ActiveHistory Simulations: New Searchable Database

This new searchable database provides you with full access to scores of online history simulations and other interactive resources to use with your classes. All come complete with student worksheets and teacher support materials. (26 views)

The 1967 Six-Day War: Events/Consequences

Events and Consequences of the 6-Day War The causes for the Israeli victory, plus the long-term international consequences and for the Palestinians in particular, are covered in this lesson activity. (10 views)

The 1967 Six-Day War: Causes

Causes of the 6-Day War | Teacher Notes Students have to analyse a detailed timeline to determine how the four main combatant nations could be held mainly responsible for the outbreak of the war in 1967. (13 views)

*NEW* Diamond 9 Diagram Generator on ClassTools

For my fellow teachers – I’ve just launched this new HTML5 template on my ClassTools website to replace the earlier Flash-based version. It works well on mobile devices as well as laptops. Hope you find it useful ūüôā (51 views)

A History of Face Masks

Since the COVID pandemic, face masks have become familiar to all of us. In this new unit of study, students will learn how face masks have been used throughout history, all over the world, for all sorts of weird and wonderful reasons. They will research one mask each, then share their findings as a group…

The Suez Crisis of 1956

The Suez Crisis of 1956 Multimedia decision-making exercise (double-lesson) This unit guides students step-by-step through the causes, events and consequences of the Suez Crisis. It also makes reference to the Sevres Protocol. Part of the new IGCSE Paper 1 Scheme of Work on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (29 views)

What were the results of the 1948 war?

What were the results of the 1948 war? This exercise focuses particularly on “Al Nakba” (“The Catastrophe”) – the Palestinian refugee crisis, with a discussion about whether the Palestinians have the ‘right to return’ to their lands in present-day Israel. Part of the new IGCSE Paper 1 Scheme of Work on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (19…

Why did Israel win the 1948 war?

Why did Israel win the 1948 war? By analysing a timeline of events and watching some multimedia clips, students are challenged to find three key reasons why the Israelis won, and to link them. Part of the new IGCSE Paper 1 Scheme of Work on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (27 views)

What territorial changes took place as a result of the 1948 war?

The Arab-Israeli War of 1948 What territorial changes took place as a result of the 1948 war? Students are given an overview of the main events, and two ‘before and after’ maps to draw some initial conclusions from. Part of the new IGCSE Paper 1 Scheme of Work on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (23 views)

Civil War in Palestine, 1947-1948

Civil War in Palestine, 1947-1948 The UN General Assembly (and the Jewish leadership in Palestine) voted to accept the UNSCOP partition plan in November 1947. The Arabs though rejected it. The outcome of this conflict was the first wave of Palestinian refugees, which remains one of the central problems in the region today. Students investigate…

UNSCOP and the United Nations Partition Plan

UNSCOP and the United Nations Partition Plan What really happened? Students consider, based on their own discussions, the merits and drawbacks of the actual partition plan settled upon by UNSCOP. Part of the new IGCSE Paper 1 Scheme of Work on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (26 views)

TOK in History – stimulus questions grid

The following grid outlines the main Ways of Knowing identified in the TOK history syllabus, along with the specified areas for consideration with regard to History in particular. These are laid out in a grid with a question provided which covers all possible crossover discussion points. Useful for classroom stimulus and ideas for how to…

1947 roleplay part 2: Task for the “Judges”

UNSCOP and the United Nations Partition Plan 1947 roleplay part 2: Task for the “Judges” “Three people in the class will be in role as members of the UN. They will have to vote later on which of the proposals presented to them is the most likely to bring lasting peace to the region. In…

ActiveHistory Books available for purchase

I have now written four books, and so I thought it would be a good idea to create a dedicated page where you can learn about all of them in one place. Click here   (38 views)

NEW BOOK – “25 Essays in Modern History”

I have just published a new book! Essays in Modern History provides the perfect handbook for teachers and students seeking answers to some of the most interesting questions investigated at the 16-18 age range. The 25 essays covers such topics as the causes and consequences of World War One, the Spanish Civil War and the…

1947 roleplay part 2: Task for the “Arabs” and “Jews”

UNSCOP and the United Nations Partition Plan 1947 roleplay part 2: Task for the “Arabs” and “Jews” “UNSCOP reported back in September 1947 proposing that Palestine should be divided into two separate states, with economic unity. In this exercise, you will draw up your own partition plan, and compare it to that decided upon by…

Calendar of Historical Anniversaries: 2020-2021

*NEW* Free download – Calendar of Historical Anniversaries: 2020-2021 I’ve just finished work on my new calendar for the coming academic year. It contains some of the most important forthcoming historical anniversaries and memorial days to help you with lesson planning and assemblies. You can download your copy here by following this link. (188 views)

Medieval Meme / Storyboard Generator

I’ve just launched a new resource over at www.classtools.net which allows students to generate their own Memes / Storyboards based on medieval manuscript images. https://www.classtools.net/meme/ (76 views)

Tensions in Palestine 1945-1947 | Teacher Version

Why did Britain give up its Mandate in Palestine? Reason 3: Tensions in Palestine 1945-1947¬†|¬†Teacher Version “Cut and paste each of the following events into the correct column. (US Pressure upon Britain | British (Empire) pressures | Jewish pressure upon Britain | Arab pressure upon Britain). If you have sufficient time, add a few relevant…

Tensions in Palestine Increase: World War Two and the Holocaust

Why did Britain give up its Mandate in Palestine? Reason 2: Tensions in Palestine Increase: World War Two and the Holocaust Students complete a detailed worksheet by watching a 35-minute video documentary about the Holocaust. Part of the new IGCSE Paper 1 Scheme of Work on the Arab-Israeli Conflict (5 views)

Tensions in Palestine before 1939: Palestinians and Jews

Why did Britain give up its Mandate in Palestine? Reason 1: Tensions in Palestine before 1939: Palestinians and Jews¬†|¬†Teacher Version Students are provided with a ‘fill the gaps’ exercise and are then asked to identify from this three key reasons why Palestine was a source of tension even before the outbreak of World War Two….

Introduction and Overview: The Arab-Israeli Conflict since 1945

Introduction and Overview: The Arab-Israeli Conflict since 1945 Students are provided with a narrative overview of the conflict, with the “hook” being the tragic events of September 11th 2001. This is explained in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict and students are provided with a diagram and supporting questions to help them put this into…

Online Simulation: Are you the ‘fifth Beatle’?

Online Simulation: Are you the ‘fifth Beatle’? In this simulation, you will be presented with a series of situations that faced The Beatles during the 1960s, and regular video clips of The Beatles being interviewed and singing their songs. At the end of the simulation you will be told how many of these decisions matched…

Why did Beatlemania sweep the USA in the 1960s?

Why did Beatlemania sweep the USA in the 1960s? Through an analysis of the music, lyrics, fashion and politics of the 1960s, students learn about the cultural impact of the Beatles in the 1960s. They match images of the Beatles to the correct dates through the help of musical clips; examine their album art (and…

Who was the greatest of the other Rock ‘n’ Rollers?

Who was the greatest of the other Rock ‘n’ Rollers? In this activity you will take on the role of a Rock ‚Äėn‚Äô Roll manager. A major record label is willing to offer a lucrative contract to TWO acts. Your job is to make sure that your client gets one of these contracts! Part of…

How and why did adults and teenagers disagree about Elvis Presley?

How and why did adults and teenagers disagree about Elvis Presley? By the mid-1950s, there were lots of interesting developments going on in youth culture: a mass white audience with money to burn, young black musicians with amazing energy and talent, and a thriving movie industry catering for a teenage market. What was missing, though,…

What sorts of movies were popular with teenagers in the 1950s?

What sorts of movies were popular with teenagers in the 1950s? | Introductory Video – B-Movies (5 movies) | Plenary Video – JD Movies (8 minutes) The first signs of a distinctive ‚Äúteenage‚ÄĚ identity emerged not with music, but in film. Young people in the 1950s America grew up at a time of economic prosperity….

Why did “teenage” identity start to emerge in the 1950s?

In this activity, students are introduced to the creation of the modern teenager after World War Two, and listen to a wide variety of songs in different styles (blues, gospel, country, crooners) to compare and contrast them in terms of style and lyrical content. Part of the new unit on Teen Culture since WW2. (65…

History Podcast App from ActiveHistory

History Podcast App from ActiveHistory I’m developing a new app for students and teachers of IB History. It’s a directory of 700+ podcasts (so far) organised by topic, which will be updated at least once per week. You can ‘favourite’ your best podcasts, and even add comments within the app. I’ll be doing some fine-tuning…

“Statues and History” – Standalone lesson materials

Standalone lesson materials – “Statues and History” I finished putting together a self-contained study for my Year 9 students based on the recent debates about the future of historical statues – you can download the materials (and find links to additional videos/podcasts) here. Happy to hear any suggestions for further improvements. (179 views)

Multimedia Presentation: Gorbachev’s Rule

A presentation to provide feedback on the main activity on this page. Each slide outlines what Gorbachev actually did, and is followed by a video clip from which students can take additional notes. (65 views)

50+ ActiveHistory Lectures – all on one page

I’ve finally got round to putting all of the online multimedia presentations I’ve produced (and which are particularly popular) on this dedicated page for ease of reference. They cover topics in the entire 11-18 age range, although most are designed for IB History. (78 views)

Using student questionnaires to improve your teaching / planning

Each year I set up a Google Form and set a homework task for all my students to answer variations on the following questions. I find it a really invaluable way of developing my teaching and my schemes of work. Here are the questions I use in case you’re interested in trying something similar (or…

Video Documentary Project – The American Civil War

A new worksheet and activity – students watch some clips from professional historians, and the work of previous years’ students, to reflect on what makes a great documentary. They are then guided through the process of writing a narrative, choosing appropriate images and a soundtrack, prior to producing a short video documentary of their own….

Trading scenarios along the Silk Road: Teacher Answers

Trading scenarios along the Silk Road: can you make a profit? “The Silk Road developed into an amazingly complex trading network through the work of individual traders eager not just to obtain the things they needed and wanted, but to sell these on at a higher price to make a profit. In this activity will…

JFK: Introduction and Overview

JFK: Introduction and Overview Students are provided with a teacher-led lecture based around the following image and make notes in this worksheet. If you wish to set this as a homework task instead of lecture, you can use this interactive version of the image at Classtoolsand this accompanying video clip for additional notes.   (37…

The English Civil War: PowerPoint Starter / Accompanying Video

The English Civil War: PowerPoint Starter / Accompanying Video A series of images and short textual points designed to generate student interest. What was the Civil War? Why is it important to study? To accompany this, I have produced a short video of my own which I originally created as a distance-learning resource during COVID-19…

Medieval Cathedral Building – worksheet to complete online

Medieval Cathedral Building [making use of this slideshow]. This activity gets students to make deductions from original images to determine how medieval cathedrals were built. They watch a short video to decide what the most horrible job for cathedral builders was (lime burner? stonemason? treadmill operator?) They then investigate the difference between Romanesque and Gothic…

Primary sources about Churchill – worksheet

Primary sources about Churchill – Silent Discussion Prior to the lesson, your teacher will print off sets of sources and place them on different tables. The class will be divided into pairs, and each pair will be directed to a different table with a different set of sources. “Read the sources in silence, then still…

“Timeline of my Birthday” – worksheet

“Timeline of my Birthday” – worksheet Replace [DATE GOES HERE] with the month / day of your birthday (e.g. ‚ÄúNovember 30th‚ÄĚ). Go to https://www.activehistory.co.uk/birthdayTimeline 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…

Suez Crisis: Standalone Workpack

The Suez Crisis of 1956 Note: If time is particularly tight, or this topic only needs to be taught briefly, then I have now produced a standalone workpack on this topic, which comes complete with links to multimedia clips. Part of the Suez Crisis Study Unit.   (37 views)

The Abyssinian Crisis

The Abyssinian Crisis Students are presented with a detailed breakdown of the crisis and watch several video clips to help them form judgements. A cartoon analysis exercise then follows. Part of the Interwar Europe: The 1930s study unit.   (56 views)

Design a Virtual Museum

Design a Virtual Museum During the COVID-19 lockdown period I got my students to collaborate on a “Virtual Museum” containing items from around their homes. It worked well and is something which I’ll now do regularly as a standalone project – you may be interested in trying a similar thing out with your own classes….

Image Hotspot Generator

Here’s a new Image Hotspot Generator at www.classtools.net which I’ve created to allow you to quickly annotate images and embed them in your website or blog. (38 views)

Image Reveal Tool

A new classroom resource I’ve launched over at www.classtools.net. (181 views)

The Events of World War Two: New Study Unit

These lessons focus on providing students with a clear understanding of the main ideologies, personalities and events leading up to the war rather than the causes themselves (The Causes of World War Two is a topic better suited as an examination topic for older students, and resources can be found here: 1920s | 1930s.) (139…

The Battle of the Somme: Haig – hero or butcher?

The Battle of the Somme Students conduct a debate on the issues of whether Haig was a good General, whether the battle plan was crazy, and whether it achieved its objectives. They do this by: (a) Completing this NEWLY EDITABLE worksheet as the teacher goes through The Battle of the Somme PowerPoint; (b) Completing this…

How did the Crash lead to a Depression? What were the political consequences?

How did the Crash lead to a Depression? What were the political consequences? Students sometimes find it difficult to understand how a stock market ‘crash’ in one country can lead to a widespread ‘Depression’ affecting the entire economies of many countries. This worksheet helps them bridge the gap. Updated to include a task providing questions…

Factual Test based on the introductory civil rights lecture

Factual Test based on the introductory civil rights lecture 15 questions testing student understanding from the lecture –¬†The Big Picture: A multimedia presentation of race in American history since the Declaration of Independence Part of the Civil Rights unit at ActiveHistory.   (94 views)

How similar was the 2008 Financial Crisis to the Wall St. Crash?

How similar was the 2008 Financial Crisis to the Wall St. Crash? One of the most important purposes of studying history is to understand the modern world. In this exercise students will consider how the Wall St. Crash helps us understand the modern financial system, by considering three particular films in the process: Part of…

Decision-Making Exercise: Was Churchill a Great Leader? – Part 2 (1943-45)

Decision-Making Exercise: Was Churchill a Great Leader? – Part 2 (1943-45) | Student Worksheet A major decision-making simulation designed to teach students about the major events of World War Two in an engaging but rigorous manner. “In 1939, Adolf Hitler invaded Poland after signing a non-aggression pact with Stalin‚Äôs USSR. Britain and France declared war…

Decision-Making Exercise: Was Churchill a Great Leader? – Part 1 (1940-42)

Decision-Making Exercise: Was Churchill a Great Leader? – Part 1 (1940-42) | Student Worksheet A major decision-making simulation designed to teach students about the major events of World War Two in an engaging but rigorous manner. “In 1939, Adolf Hitler invaded Poland after signing a non-aggression pact with Stalin‚Äôs USSR. Britain and France declared war…

Video Documentary Worksheet: “The Children who Fought Hitler”

Video Documentary Worksheet: “The Children who Fought Hitler” (could be used as an alternative video for students who feel uncomfortable watching the ‘Holocaust’ documentary) This is a documentary telling the forgotten story of a heroic battle fought by the children of the British Memorial School to help liberate Europe from the Nazis. The school served…

Video Documentary Worksheet: “The World at War: Genocide”

Video Documentary Worksheet: “The World at War: Genocide” This worksheet is designed to help students get the most out of a documentary episode which is widely regarded as one of the best ever produced about the Holocaust – Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. The Holocaust is a subject which is compulsory to study…

Multimedia Presentation: Who were the Nazis? | Student Worksheet

Multimedia Presentation: Who were the Nazis? | Student Worksheet Students consider some of the key beliefs of the Nazis by debating a series of controversial issues (e.g. “Immigrants should be encouraged to leave our country when there are lots of our own people who are unemployed”, “It is quite right to place suspected terrorists into…

Left-wing and Right Wing: Which are you? [online simulation]

Left-wing and Right Wing: Which are you? [online simulation] Students then complete this computer questionnaire, which will provide them with some initial suggestions about whether they are Left- or Right-Wing. This can be completed in class, or set as a homework activity. Students are then asked to complete a Triangle Nine Template by completing the…

Overview of Ideologies: [a] Communism, Fascism and Nazism

Overview of Ideologies: [a] Communism, Fascism and Nazism Students start the unit by being introduced to the main ideological divisions of the interwar period and the key personalities behind them, including Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill. Part of the new World War Two study unit at ActiveHistory. (104 views)

Student Record Grid – 1920s Border Disputes

Student Record Grid In this classroom roleplay exercise, students are divided into teams of four (idealists and pragmatists) and 11 students are also given a particular country to represent. We then go through each of the major border disputes of the 1920s hearing the arguments on both sides, reaching a decided course of action, then…

ActiveHistory Online Presentation – League in the 1920s

ActiveHistory Online Presentation In this classroom roleplay exercise, students are divided into teams of four (idealists and pragmatists) and 11 students are also given a particular country to represent. We then go through each of the major border disputes of the 1920s hearing the arguments on both sides, reaching a decided course of action, then…

Border Disputes in the 1920s: A Classroom Roleplay Exercise

Border Disputes in the 1920s: A Classroom Roleplay Exercise¬† In this classroom roleplay exercise, students are divided into teams of four (idealists and pragmatists) and 11 students are also given a particular country to represent. We then go through each of the major border disputes of the 1920s hearing the arguments on both sides, reaching…

How successfully did Elizabeth deal with the problems of her reign?

How successfully did Elizabeth deal with the problems of her reign? In this exercise, students will reach a final judgement about Elizabeth I by writing an essay. In this way, they will: Develop their ability to see the ‚Äėbig picture‚Äô and to connect factors together Consider how Elizabeth‚Äôs rule has affected such things as: The…

Design a movie proposal: The Sophiatown Removals

Design a movie proposal: The Sophiatown Removals Fresh from his triumph with the World War One inspired “1917”, award-winning director Sam Mendes is keen to keep his winning streak alive by producing a film based in the black neighbourhood of Sophiatown in the years leading up to and including its destruction in the 1950s. Your…

Google Earth Interactive Tour: three key Silk Road explorers

Google Earth Interactive Tour: three key explorers Using an interactive Google Earth Tour, students develop their understanding of the three key explorers by following their footsteps and learning about their adventures and use what they learn to complete this worksheet. Part of the new “Silk Roads” ¬†unit at ActiveHistory. (113 views)

Three key Silk Road explorers: European, African and Asian

Three key explorers: European, African and Asian “During a period of only 150 years, the travels of three remarkable explorers – one European, one African, and one Asian – expanded our understanding of vast parts of the world. Start by reading the three biographies and watching the video clips that go along with each for…

Crossword test – Silk Roads

Crossword test This crossword quiz, complete with teacher answer sheet, tests the vocabulary developed in the previous introductory exercise. Part of the new “Silk Roads” ¬†unit at ActiveHistory. (58 views)

Introduction to the Silk Roads

Introduction to the Silk Roads “Watch the TEDEd video (below) as a class. Then, go through the written account (overleaf) and see how many of the missing words you are able to fill in. Next, highlight any words in the account that you do not know. Afterwards, discuss these words together and produce a list…

The Silk Roads: Online Adventure Game

A brand new simulation game, complete with a detailed worksheet and extension tasks, designed as part of my ongoing project to bring more non-European history into my classroom. Students can choose to play as a male or female character, and are placed in a random location somewhere on the Silk Roads to begin their quest,…

New Generator: Online Image Annotation Tool!

I’ve just finished coding a new online image annotation tool over at www.classtools.net which allows you to quickly label images (e.g. political cartoons, works of art, historical photographs) with ‘hotspots’ and then save your work to the server / embed it into your own blog or website. (80 views)

Consequences of the Korean War: HTML5 Hexagons

How was a truce negotiated? What were the consequences for Korea and for the wider world? |Interactive HTML Hexagons Students consider a list of detailed points are are then challenged to organise these into meaningful categories to answer the key questions. There are also some HTML5 Hexagons available for this exercise generated at www.classtools.net. Part…

Factual Test: Changes in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s

25-question factual test This test (complete with teacher answer sheet) can be used to confirm that students have taken detailed and effective notes on the topic. Part of the scheme of work: In what ways, for what reasons, and with what results, did the Civil Rights movement become more radical after 1964? (65 views)

Multimedia lecture [3]: Changes in Location: From Rural South to Urban North

Multimedia lecture [3]: Changes in Location: From Rural South to Urban North The change in methods (towards militant self-defence) and objectives (black nationalism, not integration) overlapped with a move away from the rural south (and a focus on tackling Jim Crow laws) and towards the urban north (and a focus on tackling socio-economic exploitation) Part…

Caesar Cypher Generator

As part of the Escape Room resources, I’ve designed a simple Caesar Cypher Generator. (67 views)

ActiveHistory is now FLASH FREE!

After updating the Battle of Hastings Simulation, and following on from the update to Fling the Teacher, I think(!) that there are now no Flash features left on the website. This is in response to the fact that as from next year no major browsers will continue to support Flash for security reasons. If you…

New Blogpost: True, False, or Anachronism?

Overview Helping students understand the concept of anachronism ‚Äď the misplacing of a concept, object or individual in a time period where it could not have existed – is an important step to getting them to understand the concept of chronology, to empathise with people in the past and to understand a historical period. Arthur…

History: Factual Test for the “Undercover in Imperial Rome” simulation

FACTUAL TEST In this task, students are given 25 short-answer questions to test the knowledge they acquired by completing the main worksheet which accompanies the game about Imperial Rome. The link to the associated computer simulation and loads more worksheets and activities relating to Imperial Rome can be found on this page of ActiveHistory.  …

Voyages of Discovery Simulation: Updated and Improved

I have updated my new “Voyages of Discovery” simulation in response to user feedback to include more locations, additional varied tasks, and fresh information about West African Empires in the Middle Ages / Early Modern period to complement the current focus on Asian and European History. It’s now a pretty comprehensive simulation which I hope…

“Unseen history” – a new blogpost

Overview Building up a sense of anticipation and curiosity within a history lesson is always a great way to engender a sense of interest and engagement. What follows are a few ideas which I have found work particularly effectively. What’s in the Bag? I am a big fan of using artefacts in the classroom to…