Historiography of the Berlin Blockade

Historiography of the Berlin Blockade Students are presented with a detailed article about the causes and consequences of the Berlin Blockade and a series of structured questions to help familiarise them with some of the key debates and interpretations. Part of the “Origins of the Cold War” Unit (10 views)

Comparing / contrasting the impact on two states: the USA / the DDR

Comparing / contrasting the impact on two states: the USA / the DDR In the earlier exercise students worked collaboratively to determine the impact of the Cold War upon the DDR. As a revision exercise, they will now compare and contrast this experience with that of the United States by reviewing their work on the…

Analyse the impact of the Cold War upon the DDR

The Impact of the Cold War upon the DDR The impact of the Cold War upon one state, and a comparison and contrast of the impact of the Cold War upon two states from different regions, is a possible focus of exam questions. The following unit was designed to provide an academically rigorous follow-up task…

“Then and Now” photographs: Battlefields / Berlin

“Then and Now” photographs As an added dimension to the trip, I obtained a range of historical photos of key sites in Berlin, then challenged students to recreate them. I then uploaded these to ActiveHistory to share with the students. (57 views)

Contrasts and comparisons to a second dictator

Contrasts and comparisons to a second dictator Students are presented with this structured worksheet providing guidance on how to compare and contrast Mao with a second dictator of their choice (NOTE: if a second dictator has not yet been studied, then this exercise can be done later in the course or as part of the…

20-question factual test on Mao’s domestic policies

20-question factual test on Mao’s domestic policies – to ensure students have obtained a sufficient level of topic mastery by this stage. Part of the new study unit on Mao’s rule of China, 1949-76 (70 views)

Detailed analysis of Mao’s domestic policies

Partway through this research process, you may wish to present your students with this detailed analysis of Mao’s domestic policies to help them along. There is also a completed teacher version of this exercise available. Part of the new study unit on Mao’s rule of China, 1949-76 (0 views)

Mao’s China: Thematic Analysis and Independent Research

Mao’s China: Thematic Analysis and Independent Research Students are next provided with this note-taking framework, which organises the events covered in the teacher lecture (above). The challenge is to organise their existing notes into evidence of success/praise and criticism/failure for each of the eight major policy areas, then develop each one further with additional research…

Mao and his Ministers

Mao and his Ministers Following the lecture, students should be provided with this detailed summary sheet of Mao’s most important ministers. They should revise from this before being give a factual test on what they have learned (teacher answer sheet also available). Part of the new study unit on Mao’s rule of China, 1949-76 (71…

Teacher Part 3: Mao’s Domestic Policies 1968-76

Teacher Part 3: Domestic Policies 1968-76 Covering five central issues: 11. Mango Fever | 12. Red Guards | 13. Lin Biao | 14. Sino-American Relations | 15. Postscript Part of the new study unit on Mao’s rule of China, 1949-76 (46 views)

Teacher Lecture, Part 2: Mao’s Domestic Policies 1945-67

Teacher Lecture, Part 2: Domestic Policies 1945-67 Covering five central issues: 6. Culture | 7. Great Leap Forward | 8. Lushan Conference | 9. Great Famine | 10. Cultural Revolution Part of the new study unit on Mao’s rule of China, 1949-76 (86 views)

Teacher Lecture, Part 1: Mao’s Domestic Policies 1949-56

Teacher Lecture, Part 1: Mao’s Domestic Policies 1949-56 Covering five central issues: 1. Administration | 2. Economy | 3. Politics | 4. Five-Year Plan | 5. Sino-Soviet Relations Part of the new study unit on Mao’s rule of China, 1949-76 (82 views)

Which 20th Century Dictator are YOU?

I start the study of the Rule of Mao by getting students to complete the ActiveHistory interactive simulation “Which 20th Century Dictator are YOU?” using this abbreviated worksheet. This is a stand-alone simulation to help students compare and contrast how single-party state rulers maintained power. It guides students through 10 key issues explaining how and…

25-Question Factual Test – the Korean War

25-Question Factual Test To test knowledge and understanding at the end of the unit (teacher password required). Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (136 views)

The Korean War: Collapsible Revision Notes

The Korean War: Collapsible Revision Notes Interactive notes which can be collapsed or expanded to various levels of detail for revision purposes. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (121 views)

The Korean War: Interactive Cartoon analysis

The Korean War: Interactive Cartoon analysis Analyse a series of cartoons by hovering over details and answering exam-style questions. When you have finished, the computer will provide you with a printout comparing your answer to a model answer. A great way to revise and develop sourcework skills. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on…

Korean War Fling the Teacher Quiz

Korean War Fling the Teacher Quiz 75 possible questions: I like to get all the students playing it simultaneously, and award 25 points for the first person to finish, 24 for the next, and so on; over the course of a few weeks you can build up a “Fling the Teacher Leaderboard” if you play…

Cartoon story analysis – The Korean War

Consolidation activity [3]: Cartoon story analysis Students take a cartoon story about the war and analyse it for partiality and omissions. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (81 views)

Mapwork – The Korean War

Consolidation activity [2]: Mapwork Students have to match a range of maps to key moments in the war to consolidate their understanding. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (50 views)

Korean War – Mini-Debates

Mini-Debates Students are placed into prosecution and defence teams to analyse Truman’s handling of the Korean War. There are some completed teacher notes available for this exercise. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (49 views)

Truman makes his decision about MacArthur

Truman makes his decision about MacArthur “Read the following sources, then use them to answer the following question: In your view, do you think that Truman was right to fire General MacArthur? Explain your answer by considering both sides.” Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (36 views)

Should Truman tolerate or fire MacArthur for his criticisms?

Should Truman tolerate or fire MacArthur for his criticisms? MacArthur asks Truman to threaten atomic attacks on China if they refuse to withdraw from Korea. Rejecting MacArthur’s advice, Truman refuses to threaten retaliation against China, fearing that this could lead to a Third World War. As a result, MacArthur starts openly criticizing Truman’s policies in…

Should Truman support MacArthur and commit the USA to a ‘total war’ in Korea?

Should Truman support MacArthur and commit the USA to a ‘total war’ in Korea? Using a variety of sources within a timeline, students decide whether Truman should follow MacArthur’s advice and threated retaliation against China unless they withdraw from Korea. Part of the new ActiveHistory study unit on the Korean War. (37 views)

Causes of the Spanish Civil War: Essay Planning Generator

This new essay-planning generator helps students consider how five key factors which caused the Spanish Civil War can be linked in various ways. The computer shuffles the various factors as a pack. It then deals out the first two and connects them using a database of possible links. It then takes the third factor and…

IB Induction – WW2 Trivia Challenge

As part of the IB Induction Project outlined here, I have uploaded a ‘trivia challenge’ which I use within the opening assembly: [student version | teacher answers]. (84 views)

IB Induction Project – Assembly Presentation

As part of the cross-curricular IB Induction project outlined here, I have uploaded my own personal assembly presentation and presenter notes. Assembly (based around this PowerPoint presentation and these presenter notes)   (82 views)

JFK: Speech on Castro and Cuba, 1960

JFK: Speech on Castro and Cuba, 1960 The centerpiece of JFKs attack on the Eisenhower administration was its failure to anticipate and then deal with the rise of Castro. The following speech is therefore very useful evidence for developing your analysis of the conditions which brought Castro to power. Moreover, it is a classic example…

Berlin Residential Trip: Maps, Multimedia, Itineraries and Workpacks

In 2018 I took history students to Berlin on a residential trip for the first time after they completed this preparatory task based on selected video clips. The Google maps and work packs on this page illustrate the division of Berlin during the Cold War, and the clear outline of the Berlin Wall (with inner/outer…

History of Berlin: Multimedia note-taking task

In 2018 I took history students to Berlin on a residential trip for the first time after they completed this preparatory task based on selected video clips. The following Google maps illustrate the division of Berlin during the Cold War, and the clear outline of the Berlin Wall (with inner/outer walls marked, and the death…

Model Essay: Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War

Model Essay: Analyse the causes of the Spanish Civil War A sample essay 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 conditions whenever I set such assignments…

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…

Analyse the causes of the Italian Wars 1494-1516

Analyse the causes of the Italian Wars 1494-1516 (model essay by RJ Tarr – teacher password required). 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 conditions whenever I set such assignments with my…

40+ Model History Essays by Russel Tarr

As well as writing a number of articles for History Review magazine, I make it a habit to write essays in timed conditions whenever I set such assignments with my classes. These serve as very useful teaching aids which help students to develop their own essay-writing skills. Provided here are more than 40 essays 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. (149 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…

IB Extended Essay: Marksheet and Guidance

Marksheet and Guidance A student-friendly version of the IB mark scheme, combining the generic guidance from the IB as well as its subject-specific criteria for History. (187 views)

*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…

IB History Internal Assessments – sample studies

Here are a selection of IB History Internal Assessment studies from the International School of Toulouse that were graded highly in May 2017 (marks shown are those awarded after moderation by the IBO).   (233 views)

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] (155 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. (94 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…

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…

Anarchism: Bakunin’s Catechism of a Revolutionary

Anarchism: Bakunin’s Catechism of a Revolutionary This text should be copied into a shared Google Doc. It will then be divided between the members of the class (e.g. the first student is responsible for points 1-3, the second for points 4-6 and so on). Each student should delete all but one of the points, keeping…

Factual Test on the issues covered so far (20 questions)

Factual Test on the issues covered so far (20 questions) | Teacher answers This test makes use of the “How certain are you?” format. For each question, play for 1, 2 or 3 points to reflect your confidence. If you’re correct, you win those points. If not, you lose them down to a minimum of zero points. Part…

Left-wing and Right Wing: Which are you?

Left-wing and Right Wing: Which are you? [online simulation] Students complete the 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 following steps: “Step 1:…