There’s nothing so contagious as enthusiasm. (S.T.Coleridge)

It might be history to some people but to us it’s family, pet (Alan Plater)

Active Learning on www.thinkinghistory.co.uk

Welcome to Thinking History

This site was set up in 2004 to support trainee history teachers but as, to my surprise, more teachers have used the site, I’ve added resources and articles on a wide range of topics.

Ian Dawson

Teaching Medieval History in Schools

This project aims to help KS3 students see the people of the Middle Ages in a more balanced way, identifying their intelligence and resilience as well as their problems and the very different circumstances in which they lived.

The project began with the HA publication Exploring and Teaching Medieval History. The latest resources are listed below and full information about resources, research into students’ preconceptions of the Middle Ages, articles about aspects of teaching about the Middle Ages and links to historians' work can be found HERE …

Latest Additions

An introduction to the uses of stories in history teaching

A discussion chiefly aimed at those new to teaching, focussing on the purposes of using stories and exploring different forms of story-telling – with lots of examples too. Download the article directly HERE …

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Asking questions that explicitly suggest answers will be uncertain

A short discussion of how the nature of questions can help challenge one of students’ most important misconceptions HERE …

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Looking Back and Smiling:
Some Experiences in History Teaching c1973 to c2013

Six essays written simply for pleasure – looking back over some of the issues, topics and (especially) pleasures of spending over 40 years involved in history education HERE …

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Helping History Students Communicate Effectively: Part 3

The final part of this resource is now complete - all largely based on Dale Banham's teaching and many CPD sessions.

This part covers helping students with writing and talking and covers modelling excellence, physical essays, talk for writing, writing mats, redrafting and feedback and methods of developing subject-specific vocabulary. Lots of examples included.

This is now available in the Raising Attainment section HERE …

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Why was it such a surprise to have a Tudor king?

A living graph activity for KS3 plus follow-up text for pupils to read after tackling the activity HERE …

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Medieval Lives: Chapters 1 to 4

Revised versions of these resources, streamlined in places to focus on the essential elements HERE …

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Two other brief medieval items:

When were the Middle Ages? HERE …

The Middle Ages: what happened when? HERE …

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An introduction to ‘Takeaways’ and their central role
in planning KS3 courses

I’ve been talking, writing and using ‘takeaways’ since c2005 but haven’t written up the idea at any length so this article brings together my ideas so far, enhanced recently by online CPD sessions with teachers and trainees.

Read more HERE …

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Helping KS3 pupils begin to see the Middle Ages and its people as historians see them

This article explains the ideas underpinning the KS3 classroom resources you’ll find in the Teaching Medieval History section

Download this core article HERE …

About Thinking History

About Ian Dawson, the genesis of this website and contact details HERE …

The ‘Introduction and Highlights’ section provides a guide to the aims and content of the site HERE …

LATEST MATERIAL

An introduction to the uses of stories in history teaching. Download the discussion directly HERE …

Why we should frame questions that explicitly suggest answers will be uncertain HERE …

Helping students communicate effectively (Final part, Part 3 now available) HERE …

Why was it such a surprise to have a Tudor king? HERE …

Medieval Lives: Chapters 1 to 4 (Revised) HERE …

When were the Middle Ages? HERE …

The Middle Ages: what happened when? HERE …

An introduction to ‘Takeaways’ and their central role in planning KS3 courses HERE …

Medieval Lives: Helping KS3 pupils begin to see the Middle Ages and its people as historians see them
HERE …

 

Four activities for A Level on Richard III HERE …

The Wars of the Roses: a package of resources for KS3 HERE …

Reflections on why it’s worth teaching medieval history at KS3 HERE … (Revised August 2020)

A level Wars of the Roses: Newsletter 2 HERE …

Was there a 6th century world-wide web? – Using evidence from Sutton Hoo HERE …

Developing Independent Learning for A level and undergraduates HERE …

Telling Your Big Story of Medieval Britain

   • Text Book Section HERE …

   • Scripted Drama HERE …

   • Discussing the dilemmas around creating the overview HERE …

Planning the teaching about medieval monarchy at KS3 HERE …

What do history students learn about people and the experience of living? HERE …

Richard III and the problem of how to secure the south HERE …

What can we find out about the people of the Glastonbury Lake Village? (for KS2) HERE …

What kinds of things mattered to people in the Middle Ages?

   • Text Book Section HERE …

   • Role Card Activity HERE …

Journey to the Middle Ages: A Scripted Drama HERE …

The Paston Letters HERE …

The Luttrell Psalter HERE …

Different Kinds of Knowledge HERE …

Different Types of History Book HERE…