World War One Trenches Simulation

I have made some major improvements to the popular “Can you survive the trenches of World War One?” simulation, in particular adding more multimedia clips and decision points.

The Red Scare: Classroom simulation!

In this educational simulation, students each research a different character secretly. One of them was a genuine communist, the rest were innocent of the charges. Then, after each one is interrogated (HUAC style!) by the teacher, students have to organise themselves over several rounds into different groups in an attempt to identify the communist within…

Podcast Worksheet: Mandela, an Audio History

Podcast Worksheet: Mandela, an Audio History Students provide answers to the following questions using the first 24 minutes of this podcast from the BBC, which covers Mandela’s life up to his imprisonment in 1964.

Rise of Pinochet: Diplomatic Causes

Diplomatic causes: To what extent was President Nixon responsible for the overthrow of democracy in Chile? | Primary sources pack | Completed teacher version In this second part of the study, students investigate whether the USA was responsible for engineering both Allende’s failures and Pinochet’s coup. Part of the complete scheme of work on the rise and rule of…

Rise of Pinochet: Domestic Causes

Domestic causes: How popular was Allende with his own people at the time of his overthrow? | Completed teacher version In this task, students consider how far the Chilean coup can be explained in terms of domestic factors – in particular, whether it is accurate to say that Allende precipitated his own overthrow with divisive and unpopular…

Spanish Civil War: Video Worksheets

Video Worksheet: Causes of the Spanish Civil War – Part 1, 1931-1935 | Completed Teacher Version A structured worksheet based around a classic video documentary about the Spanish Civil War, which is available online. Video Worksheet: Causes of the Spanish Civil War – Part 2, 1936 | Completed Teacher Version A structured worksheet based around a classic video documentary…

Spanish Civil War: Detailed Analysis and Video Documentary Clips

Detailed Analysis and Video Documentary Clips In this activity, students consider not only the role of the Republic, the Nationalists and Foreign powers in the conflict, but also the role played by political, socio-economic and military factors. They begin by using ideas from their timeline (previous activity) and the move on to watch a series…

In Defence of Apartheid

In Defence of Apartheid Students listen to three short video interview clips with contemporary witnesses justifying the policy of apartheid, and make notes on each. Part of the Apartheid South Africa scheme of work at ActiveHistory.

Flashpoint: Berlin – Events 1948-1960

Flashpoint: Berlin – Events 1948-1960 This lesson provides an overview of the Berlin Blockade, structured questions around a video documentary covering the period, and a cartoon sourcework question. Part of the scheme of work on Soviet Control of Eastern Europe at ActiveHistory.

Historiography: How have historians debated the causes of the Korean War?

Historiography: How have historians debated the causes of the Korean War? Here’s a handout I produced for my students, which is particularly useful for justifying the definition of the Korean War as a Civil War for Paper 2 as well as a Cold War Conflict. Part of the Korean War scheme of work at ActiveHistory.

Essay Keywords Checker: Castro’s Rule of Cuba

Essay Keywords Checker: Castro’s Rule of Cuba This tool provided a list of key terms relating to Castro’s rule of Cuba and can be used to help students identify any obvious gaps in their analysis. Part of the new scheme of work on Castro’s Rule.

Castro’s Rule: Past IB Paper 2 / Paper 3 Essay Questions

Past IB Paper 2 / Paper 3 Essay Questions Students can highlight different themes in different colours and highlight dates in red and use these to discuss the most common themes and perspectives focused on by the examiner. Part of the new scheme of work on the Rule of Castro.

Castro Essay Planning Exercises | Matrix Grids – Blogpost | Sample Student Slides

Essay Planning Exercises | Matrix Grids – Blogpost | Sample Student Slides In this phase, students use their research to consider how they could use it to answer two possible questions:Was Castro’s use of propaganda more important than his use of force as a means of maintaining power?How Authoritarian was Castro’s Cuba? Part of the new scheme of work…

Castro’s Rule: Classroom Debate and Arbitration Exercise

Classroom Debate and Arbitration Exercise In this stage, students work with the same student(s) that looked at the same policy, from the same perspective, as themselves. Together, they produce a joint presentation to the rest of the class designed to persuade them that in your policy area Castro was a success or a failure as…

Castro’s Objectives, Policies, and Research Focus Points

Castro’s Objectives, Policies, and Research Focus Points | Teacher Notes Each student should focus on a different policy area, and identify elements of success OR failure in preparation for a debate.. Students first consider how rulers measure their success in terms of economics, politics and so on. If you have IB Geography students willing to do so,…

Measuring Castro’s success on his own terms: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism

Measuring Castro’s success on his own terms: Populism, Nationalism, Socialism This short presentation, which closes with a 5-minute video clip providing a recap on Castro’s rise, sets up the unit by stressing the importance to students of measuring Castro on his own terms, and providing definitions of three criteria by which to do so. Part…

Hitler’s Foreign Policy 1938-39

Uniting all Germans: Anschluss and the Sudetenland | Teacher Slideshow Complete with structured questions and sourcework, students are guided through the main events through a decision-making exercise. Invading Foreign Territory: Czechoslovakia and Poland | Teacher Slideshow Students examine a series of sources and watch video clips to build up their knowledge.

Germany, Italy and the Spanish Civil War | Teacher Slideshow

Germany, Italy and the Spanish Civil War | Teacher Slideshow A detailed workpack broken into three key sections, with structured questions and sourcework tasks:What was the Spanish Civil War?Why did Germany get involved in the Spanish Civil War?What did Germany Contribute to the Spanish Civil War?

Causes of World War Two: New Resources

I have uploaded a lot of new materials for my studies of the Origins of World War Two in the 1930s, meaning that I have now created several dedicated sections of the website to keep the topic manageable: The Great Depression Manchuria / Abyssinia Hitler’s Foreign Policy Appeasement Appeasement: Depth Study

Appeasement: Sourcework Questions and Model Answers

Sourcework Questions and Model Answers 1. Study Sources A and B. How far do these two sources agree? Explain your answer using the sources.2. Study Sources B and C. How far does Source C make Chamberlain’s attitude in Source B surprising?

Silent Discussion: Was the policy of appeasement “Spineless”, “Stupid”, “Cunning” or “Honourable”?

Silent Discussion: Was the policy of appeasement “Spineless”, “Stupid”, “Cunning” or “Honourable”? | Sources | Completed Teacher Version The teacher now presents the class with a series of sources in the form of a “silent debate”. For each one, decide which interpretation (honorable, cunning, stupid or cowardly) it substantiates, and then summarise its argument. Finally, take a vote on…

Was Hitler a Gambler, or a Planner, in Foreign Affairs?

The Historiography of World War Two: Was Hitler a Gambler, or a Planner, in Foreign Affairs? The AJP Taylor debate is explained here clearly, with discussion points attached and reference made to other historians who have contributed to the debate.

Five Key Sources: Was Hitler a Gambler, or a Planner?

Five Key Sources: Was Hitler a Gambler, or a Planner? To investigate further this key question, students examine five central sources: Mein Kampf, The Four Year Plan, the Hossbach Memorandum, Code Green, and Goering’s testimony at the Nuremberg War Trials.

Roleplay: The Manchurian Crisis

Roleplay: The Manchurian Crisis | Rolecards This roleplay exercise is a great way to get students thinking about the possible courses of action open to the League. Students are given an essential briefing about the Manchurian Dispute, and are then organised into five groups representing different countries. Each country is given a role card outlining what course…

How similar were the Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises?

Conclusions: How similar were the Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises? | Teacher Model Answers Students are provided with a writing frame which helps them compare and contrast the causes, course and consequences of the two crises.

Visual Essay-Writing Exercise: The Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises

Visual Essay-Writing Exercise: The Manchurian and Abyssinian Crises | Manchuria Cartoons | Abyssinia Cartoons Break the class into two groups. One will focus on the first crisis, one on the second. They should then construct an essay about the causes, course and consequences of their allocated crisis using the cartoons about Manchuria or Abyssinia as appropriate.

New Simulation: Hitler’s Foreign Policy in the 1930s

This new simulation is designed to help students form an opinion as to whether Hitler was a gambler or a planner in foreign affairs, and how far his foreign policy objectives could be justified. It comes complete with work pack, media clips, and a ‘save game’ feature. Part of the International Relations in the 1930s…

Conclusions and Essay Planning: Cold War Crises and Leaders to 1964

Conclusions and Essay Planning: Cold War Crises and Leaders to 1964 Students are provided with eight possible essay questions from past examination papers, along with indicative content. These should be shared among the members of the class to tackle. Part of the scheme of work on JFK’s Foreign Policy at ActiveHistory.

Design your ultimate music festival!

Teen music fashions since the 1960s: can you design your ultimate festival line-up? | Sample poster | More sample posters In this activity you will learn about some of the most important music genres that developed from the 1960s onwards. You will use what you learn to produce your own personal music festival with the very best bands, and…

US withdrawal from Afghanistan – FREE topical lessons

US withdrawal from Afghanistan – FREE topical lessons I’ve put together a couple of activities to help students understand what’s been going on in Afghanistan recently and how the West should now rethink its policy there. They’re primarily designed for my 15-16 year old form group rather than my IB Historians but they could be…

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 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…

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.

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…

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.

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

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…

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…

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.

“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.

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….

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.  

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.  

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.)

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.  

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’s 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’s 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…

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…