching a class of not very motivated Year 11 boys get engrossed in the Hitler interview is an enjoyable experience. Once they are hooked by that, they can be led on to more useful and challenging activities. The range of activities is one of the main reasons why we return to this site. There are activities which can be used as "add-ons" to extend students at the end of the lesson; there is material which is good for AS and A2 consolidation. We have even persuaded our IT manager, who puts a block on students downloading games, that he should exempt this site. The subscription rate is affordable, unlike other sites who charge a great deal more and offer a great deal less"
"A fantastic teaching resource which my classes absolutely love. It's particularly useful in bringing to life potentially difficult or dull topics such as the League of Nations or the Liberal Reforms with its simulation games."
"Excellent website which brings lessons to life, and enhances teaching and learning".
"The department especially values the material on 16th century Europe and England. This is not covered by other websites and Active History provides a wealth of activities in these areas".
"We use the active history website for the Jack the Ripper scheme of work in Year 9. It is excellent at raising interest in a dynamic topic with the students. The girls love the gory details. The resources in this section are very good at developing source skills and the questions posed in the end of unit assessment are in the style of GCSE. It has encouraged the use of GCSE type questions lower down in KS3 in order to support students more thoroughly".
"Active History provides pupils with many ICT opportunities that are not always otherwise available. One paricularly useful programme allows pupils to study political cartoons. The AQA GCSE History exam includes the evaluation of political cartoons which many lower ability pupils find difficult to understand. The resource available on Active History allows pupils to interact with these cartoons and provokes thought about each section. An excellent resource that is superb value for money and which the department, nor the pupils, would be without!"
"My students really respond to the interactive games I usually use to review or wrap up a topic. My personal favorite is the Life in the Trenches, probably because my grandfather fought in that war. The game has wonderful details about the war and how it affected the everyday soldier. This is not a topic that my students generally have much pre-knowledge about so I like to do it in as much detail as possible".
"I have subscribed to ActiveHistory for the last two years, and definitely plan to renew my subscription once again. It is a valuable resource and provides a multitude of interesting and inventive activities. Students particularly like the 'talking heads'. Hours of fun, and learning of course!!!"
"Active history is a great resource, the activities grips students' imagination in a way that a textbook never could. 'Head to Head' interviews are a fantastic asset when trying to motivate the unwilling. As a department we feel the activities on active history like 'undercover in Nazi Germany' strike the right balance between fun and challenge, a balance that many commercially produced materials lack"
"Active History is the best educational site for History that we have come across. There is such a wide range of material both in terms of the key stages addressed and in the variety of interactive activities for the students. It is also an invaluable resource for teachers with many downloadable PowerPoint presentations or worksheets".
"The great thing about 'ActiveHistory' is that it gets students and teachers alike thinking imaginatively about the subject. The wide range of activities on the site really does force you to get personally involved in the controversies of the past and to make informed judgments. As a teaching and studying tool it's second to none".
"We are only too happy to be able to give a mighty endorsement to ActiveHistory. It is a wonderful way of getting staff and pupils to consolidate historical skills as well as ICT skills. all too often when pupils go to the computer network they only perfect ICT. Activehistory never loses sight of the fact that we are in the business of getting pupils to use historical skills of enquiry and research, decision making and evaluation. Pupils in all key stages can find useful tasks to engage with as well as having fun with the interactive games. The games are ingenious and pupils often fail to realise they are having fun doing revision tests of essential key facts and taking responsibility for their own learning. I have recommended the site to every history teacher I meet"
Events (100 years ago today): 1917 - World War I: The U.S. ambassador Walter Hines Page to the United Kingdom is given the Zimmermann Telegram, in which Germany pledges to ensure the return of New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona to Mexico if Mexico declares war on the United States.
Births (250 years ago today): 1767 - Rama II of Siam (d. 1824)
Births (50 years ago today): 1967 - Brian Schmidt, Australian astrophysicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
Commemorations:Estonia National Day
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Was life good or bad in Victorian Britain? A study through paintings
Anarchism: Bakunins Catechism of a Revolutionary
Summary Sheet: Hegel, Marx and Lenin compared and contrasted
Factual Test on the issues covered so far (20 questions)
Teacher-led online lecture : A brief history of political ideology from the Enlightenment to the modern day!
Enlightenment Philosophy: Philosophers, Revolutionaries and the Declaration of the Rights of Man
Teacher-led online lecture : A brief history of political ideology from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment!
Left-wing and Right Wing: Which are you?
What is Politics? Why are so many people not interested in it and why is this worrying?
Communism and Fascism: Whats the difference?
Design your ideal state
LBJ and the Great Society
Hexagons Activity: Impact of the Industrial Revolution
Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre Teacher model answers
50 Essential Songs for the History Classroom