Model Essay – How successful were Mussolini’s Domestic Policies?

Model Essay – How successful were Mussolini’s Domestic Policies? (note: teacher password required). An essay completed in timed conditions by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. 40+ Model History Essays by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make it a habit to write essays in timed…

Model Essays on Mao’s China

Model Essays by RJ Tarr (note: teacher password required). Analyse the methods and conditions which led to to the rise of Mao as ruler of China. Compare and Contrast the Rise of Mao and Stalin (originally published in History Review) Compare and Contrast the Rise of Pinochet and Franco Compare and Contrast the Rise of Mao and…

Analyse the causes and consequences of the Korean War

Model Essay: Analyse the causes and consequences of the Korean War (teacher password required). A sample essay written by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. A sample essay written by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk. 40+ Model History Essays by RJ Tarr of www.activehistory.co.uk As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make…

Crime Board: Who was Jack the Ripper?

Crime Board: Who was Jack the Ripper? As an alternative to producinga straightforward ‘Wanted’ poster for the killer following the computer simulation, students could instead consider producing a ‘Crime Board’ connecting the various pieces of evidence to different suspects to produce an overall theory. (450 views)

Turbo-Timeline Generator!

I have developed a brand-new timeline generator over at ActiveHistory’s sister site, ClassTools.net. All you have to do is COPY and PASTE a timeline from a website or word document, click a button and you get an animated timeline you can navigate through. Here is an example on the Life and Career of Cromwell, and…

Rule of Pinochet / 1973 Chilean Coup: Dialogue Poem Starter Activity

Starter Activity: Dialogue Poem After a study of the 1973 Chilean Coup, and before/during a study of Pinochet’s rule of Chile, ask two female students to read out the following dialogue poem to the class as a powerful starter activity. For further ideas about using “Dialogue Poems” in class, follow this link on Tarr’s Toolbox:…

“Backward Essay Planning” – the Rule of Pinochet

“Backward Essay Planning” – the Rule of Pinochet In this activity, students are presented from the outset with a model essay on the subject of the Rise of Pinochet. They then go through this reading it carefully for style and content, highlighting off key features and discussing their thoughts with the class. Next, each student…

Escape the Room: Mission Rivonia!

A new one-hour introductory lesson to Apartheid South Africa. “It is 1966. You are anti-apartheid fighters who have been captured after being in hiding since the Rivonia Trial of 1964. Following the assassination of Prime Minister Verwoerd, you have been discovered and placed under house arrest following a dawn raid by the police. You have…

The February Revolution of 1917

The February Revolution of 1917 Students take a detailed timeline of events and place each event into one of three columns: political damage, military damage, socio-economic damage. From this they decide when exactly the Tsar lost control of the politicians, the armed forced and the ordinary people. They then put each of these crises in…

From Yalta to Potsdam – the wartime alliance starts breaking down

From Yalta to Potsdam Through a focus on primary source analysis, students investigate how far Truman’s bellicosity towards the Soviet Union was apparent from the outset, or was merely a position he adopted once he was in possession of the atomic bomb. Part of the comprehensive unit on Cold War Origins to 1949. (168 views)

Introduction to Racism: An introduction to Rights and Protest

Racism – A (provocative!) introduction to “Rights and Protest” Before starting study for the IB Sourcework Paper “Rights and Protest” I like to get students thinking about the concept of racism and its expression in the 21st century. By doing this, I hope to challenge them out of the complacent view that modern Western society…

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.   (472 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. (423 views)

Roleplay: The Manchurian Crisis | Rolecards

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…

*NEW* Simulation: Can you survive life in the trenches in World War One?

A brand new simulation! “In this simulation you will be a British soldier who joins the army in 1914 to fight the Germans. You will learn about the conditions which soldiers lived and fought in, and the dangers they faced. There is a worksheet to go with this activity which you should complete as you proceed.  You…

Civil Rights Movement – Student research tasks / presentation instructions

Student research tasks / presentation instructions Each member of the class chooses one research task from a list of 10 options provided. Suggested sources and approaches are given in the worksheet. The students should then share their findings with the class. Links to useful sources are provided, such as this short video about the Black…

Student-friendly Sourcework Rubric

Student-friendly Sourcework Rubric This rubric provides a student-friendly mark scheme and tips for structuring each of the answers for the IB Sourcework Paper. For example: [Sourcework Rubric] (164 views)

“Advisor to the Kaiser!” – A new online simulation!

I have completely rewritten and relaunched the Origins of World War One online simulation (available on this page), which now has a detailed work pack, multimedia video clips, a leaderboard, a ‘save game’ feature so that students can return to it as a homework exercise if they don’t complete it in class, and much else besides….

The Rise of Hitler – Images

The Rise of Hitler – Images This double-sided sheet of selected images relating to the rise of Hitler can be used to develop the hexagons display piece still further, or as the basis for a visual essay writing exercise. (146 views)

President Johnson – An Introduction to “LBJ”

LBJ: An Introduction In this engaging task, students are given an overview of LBJ and his famous ‘treatment’, along with video clip links and an extract from an acclaimed biography of the President. From this they are encouraged to identify five key aspects of the “Johnson Treatment” and substantiate each with an extract from the…

Factual test – Kennedy’s Foreign Policy

Factual test – Kennedy’s Foreign Policy In the ‘how certain are you?’ format, this test determines not just what students know, but also how confident they are in their knowledge. (110 views)

Escape the Room! – Mission Havana, 1959

Escape the Room! – Mission Havana, 1959 “You are American business people from the United Fruit Company, placed under house arrest by the new Castro regime due to your close ties to Batista. You have managed to ply the guard with rum and he has passed out. But you have only one hour to find…

Cold War – Random Essay Question Generator!

Cold War – Random Essay Question Generator! This tool is desiged to help teachers and students prepare for the IB Paper 2 exam by generating possible questions to practice and discuss. It is based on the command terms and syllabus bullet points provided in the IB syllabus. Use this tool to generate a random question…

The Treaty of Sevres [1]: The Middle East

The Treaty of Sevres [1]: The Middle East | teacher answer sheet Students learn about the conflicting promises made by the British in the Middle East during World War One, and then tackle this: “It is now 1919. You are Prime Minister David Lloyd George, about to head off for the Paris Peace Conference. Complete this official…

Nixon’s Domestic Policy: Student research task

“Higher level students will write a timed essay on the key question outlined above. You will self-study this topic in your own time. When it comes to revision time we will compare and contrast Nixon and Johnson’s achievements. Your task will be to use a variety of sources to decide for yourself what the main…

Model Essay: “Assess the successes and failures of Nixon’s foreign policy”

Model Essay: “Assess the successes and failures of Nixon’s foreign policy” [teacher password required] Students should close this unit by tackling one of the essay questions outlined above in timed conditions. The essay provided here was written by me in timed conditions whilst my own students tacked a similar question. Part of the new scheme of…

Nixon’s foreign policy: the second administration

Nixon’s second administration (1972-1974) “Nixon’s second administration was mired in the Watergate Scandal, but no less controversial is is handling of foreign affairs in this period. In this part of the investigation you will reach your own judgement on whether Vietnam, Chile, Israel and the Middle East, or South Africa deserves to be regarded as…

Nixon’s foreign policy: The 1972 Presidential Election

The 1972 Presidential Election | Teacher notes “Imagine it’s 1972 election year, with inauguration day due to take place in January 1973. You are deciding how to vote, and Gallup (the public opinion pollsters) have asked for your approval rating of Nixon in the realm of foreign affairs. Using your existing knowledge, discuss with a partner what…

Nixon’s foreign policy: the first administration (1969-72)

Nixon’s first administration (1969-1972) | Teacher notes Students complete a gap-fill exercise providing them with an essential overview of Nixon’s foreign policy. They then conduct extra research and reading to answer such questions as: What were the essential features of the Nixon Doctrine? Use quotes from Nixon himself as appropriate. / Complete the following table to provide an…

Nixon’s Foreign Policy: New study unit

A study of Nixon’s foreign policy makes a great deal of sense if students have already studied the Vietnam War and / or the 1973 Chilean Coup (each of which provides a major area of overlap with Nixon). In this compact study unit, students revisit these topics and broaden out to consider not just Nixon’s policies with the USSR…

Model Essay: Compare and Contrast the Rise of Pinochet and Franco

Model Essay: Compare and Contrast the Rise of Pinochet and Franco Students first have a brainstorm about what are the most frequent causes for the rise of single party state rulers. They then analyse the key methods and conditions which led to the rise of particular individual dictators, then compare and contrast them. In this…

LBJ and the “Great Society”

A new teaching unit on LBJ and the Great Society. After the 1964 election, the Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses of Congress. This gave Johnson the mandate to realize his vision of a “Great Society”. Emboldened by his election by more votes than any president in history, Johnson prepared to inundate the 89th…

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre – Teacher model answers

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre | Teacher answers 1) a. According to Source A, why was the campaign in Sharpeville so badly coordinated? [3 marks] 1) b. What is the message conveyed by Source B? [2 marks] 2) With reference to its origin, purpose and content, analyse the value and limitations of Source C for…

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre

Sourcework Exercise: The Sharpeville Massacre 1) a. According to Source A, why was the campaign in Sharpeville so badly coordinated? [3 marks] 1) b. What is the message conveyed by Source B? [2 marks] 2) With reference to its origin, purpose and content, analyse the value and limitations of Source C for a historian studying…

Model answers for sourcework exercise on rise of Apartheid

IB-style source work exercise: Why was apartheid introduced into South Africa in 1948? | Model Answers by RJ Tarr A one-hour source work exercise in the style of the IBDP History Paper 1, complete with model answers to share with students afterwards.   (292 views)

Model Essay – What were the most frequent causes of 20th-century wars?

What were the most frequent causes of 20th-century wars? (model essay) “The 20th Century was defined by two World Wars which brought havoc upon civilization unprecedented in human history, and in the continued instability of the 21st century a study of their causes – and how to avoid them – is an essential method of working…

Vietnam veteran John Kerry’s statement at the Senate hearings of 1971

Vietnam veteran John Kerry’s statement at the Senate hearings of 1971 The class will be divided into pairs, representing 18-year-old US citizens in 1971. Imagine that you and your partner are good friends who have just been drafted into the US army. You are both well educated and have strong opinions about the war: one…

Compare and contrast the policy of Johnson and Nixon with regard to Vietnam

Compare and contrast the policy of Johnson and Nixon with regard to Vietnam Students are provided with a detailed timeline of events covering the Nixon administration and conduct further research of their own. They then consider carefully their completed research to provide an essay plan to the past exam question “Compare and contrast the Vietnam…

Could LBJ have handled the Vietnam War more effectively?

Could LBJ have handled the Vietnam War more effectively? In this decision-making exericse, students imagine they are advisors to President Johnson. As the crisis in Vietnam deepens, their job is to advise him on the best course of action to preserve his administration (How should LBJ respond to accusations that he is being insufficiently honest…

Compare and Contrasting the Rise of Dictators in Different Regions

Which 20th Century Dictator are YOU? A simulation to compare and contrast the methods and conditions through which dictators rose to power. Complete with self-study workpack enabling students to turn their findings into a rigorous essay. There is also a class leaderboard where teachers can monitor student performance in the factual test questions. You might also try…

Roleplay Exercise – Kennedy and the Berlin Crisis of 1961

Roleplay Exercise – Kennedy and the Berlin Crisis of 1961 | Multimedia teacher-led presentation | Briefing Sheets In this exercise students will take the role of an advisor to President Kennedy. By discussing different courses of action and then comparing them to what Kennedy did, they will form a balanced judgement on his handling of…

Kennedy and Latin America: The Alliance for Progress

Kennedy and Latin America: The Alliance for Progress This worksheet and activity covers Kennedy’s “Alliance for Progress”, which was in essence a Marshall Plan for Latin America. As its name suggests, it proposed a partnership between the USA and Latin American countries keen to engage in political and socio-economic reforms. Signed in Uruguay’s Punta Del…

The 1960 Election Campaign: The TV Debates and the Inaugural Address

The 1960 Election Campaign: The TV Debates and the Inaugural Address The TV Debates: In election year 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon took part in the first televised presidential debate, hosted by legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. This was the beginning of modern media-driven politics: JFK came across as suave, confident…

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. Part of the new study unit on The Foreign Policy of President Kennedy (120 views)

SOLO Hexagons: The Rise of Hitler

SOLO Hexagons: The Rise of Hitler 40+ factors are provided to students to organise into meaningful and connected categories as part of the essay-planning process. Full details of the hexagons approach can be found at Tarr’s Toolbox. (373 views)

Cold War Historiography – comparisons and contrasts worksheet

Cold War Historiography “How would each school of historians assess the respective role of military, economic and political factors in causing the Cold War? How would you complete the final columns?” Part of the comprehensive Origins of the Cold War Unit. (396 views)

Origins of the Cold War: Essay Writing Advice

Essay Writing Phase “Read through the following essay titles. Identify (e.g. by highlighting / dragging-dropping) common themes. These questions will be shared between the class. Produce an essay plan in 10 minutes for your allocated essay. Then feed back to the class with your thoughts and findings. In a lesson next week, one question from…

American Foreign Policy in Latin America, 1945-60: Conclusions

American Foreign Policy in Latin America, 1945-60: Conclusions Students draw some overall conclusions about the how ‘new’ and how ‘successful’ Eisenhower’s policies in Latin America were. They should then be set a timed essay in examination conditions on one of the following themes: Discuss the consequences for the region of Eisenhower’s national security policy. Examine…

The Gulf War Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Gulf War is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?”, designed for IGCSE History. (192 views)

Eisenhower’s Policy in Latin America: Do YOU like Ike?! (decision-making exercise)

Eisenhower’s Policy in Latin America: Do YOU like Ike?! (decision-making exercise) “In this exercise you will form your own judgement about how well Eisenhower handled relations with Latin America. Your teacher will guide you through each issue using an online multimedia presentation based at ActiveHistory. After your teacher tells you about the first issue (and you have…

Rule of Saddam Hussein Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Rule of Saddam Hussein is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?“, designed for IGCSE History. There is also a 75-question Fling the Teacher Quiz on Events in the Gulf. If you like this resource you might also enjoy the “Which 20th…

Truman’s Policy in Latin America

Truman’s Policy in Latin America Using the information provided, and a range of recommended weblinks for extra research, students answer the following questions: 1. What were the main features of Truman’s policy towards in Latin America? 2. To what extent was Truman’s policy in Latin America the same as his policy elsewhere in the world?…

The Iran-Iraq War Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Iran-Iraq War is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?”, designed for IGCSE History. (122 views)

Eisenhower and the “New Look”: Video Worksheet

Eisenhower and the “New Look”: Video Worksheet “Complete this worksheet as you watch the 48-minute online video. Decide whether you wish to adjust your positionining of the key policies we have so far considered, or add further ones (e.g. about the meetings with Khrushchev)”. (150 views)

The Iranian Revolution Fling the Teacher Quiz

This Fling the Teacher Quiz: The Iranian Revolution is part of the complete scheme of work “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter, 1970-2003?”, designed for IGCSE History. (127 views)

Introduction to Eisenhower and the “New Look” National Security Policy

Introduction to Eisenhower and the “New Look” National Security Policy “Using the information provided here, and your existing knowledge of Truman’s foreign policy, to answer this question: In what ways did Eisenhower’s ‘New Look’ differ from the foreign policy of President Truman?” (131 views)

Why did Events in the Gulf Matter? Revising the Five Big Questions

Part of the complete scheme of work on “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?“ “Revising the Five Big Questions” “The class will be divided into four team (1, 2, 4, 5). For each of the following key questions, work individually, to complete one of the incomplete rows of this table. The row on Saddam’s…

What were the consequences of the First Gulf War?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” What were the consequences of the First Gulf War? Students use the information provided to provide an infographic about the impact of the First Gulf War, then complete two sourcework questions (“To what extent does Source A prove that the…

IB History Internal Assessment 2017 – Marksheet and Guidance

I have updated the materials I have designed to support the IB History Internal Assessment based on the new specifications of the 2017 syllabus. In particular I have designed a new mark sheet and rubric to guide students through the process. Exemplar studies will follow in due course after the first cycle of examinations next…

Why did the First Gulf War take place?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” Why did the First Gulf War take place? Focus Point 1: Why did Saddam invade Kuwait? “Listed below are various factors relating to the decision to go to war. Use these to produce TWO brief speeches in role as Saddam:…

Why did the Iran-Iraq War last for so long?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” Why did the Iran-Iraq War last for so long? Before reading the additional information in the worksheet, students should have made notes from the two short video clips [clip 1 | clip 2], focusing on the question “Why did the Iran-Iraq War…

Sourcework Practice: Causes of the Iran-Iraq War

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” Sourcework Practice: Causes of the Iran-Iraq War 1. According to Source A, why did Saddam Hussein decide to invade Iran in September 1980? TIP: as with any ‘why’ question, provide several reasons, substantiated with quotes from the sources. 2. How reliable is Source B…

What were the causes and consequences of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88?

Part of the IGCSE Paper 2 Study Topic: “Why did Events in the Gulf Matter?” What were the causes and consequences of the Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88? Task: A biased government speech explaining the causes of the war On the 22nd September 1980, the longest conventional war of the 20th Century began when Iraq launched an…