Active Learning on www.thinkinghistory.co.uk

Activities from 1900 & After

Salvarsan – Guiding the Psychopathic Germ Killer

This activity explains simply, but powerfully, why Salvarsan was effective, but risky. Activity by Ian Luff

How did Europe come to the brink of war in 1914?

Turn your classroom into a map of Europe to help students deepen their understanding of the outbreak of World War One. Activity created by Megan Underwood

Understanding Trench Warfare

Created by Megan Underwood, this activity shows Y9 pupils why trenches were such effective defensive structures

My grandfather, the Great War and Medicine

Explaining how I investigated my grandfather’s wounds and illnesses in 1918.

Failure of the Schlieffen Plan

Walk your students through the map of Europe and make your decisions - then discover the grim reality

The ‘stab in the back’ 1918

Arm wrestle your way to understanding the German army’s reaction to defeat

Treaty of Versailles Territorial Land Lost Game

A revision activity for GCSE provided by Lesley Ann McDermott

Should we support the Bolsheviks – 1921

A role-play, by Mick Long, to develop students’ understandings of the political situation in Russia in 1921.

Stalin, Trotsky & the struggle for power after Lenin

Sally Burnham demonstrates how these complex events can be readily assimilated. Chocolate biscuits an essential resource!

Weimar Republic Party Games

Help your A Level students get to grips with all those Weimar acronyms

Hyperinflation Crisis in Germany

Can your students buy a bar of chocolate before their money runs out?

Role-playing Unemployment in the 1930s

Make the Depression personal and enhance students' understanding

Reichstag 1932-1933: How did Hitler finally gain power?

Ian Luff explains how to introduce students to Hitler’s rise to power and then build in complexity.

Germany 1918–1939; Living Timeline

An active overview of key events that creates more complex explanations

Hitler’s Restrictions Against The Jews 1933–1945

A very effective activity exploring how anti-Jewish restrictions destroyed Jews’ ability to resist Nazi oppression and discrimination

Re-packaging the Alphabet Agencies and the New Deal

Turn a difficult topic into an enjoyable, effective and inspirational lesson

Rhineland Occupation Game

Were the politicians of the 1930s really blunderers?

South Africa in the 1930’s & 40’s: A Living Timeline

An active overview that’s challenging, enjoyable and effective

Breakthrough in the West, 1940

How did Hitler's forces reach the Channel? What was special about their tactics and what did the Allied defences get wrong?

Why did the RAF win the Battle of Britain?

Simulate the rival qualities of Spitfires and Messerschmitts and give your students more fire power in their explanations

World War Two: Why was accurate bombing so difficult?

Turn your class into bomb aimers to discover how difficult their task was - and why civilians were so at risk in bombing raids.

How safe were air raid shelters for the poor in Britain's cities?

Ian Luff demonstrates the weaknesses of air–raid shelters and provides a documentary activity exploring the destruction of one shelter in London.

World War Two Living Graph

A really good overview activity that helps students to see the patterns in all those events.

Using Masking Tape to Get Kids to Understand the Map of WW2

An activity from Richard Kennett – see it on his website.

Dilemma Based Learning - with an example for the Holocaust

Julia Huber introduces her use of dilemmas for motivating students and improving their decision-making.

Where are the Viet Cong?

Recreate the tensions of the search for Viet Cong to help students understand why the US army couldn’t win

Shall we escape to the West?

Will students risk trying to cross the Berlin Wall?
A practical activity that really improves discussion, thinking and understanding.

The Atom Bomb – a Classroom Demonstration!

How powerful was an atomic bomb compared with other weapons? All you need is an egg - and some egg-proofing!

Cuban Missile Crisis

A gloriously simple way to make your students' understanding far more sophisticated

Gerrymandering in Northern Ireland

Your chance to fiddle the votes and improve your students’ understanding

Using family memories to explore changes in everyday life

Hot water? electricity? What was new when you were growing up?

Using family history to create an overview of the 20th century

Students can struggle to see the 20th century as a whole - can family stories help?

Getting personal with wars – family starters for investigating the start of World War Two

I don't know why my Dad joined up in 1939. What possibilities can you suggest?

Why is there more peace than war in Europe?

A ‘big picture’ activity from Helen Snelson and Richard Kennett comparing the state of Europe in 1900 and 2000

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