Active Learning on

Using articles on the 1450s with students

These articles and linked activities have been provided by Helen Snelson who teaches in York.

1. Michael Hicks on Henry VI from History Today in 2011, asking students to identify the positive and negative qualities of Henry as king. This activity requires close reading and careful referencing (good for independent study as well as this topic) and sets up discussion of the reasons for Henry’s problems. Hicks’ views can then be compared with those of other historians (McFarlane, Griffiths, Wolffe, Watts and, most recently, David Grummitt in his 2015 biography published by Routledge).

2. Tony Pollard on whether the battle of St Albans was really the first battle of the wars. Helen uses this article to demonstrate many of the qualities of good historical writing – see her annotations in rectangles on the left of the text and the tasks she sets students in ovals on the right.

Download the articles


Michael Hicks on Henry VI from History Today in 2011 [ click here ]

Tony Pollard on the battle of St Albans [ click here ]


Constructive feedback is always welcome, particularly anything that will help other teachers.