Black Death: Animation Worksheet

Following the retirement of Adobe Flash, I have rewritten my lesson worksheet about the spread of the Black Death to make use of an alternative video.

Essay Assignment: Witchcraft

Essay Assignment: Witchcraft In timed conditions, students will write an illustrated essay on the theme of “The 16th Century witch craze”. This document includes detailed guidance and images for them to cut out and use as captioned pictures for an illustrated essay.

Renaissance Simulation – Factual Test

A 20-question paper-based factual test (along with teacher answers) to test knowledge and understanding gleaned from the ActiveHistory Renaissance Adventure Game.

1066: Arcade Games Quizzes

45 questions to test knowledge of the events of 1066, in the form of various arcade games created at www.classtools.net.

Design your own coat of arms!

A new interactive exercise • In the Middle Ages, Knights designed their own coat of arms which they could carry into battle so they could be easily identified. • In this activity, you will be asked six key questions about your life, personality and interests. • The computer will then use this information to give you…

New Simulation: Medieval Cathedral Building

How successfully can you build a Medieval Cathedral? [Interactive]In this activity, students answer a series of questions asked by King Henry II. Based on the quality of the responses he then decides how likely he is to let them build a cathedral. Complete with a worksheet and a live “leaderboard” to build up a sense of…

New Simulation: Weimar Germany 1921-29

Weimar Germany Decision Making Game – Part 2: 1921-29 [Interactive] complete with follow-up factual test.This simulation is a great way of introducing or revising the issues surrounding Weimar Germany in the years 1921-29. Each of the 7 key decision points covers a different issue. By working through the activity and completing the worksheet, students will learn about the…

New Simulation: Weimar Germany 1918-21

Weimar Germany Decision-Making Game – Part 1: 1918-21 [Interactive] A brand new version of the popular decision making game. Each of the 5 key decision points covers a different issue. By working through the activity and completing the worksheet, students will learn about the diplomatic, economic, social and political problems faced by the Republic, and consider how successfully…

New Simulation: Can you Survive the Wall St. Crash?!

Interactive Decision-Making SimulationCan you survive the Wall Street Crash?“In this interactive simulation, you will be invited to “play the stock market”. In this way will learn about how a Crash can occur. You will be given a series of situations. You must decide if each one will: lead to share prices rising ( = so…

New Interactive Simulation: Who was Jack the Ripper?

Armed with the profiles that they have built up, students go to this ActiveHistory Simulation which asks them a series of questions about what they think they now know about the personality and appearance of the Ripper. The computer then analyses their responses to present them with a list of the most likely suspects based…

New Simulation: The League of Nations in the 1920s

In this new multimedia simulation students will take on the role of an ambitious civil servant, working for the British government. They will offer advice about how ministers should try to improve international stability. A structured worksheet guides students through 12 key issues: 4 relating to border disputes, 4 relating to social affairs, and 4…

A Time Machine Journey to Renaissance Florence

A Time Machine Journey to Renaissance Florence | Student Workpack | Teacher AnswersA major multimedia simulation which can be played over several hours to provide students with a thorough grounding in the major personalities, events and developments in Renaissance Florence. In this simulation, your mission is to meet the artist Leonardo da Vinci, obtain his famous painting the Mona…

New IGCSE History Hub on ActiveHistory!

New IGCSE History Hub on ActiveHistory! I’ve finally got round to putting together a new landing page for IGCSE History students and teachers on ActiveHistory. It contains direct links to scores of schemes of work for the most popular IGCSE options and much else besides. Let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements!

Historiography of the Vietnam War – Summary / Task Sheet

A detailed summary sheet analysing the ways in which different historians have debated whether the US was right to get involved in the Vietnam War and, once they did so, whether they ever had any realistic prospects of victory. This resource can be found on the Vietnam War unit page of ActiveHistory.

PSHE – Smoking

I’m currently working on uploading all my PSHCE resources to a new website, www.pshe-lessons.com. This new study unit on the dangers of smoking is one new example that you might find useful if you are a form tutor.

Time Machine Journey to the Middle Ages

I have updated the worksheets accompanying the Time Machine Journey to the Middle Ages, including more detailed structured questions, accompanying teacher answers, and a new mapping activity.

ActiveHistory has been upgraded to a brand new server!

It’s been quite a mammoth task, but ActiveHistory (and ClassTools) have been moved to a brand-new, state-of-the-art dedicated server. It’s been a complicated and expensive process, but this should ensure that the sites are faster and more stable than ever to cope with the demands created by distance learning especially during the current pandemic!

Create an editable timeline from any Wikipedia article!

This is a new addition to ActiveHistory’s sister website, www.classtools.net: input any search term, and then obtain an interactive timeline based on the Wikipedia article it corresponds to. You can then edit the timeline and save it for your own use in the classroom!

Bayeux Tapestry Interactive Images

Bayeux Tapestry Slideshow The lesson could start by watching a Bayeux Tapestry Animation on YouTube. Then, view a series of interactive images from the Bayeux Tapestry with analysis of their meaning. Designed to be used to help teachers in a feedback session after students have completed the worksheet accompanying the game above. There is a teacher helpsheet available for this…

1066: Ordering Quiz

Order the events correctly – classroom challenge Students cut and paste the information into the correct order [teacher answer sheet available].

Blind Date, 1066!

Blind Date, 1066! A roleplay exercise enabling students to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various contenders for the English throne in 1066. As a homework, students produce a propaganda poster for the candidate of their choice. There are teacher notes available along with a presentation and a sample poster.

Model Essay: Analyse the Causes of the Korean War

Model Essay: Analyse the Causes of the Korean War A model essay focusing closely on the use of historiography and making particular reference to the role played by the Chinese and the Soviet Union.

Events since 1979: Decision Making Exercise | Multimedia Slideshow

Events since 1979: Decision Making Exercise | Multimedia Slideshow Students are provided with a detailed breakdown of the key events which took place after Camp David, and for each one students are presented with a decision point from either an Israeli or an Arab perspective to discuss before being provided by the teacher in the…

The Camp David Agreement | Teacher Presentation

The Camp David Agreement | Teacher Presentation “The stalemate which resulted from the Yom Kippur war produced a balance of power between the two sides that made genuine compromise possible. Conduct your own research on each of these questions. Your teacher will lead a feedback session using a PowerPoint presentation afterwards”.

Events / Consequences of the October War

Events / Consequences of the October War Students are provided with 20 essential points of information which they need to categorise into three rows (Why were the Arab armies initially so successful? / Why did they nevertheless fail to secure an outright victory? / What were the consequences?) and then subdivide into different categories (USA…

Causes of the October War

Causes of the October War “As a result of the 1967 war, Egypt lost Gaza and Sinai, Syria the Golan Heights; Jordan lost the West Bank and East Jerusalem. UN Security Council Resolution 242(1967) told Israel’s to return these lands, and for Arabs to respect the right of Israel to exist. However, the Arabs refused…

Computer Simulation: Was Cortes a Hero, or a Villain? | Student Worksheet

Computer Simulation: Was Cortes a Hero, or a Villain? | Student Worksheet A major simulation complete with multimedia and a leaderboard, designed to take students up to two hours to complete. The accompanying worksheet helps students to build up evidence to decide whether Cortes was a hero, or a villain: “In 1519, Hernan Cortes marched into deepest Mexico with…

Written Sources: Who were the Aztecs?

Written Sources: Who were the Aztecs? “The Aztec people were based around modern-day Mexico. Completely isolated from the cultures of Africa, Asia and Europe, they developed a unique civilisation. In this unit of study you will investigate the ways in which they were similar to, and different from, European societies in the 16th century. You…

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.

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.

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.

*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 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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…

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.

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/

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

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 ‘n’ 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 “teenage” 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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. “November 30th”). 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.  

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.  

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….