Feb 012017
 

Students often struggle with ‘provenance’ i.e. how to use what they know about the creator of a source to reflect on the utility or reliability of that source. This article suggests ways of helping students focus more effectively on provenance by studying the creator of source before they look at what it says or shows.

I have used examples related to the Norman Conquest as it’s a topic almost everyone knows to some degree.

You can read more HERE …

Ian

 Posted by at 4:17 pm

Understanding the English Succession: 1051-66

 Activities, GCSE, KS3, Normans  Comments Off on Understanding the English Succession: 1051-66
Nov 262016
 

This activity for KS3 or GCSE has four brief stages with each stage representing a different date – 1051, 1059, 1065, January 1066. For each date students position individuals in relation to the crown to create a visual representation of who seemed most likely to be Edward’s successor at each date. I’ve tried to keep things as clear as possible, which isn’t easy given the complexity of the debates over the succession to the English crown in 1066. I’ve added notes on what historians are saying about the succession and why the idea of ‘rules’ about who had the best claim are misleading and hence unhelpful for students at any level.

See the activity HERE …

Ian

 Posted by at 10:03 am

Nationalities and Family Connections: 1066

 Activities, GCSE, KS3, Normans  Comments Off on Nationalities and Family Connections: 1066
Nov 202016
 

It’s easy for students to assume that Edward the Confessor and Harold were English in every respect because they appear in the story of 1066 as the English leaders in contrast to the Norman Duke William. This short activity is designed to help students understand that the issue of nationality was more complicated than that!

I’ve also included a second very short simple activity about the pattern of English kings before 1066 – English or Danish? – to help students appreciate that kings of England were not necessarily English.

See the activities HERE …

Ian

 Posted by at 11:47 am

Why was William able to invade England in 1066?

 Activities, GCSE, KS3, Normans  Comments Off on Why was William able to invade England in 1066?
Nov 192016
 

This brief activity for GCSE (and possibly for KS3) looks at the longer-term Norman background to 1066, focussing on how William’s invasion was made possible by a combination of his military successes against neighbouring states and good fortune.

By the end of this activity students should know and understand that:

a) William had faced and beaten a number of attacks from surrounding states during the 1050s

b) If Edward the Confessor had died before 1060 William would have had great difficulty invading England because of threats to Normandy

c) William’s successes created a breathing space from local wars enabling him to invade England in 1066

d) His resulting reputation as a successful soldier enabled him to recruit followers for his invasion of England and he was able to recruit soldiers who would not have been keen to leave their lands if local wars were continuing.

See the activity HERE …

Ian

 Posted by at 10:22 am

Did people worry about dirt and disease in the later middle ages?

 Activities, GCSE, KS3  Comments Off on Did people worry about dirt and disease in the later middle ages?
Oct 162016
 

At GCSE this activity can be used to introduce the topic of public health or medieval medicine as a whole as it sets out conflicting evidence about attitudes to health and public health. This makes a good introduction because it is important that students understand that there were major efforts to improve health and the rationality of widely-held ideas about the cause of disease. Having a positive image of medieval people’s attitudes then means students have to think harder to understand why they could not tackle diseases effectively – rather than just assuming that people ‘back then’ just weren’t bright enough to do so.

This activity can also be used at Key Stage 3 if you are not teaching ‘Medicine’ at GCSE. At KS3 it can be used to build students respect for people in the period rather than see them as helpless and hapless victims of plague – an image than can be fostered if work on the Black Death focusses only on the horror and death toll of ‘the pestilence’.

See the activity HERE …

Ian

 Posted by at 5:05 pm

Hippocrates and Galen: Why did people believe their ideas for so long?

 Activities, GCSE  Comments Off on Hippocrates and Galen: Why did people believe their ideas for so long?
Sep 252016
 

Two brief activities under one heading:

1.  This helps students understand the question in the heading above, a crucial question in the history of medicine. The emphasis is on creating a positive answer – that their ideas were believed for so long because of their logic and value – rather than on negatives such as people lacked scientific knowledge or were sitting around waiting for Pasteur to begin his experiments!

2. An activity revision we included in our 2008 GCSE books – in which students create photographs to revise the key elements of the work of Hippocrates and Galen.

Read more HERE …

Ian

 

 Posted by at 4:35 pm

Raising Attainment: Feedback, marking and how they can improve learning

 A Level, GCSE, Issues, KS3  Comments Off on Raising Attainment: Feedback, marking and how they can improve learning
Sep 072016
 

In one of the most practical and valuable items we have published here on ThinkingHistory, Dale Banham describes in detail how he has developed a six-fold cycle of feedback which has the development of students’ ability to learn effectively at its heart. This is not just about the mechanics of marking and feedback but about how to help your students improve their understanding of how to study history and therefore raise their attainment.

As Dale argues:

‘Student progress is determined not by the amount of feedback we provide, much more by how we provide feedback. We have tried to address this by placing ‘marking’ within a 6 stage feedback cycle (see below). Our aims are to:

  • reduce teacher workload
  • increase the extent to which pupils take responsibility for their learning
  • improve outcomes by developing effective study habits in history – routines that make sure students review, redraft, respond to feedback and reflect on progress’

The Feedback Cycle

STAGE 1: When the work is set – establish clear success criteria

STAGE 2: When pupils are working on the task – make the most of oral feedback

STAGE 3: Just before pupils hand in their work to be marked – build in self and peer assessment

STAGE 4: When marking the work – aim to save time and maximise impact

STAGE 5: Returning the work – build in opportunities to respond to feedback

STAGE 6: Reflection – create a dialogue about learning

Read the whole article here

Ian

 Posted by at 7:45 am

New Activity: Impact of the Normans – with character cards

 A Level, Activities, GCSE, KS3, Normans  Comments Off on New Activity: Impact of the Normans – with character cards
Sep 042016
 

This excellent activity comes from Catherine Flaherty who has done both a great deal of research to create the character cards and has suggested a wide range of ideas for using them to develop students’ understanding of the impact of the Conquest.

There are 30 character cards providing biographical details of individuals who lived through the Conquest.

The core tasks involves distributing the cards amongst your students so they each identify with the person on their card. Then set them a task or tasks.

You can find the activity and a variety of possibilities here …

Ian

 Posted by at 2:07 pm

Key Principles for teaching Thematic Studies at GCSE

 GCSE, Issues  Comments Off on Key Principles for teaching Thematic Studies at GCSE
Aug 112016
 

Not a very new item but we hid its announcement in another post earlier this summer.

So this is to give it a bit more visibility to our article which provides strategies which help students overcome the major problems they have in Thematic studies.

These strategies have developed from lengthy teaching experience and are applicable to the teaching of all Thematic studies.

See the article HERE …

Ian

 

 Posted by at 9:20 am

Raising Attainment: Planning principles for teaching Depth and Period Studies

 A Level, GCSE, Issues  Comments Off on Raising Attainment: Planning principles for teaching Depth and Period Studies
Aug 102016
 

In summary, the eight key points discussed in this article here are:

1. Build courses around overall enquiry questions

2. Don’t be afraid to build in work on concepts other than AOs specified for the course

3. Use individuals’ stories as hooks and to put them at the heart of the enquiry

4. Identify and teach for students’ misconceptions about the period

5. Boost students’ confidence by identifying and building on their existing knowledge

6. Create activities to help students identify and remember Who’s Who

7. Keep activities involving and lively to enhance memory and understanding

8. Help students see the overview in depth studies as well as themes

Read the article here 

Ian

 Posted by at 3:00 pm