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.

1066: Arcade Games Quizzes

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

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…

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…

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.

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.

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…

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…

“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 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…

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….

The Silk Roads: Online Adventure Game

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

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

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

Undercover in Ancient Rome Simulation – Teacher Support Materials

Map, Structured Questions, Timeline and Instructions about how to complete the mission This pack provides you with a completed version of the map, answers to the structured questions, and a completed version of the ‘fill the gaps’ timeline exercise. Click here to access the simulation.

Undercover in Ancient Rome Simulation – new worksheets and features.

Map, Structured Questions and Timeline In this task, students will use the interactive adventure to complete a schematic map which quickly allows you to identify the main sites and Emperors in Ancient Rome according to the simulation. There are then a detailed list of structured questions for each of the main locations, and ‘fill the…

Voyages of Discovery – New Online Simulation Game

Voyages of Discovery – New Online Simulation Game Overview This simulation introduces students to the Voyages of Discovery. These daring overseas adventures marked the beginning of globalization and European empire-building. By playing the game students will learn about some of the most important explorers, their discoveries, and the spices which they brought back to Europe….

Escape the Room: The Black Death!

A new “Escape the Room” lesson: It is 1348. You are a group of sailors returning to England from a business trip to Ireland in your trading ship. On your arrival, you find that the port of Bristol is in complete panic about the approach of the BLACK DEATH from Europe. Hundreds of thousands of…

Medieval Town and Village Virtual Adventure

I have updated the “Middle Ages Time Machine Adventure” with a “save progress” feature so that students can pick up their games where they left off if playing the game over several lessons or completing it for homework.

William the Conqueror: Head2Head Virtual Interview Relaunch

Over the Xmas holidays I completely re-coded and relaunched the popular “Head2Head Interview with William the Conqueror” which can be found here. The new version has an improved artificial intelligence engine and a modernised layout so that students appear to be having a text chat with the character on their mobile device.

What is history all about? The who, when and why!

What is history all about? The who, when and why! A teacher-led online presentation, based around three central themes and leading neatly into the ‘time machine’ activity which follows: 1. When (Periods): Historians are Time Travellers! 2. Who (People): Historians are Friendly Time Travellers! 3. What (Evidence): Historians are Friendly Time Travelling Detectives! Part of the…

Time machine display card

Time machine display card A nice stand-alone activity that can take place at any point during this study topic. Ask students to consider when, where and who they would visit (any why!) if they had a time machine. Then instruct each student to produce their own completed version of a foldable card which can form…

Virtual Reality Images: War Memorials

Tip: Access this page with your smartphone, and click the Google Cardboard icon which will appear on the image. View the image with your VR Headset, and simply shake or nod your head to move to the next image! Part of the “Delivering a World War One Battlefields Trip” resources from ActiveHistory.

Escape the Room – Mission: Rome!

“You are a team of famous archaeologists preparing an exhibition about the Roman Empire which is due to open in just 45 minutes. The prize exhibit has been locked away safely by your team leader, but he has now been kidnapped by a group of art thieves who are asking for a ransom. Your task…

Undercover in Ancient Rome – new worksheets for the simulation

I have added some new activities to the “Undercover in Ancient Rome” simulation. Mapping the key places and people In this task, you will use the interactive adventure to complete a schematic map which quickly allows you to identify the main sites and Emperors in Ancient Rome according to the simulation. Once this is finished,…

Why did the Roman Empire Fall?

Why did the Roman Empire Fall? In this exercise, created using the ClassTools Hexagons Generator, pairs of students are given a sheet of factors explaining the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West. They cut these out and then organise them into meaningful categories, each with a title which makes it clear how they…

Who was the most interesting Roman Emperor of all time?

Who was the most interesting Roman Emperor of all time? – a classroom debate In this activity, students research different emperors. They can then present their findings in a whole host of ways: through a balloon debate (my favoured approach!), a biopoem, a diamond diagram, and many others which are suggested within the worksheet. Part…

Gladiatorial Combat – A Roleplay Game!

Gladiatorial Combat – A Roleplay Game! | Accompanying question sheet “In this activity you will learn all about Roman Gladiators. You will complete a playing card all about your gladiator, then take the role of a gladiator and use your knowledge to help you win in a series of ‘battles’ against your opponents. Remember: Knowledge…

Roman Holiday! – Part 2: Presentations

Roman Holiday! – Part 2: Presentations ” Your teacher will give each team an A3 copy of this Venn diagram. Each team should nominate a scribe. This person should ask each member of the team what site(s) they researched, and write these into the Venn diagram in the appropriate place after discussion. Next, your teacher…

Roman Holiday! – Part 1: Research

Roman Holiday! – Part 1: Research “In this activity you will work in teams. You will design a guided tour which you hope to sell to a customer (your teacher). The class will be arranged into two teams. Each member or each team should choose two sites from different categories in this list to research…

What is your Roman name?

What is your Roman name? In this activity students will work out what their names would have been if they had been alive during the time of the Roman Empire! Students will be organised into pairs and will use a detailed table to choose the most appropriate three-part name for their partner. Part of the…

Black Death End of Unit Projects

End of Unit Projects Option A: Group Task – Design a Boardgame “In this unit, which starts with a whole-class miming competition, you will design your own board game about the Black Death. Your game should try to show the spread, symptoms, cures and consequences of the Black Death. You will play each other’s games and…

Consequences of the Black Death

Consequences Video Clip: Consequences Hexagons Activity: Consequences of the Black Death This activity is approached through a ‘Hexagons’ approach which is outlined in detail here. Students cut up the hexagons and organise them in logical groups, with adjacent sides of hexagons indicating connections that are then explained around the diagram. The hexagons were created using the Hexagons…

Impact of the Black Death

Impact Video Clip: Immediate impact and reactions in Italy The Black Death Cardgame! The objective of each player is to get as many cards for their ‘role suit’ as possible. Peasants: should focus on collecting food (clubs) in order to establish a stable food supply. Merchants: should focus on collecting money (diamonds). Nobles: should focus on…

Cures for the Black Death

Cures Video Clip: Medieval Medicine Cures and Precautions [plus teacher answer sheet] “Historians think that almost half the population of Europe died in the Black Death. The lowest scoring 50% of the class in this exercise will become ‘casualties’. The teacher will count upwards and you should sit down on the floor when your score is reached. The…

Causes of the Black Death

Causes Causes of the Black Death [plus primary sources] “Your teacher will be in role as the local magistrate who has called an emergency meeting to discuss the arrival of the Black Death in our village. The magistrate will read out an account from one of his contacts about what they think has caused the Black Death. Decide where…

Symptoms of the Black Death

Symptoms Video Clip: Arrival of the Black Death in England Symptoms of the Black Death [plus teacher answer sheet] “Imagine a local tradesman has arrived in your village and has fallen ill: you realise with horror that he has brought the Black Death into your village! (a) Number these symptoms from [1] (the first) to [9] (the last)….

Spread of the Black Death

Spread of the Black Death Spread of the Black Death Students use this animated map to draw their own conclusions about where the disease started and spread to, and which areas were most affected. Video Clips: Arrival of the Black Death in [1] Italy and [2] France These two video clips provide extra detail about the spread of disease across…

The Black Death – Introduction

Introduction “What’s the Topic?” – Introductory PowerPoint This series of images is designed to get students thinking about what the next topic might be. Complete with explanatory teacher notes. Starter Video: Overview of the Black Death This online video clip [2m] provides a great flavour of the topic to get students interested! The Black Death…

Black Death – Revamped, Relaunched, New Resources!

The Black Death is a popular subject of study with students. This self-contained scheme of work contains a strong role-play element built around a diary that builds up over several lessons. There is also a fantastic cardgame exercise built into the unit and an interactive, self-marking end of unit assessment along with other opportunities to create a boardgame, have a keyword…

Medieval Castles Simulation, new worksheet and extension task

The popular Medieval Castles Simulator has now been updated with a new worksheet with an extension activity based around a primary source relating to the siege of Carcassonne in 1240. The simulation can be used as a stand-alone activity, or as part of the ActiveHistory study of The Norman Conquest or The Albigensian Crusade.  

CSI History, The Iceman Mystery!

CSI History: The Iceman Mystery This project was developed as a joint study unit between the Head of History (@russeltarr) and the Head of Geography (@MattPodbury) at the International School of Toulouse. Its purpose is to provide an intensive and exciting induction programme to Year 7 students and to highlight links between Geography and History…

ActiveHistory Mystery: Cat Bottoms and Golden Cups!

This latest ActiveHistory Mystery, which I used with my Year 8 students, is based in the Middle Ages and involves cats’ bottoms, golden cups, mass murder and plenty of treachery… The “History Mysteries” lessons are designed as stand-alone projects which each last 3-4 hours. Through engaging historical topics, they teach skills of problem formulation, deductive reasoning,…

Medieval Crime and Punishment, Essay Markscheme

TWIST – The Neck Verse!  Whilst the class is voting on the punishments to be given, the “guilty” criminals might be taken outside and provided by your teacher with a copy of the “Neck Verse” (this can be found on ActiveHistory along with an explanation about how it worked). A coin will be flipped. “Heads”…

How far did Medieval Punishments fit the crime?

How far did Medieval Punishments fit the crime?Students start by considering that “In Western Europe the death penalty no longer exists (in other words, people cannot be executed for their crimes). Do you think the death penalty should be brought back for certain crimes? Explain your answer by considering two sides”. They then consider eight…

Medieval Trial – Roleplay!

Medieval Trial – Roleplay!Students complete a creatively written ‘crime report’ against someone else in the class based on one crime from a list provided. Anyone accused of a crime then has to produce a defence statement and the cases proceed to trial, with the credibility of the prosecution and defence cases resting on how effectively…

How effective was the Medieval method of determining guilt?

How effective was the Medieval method of determining guilt?Students start by considering “What methods do the police and courts use today to decide if someone is guilty of a crime?”. They then consider which of theses methods were used (or were even possible) in the Middle Ages. They then interpret an original picture source, and…

How effective was the Medieval method of capturing suspected criminals?

How effective was the Medieval method of capturing suspected criminals? In this activity, students decide whether the modern “police” system is better or worse than the Medieval “tithing” system.   Part of “Could you get justice in the Middle Ages?” – Essay assignment with roleplay activities In this study unit students will consider several aspects…

What sorts of things could get me into hell? – The Seven Deadly Sins

In this activity students will learn about, and connect, the seven deadly sins. They will also learn about which particular punishments are associated with each of these sins. They will then write a dialogue between two people that can be acted out in front of the class: a. “The Sinner”: You will be going into the…

What is Medieval hell like?

What is Medieval hell like?Image sources to share with the class | Prezi of Images“In this task we will investigate what Medieval people thought Hell was like. In other words, the Church’s power was based on FEAR as well as LOVE. The exact balance between these two things is for you to decide later! Your job is…

Gruesome Martryrdoms, Repulsive Relics!

Gruesome Martryrdoms, Repulsive Relics! In this activity / presentation (see image), which contains video clips and stimulus images, students are put into teams to research and then present their favoured choice of holy relic to obtain for their new cathedral, and a suitably brave martyr to dedicate the cathedral to.

The Iceman, an ActiveHistory Mystery!

This new ActiveHistory Mystery focuses on the discovery of a frozen body, high in the mountains. It starts with a “CSI” role-play element and was delivered to Year 7 students as an joint induction project delivered in History lessons (led by me – @russeltarr) and Geography lessons (led by Matt Podbury – @MattPodbury). The investigation concluded with…

Time Machine to the Middle Ages, new location, worksheet, sounds and video

Newly updated with new locations, sound effects, video clips and associated worksheet, and the ability to add a class list so that students can be the starts of their own adventure! Students should start the investigation by playing this decision-making game for one lesson. They need to find the missing pieces of their time machine,…

Researching and presenting the origins of surnames of people in the school

What’s in a name? – Researching and presenting the origins of surnames of people in the school In this activity, students research the origins of surnames of people in the school. They then narrow this down to the names which originate from occupations, and present each of these in a PowerPoint slide with an accompanying…

Year 7 History Skills: The Body on the Balcony EPISODE 2, the Mystery Deepens!

The Body on the Balcony EPISODE 2 – the Mystery Deepens!  With their curiosity inevitably piqued, students are now presented firstly with a photograph of the scene (remember, this is a genuine historical event). They are encouraged to distinguish what they now know for a fact, what they can deduce, and what they speculate. They then move on…

Year 7 History Skills: The Body on the Balcony EPISODE 1, a Historical Mystery!

The Body on the Balcony EPISODE 1 – a Historical Mystery! In this exercise, based on a real historical event, students have to put events into their correct chronological order to make some initial speculations about what has happened. Through doing this they learn about the importance of chronology and understand the meaning of anachronism….

Medieval Cathedrals: Interactive Game

In this brand new 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 competition, this is a great…

Medieval Cathedral Building: Worksheet

This new workpack gets students to think about the layout, design and engineering of Medieval Cathedrals. They learn about the terminology of Church architecture, watch video clips and make deductions from paintings from the Middle Ages showing church building.

History Mystery: The Murder of Archbishop Becket

An ActiveHistory Mystery. The “History Mysteries” lessons are designed as stand-alone projects which each last 3-4 hours. Through engaging historical topics, they teach skills of research, groupwork, structured writing. There is a standard teacher lesson plan and student record sheet / markscheme for each activity.

Worst Jobs in History: Middle Ages

The Middle Ages Worst Jobs in History simulation can be used as a stand-alone lesson, homework assignment or as part of a broader unit on “Was life Good or Bad during this particular period?”. The worksheet has basic activities for a 30 minute lesson, and extension tasks that could be followed up later.

Heraldry: Design your own Coat of Arms Online

Design your own coat of arms by answering a series of detailed questions about your personality and interests. The computer uses the information to design your shield, choose the colour scheme, and recommend the symbols you should use. A great classroom project which turns into a brilliant display of finished projects!

Origin of Surnames Worksheet

An updated version of the Year 7 History Worksheet; now included is a template map of the UK (for students to plot names relating to places) and a diamond9 diagram for students to plot profession-based surnames in rank order of status.

How to Create a Family Tree

Year 7 History students create their own family tree after analysing that of The Simpsons cartoon characters using this worksheet.

Medieval Realms Revision Activities

In this exercise students organise slips of information into appropriate categories, reduce them down to just 15, and use them to answer the question “Was Life Good or Bad in the Middle Ages?”. They work in teams of two or three, and at various points during the exercise the teacher will test each team with…

Build your own Castle!

A completely updated version of the popular Medieval Realms Castles Game, in which students design their own castle and by so doing learn all about the key features of castle design. New additions to this game include factual questions as the story proceeds, so that the students are given two scores at the end: one…

The Black Death – Simulation / Self-Marking Assessment

A brand new simulation – A self-marking assessment testing both factual knowledge and sourcework skills. Students can play the game for as long as they wish, then at the end they are presented with two scores in the form of a certificate, both of which can be handed to the teacher to put into the…

The Domesday Book [2]: How useful is it?

This second worksheet encourages students to start thinking about “usefulness” as a sourcework concept by comparing the strengths and weaknesses of this source to that of the Bayeux Tapestry and (if they have studied it) the Luttrell Psalter.

The Feudal System

Students have to construct their own diagram of the feudal system based on examples in this powerpoint presentation. A sample piece of work from a former student is available here.

Hereward the Wake Cut ‘n’ Paste Activity

Use Word, Publisher and the net to reconstruct the story of this Saxon resistance fighter and produce their own report (c.1 hour in classroom, can be split into 2 sessions).

1066 Quiz

A new end-of-unit quiz for Year 7 students.

Castles Game

An updated version of the “Attack the Castle!” game for Year 7 Medieval Realms. A game of strategy: Spend your budget on your choice of features, then read a story of how your castle fares when faced with attack! In this new version, students are asked factual knowledge questions as they progress, and then their…

Year 7 Medieval Realms: Was Life Good or Bad in the Middle Ages?

A new lesson plan to accompany the popular Time Machine Journey to the Middle Ages. Students are divided into two groups. The “Good” group approach their argument by producing a tourist brochure highlighting all of the great jobs, places and people in the town and the village. The “Bad” group instead write an angry letter…

Year 7 History Revision: Timeline worksheet

Revision of Events – A worksheet to accompany the newsfeed exercise; students are given a list of quick-fire events then have to choose 10 of them to place into a timeline to “prove” that the Middle Ages were either a good or a bad time to be alive.

Year 7 History Revision

A worksheet for Year 7 History Students of Medieval Realms. Students go through their notes on each of the key topics studied this year and decide which aspects suggest that life was “Good” during this period, and which aspects suggest life was “Bad”. They then write their findings up as an overall conclusion which distinguishes…

Place name challenge – knockout competition!

An optional lesson for Year 7 History. Students compete to see which group can come up with the most place names from a particular origin. Any repetition, hesitation or incorrect answers knocks them out of the competition.

Surnames from the British Isles – What do they tell us?

Year 7 Students research the origin of surnames of students / teachers in the school and either plot these on a Google Earth map (if the names originate from places) or in a Diamond9 Diagram from to distinguish between high-status and low-status professions that existed.

Place names in the British Isles – What do they tell us?

A new worksheet for Year 7 History. Students are given advice on how to spot Celtic, Roman, Norman, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon place names, research the meaning of some of the most famous places, then plot a whole series of them on a map to try to identify meaningful patterns.

Year 7 History: Medieval Realms Quizzes

A series of quizzes designed to be used as end-of-year history revision: Manic Miner: Medieval Realms Wordshoot: Medieval Realms Cannonball Fun: Medieval Realms Matching Pairs: Medieval Realms

Everyday Vocabulary – What does it tell us?

A new worksheet for Year 7 History. Why does the English language have so many German, French, Celtic and Scandinavian words within it? An original way of looking at the waves of immigration that have characterised British history in the past 1000 years.