Active Learning on www.thinkinghistory.co.uk

Some Highlights

It’s not easy to identify my favourite items on the site or those that might be most useful. However here are some I feel are most worth pointing put to visitors – it’s a very personal choice and in no particular order of ‘highlight-ness’.

The rest of the website is quite worth looking at too, I hope!

Je suis le roi!
What happened after 1066?

The most detailed explanation of the thinking behind many of the activities, particularly the importance of identifying what students struggle with, constructing an activity to tackle those learning problems directly and making learning memorable.

Plus you find out about the one-eared bear logo!

See the activity HERE …

 

Henry VII: The Survival Game

Devised twenty-five years ago for an A level book, this decision-making introduction to Henry VII models one very effective way of beginning a section of a course. It’s always worked superbly, building a first layer of knowledge and giving students the confidence to read independently – plus it’s great for stimulating discussions.

See the activity HERE …

And for a similar activity aimed at Key Stage 3 students see ‘The decisions of a Kentish villager, 1381’ HERE …

 

Teaching Issues and Discussions at Key Stage 3

A series of short discussions of what exactly we hope students will learn about some central topics at Key Stage 3, including 1381, the Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.

See the discussions HERE …

 

Anne Herbert: a life in the Wars of the Roses

This began with an article I wrote for The Historian and then developed into a resource for introducing the Wars of the Roses at A level through the life of Anne Herbert, providing a personal slant on a topic that students assume only involved men, battles and politics.

See the article HERE …

 

Developing Enquiry Skills

Not a single item but a whole section but it’s important – the example of the Riccall skeletons mystery models enquiry structure and can be used at primary or secondary level and the supporting material keeps the metacognition going, especially the ‘Do you remember when we did an enquiry’ PowerPoint.

See the section HERE …

 

The Beginnings of the Wars of the Roses 1452-1455

One of the first items on the site back in 2004, this shows how and why I used highly-structured role-plays to introduce a complex topic. It was first used at final year degree level but works well at A level – like many activities it can be transferred across a wide range of age groups. Again, it’s a good model for tackling other complex topics on any period.

See the role-play HERE …

 

Ian Coulson’s ‘Handy’ Guide to Architecture

Ian’s method for remembering the shapes of arches is brilliantly simple, easily understood and hard to forget – and a tribute to a great friend.

See it HERE …

 

Raising Attainment

A big chunk of material – a series of articles by Dale Banham and myself on ways of improving students’ learning and particularly on how to help them learn effectively for themselves by making the learning processes visible.

Working with Dale on a variety of projects has been a great pleasure and I’ve learned a huge amount from him, another good reason for including this item.

See the material HERE …

 

Developing Independent Learning

This links to the Raising Attainment material (above) but it’s such an important issue I want to identify it individually – developing students’ ability to study independently is one of our major responsibilities, even though that may seem to clash with safety-first routes to good grades. It doesn’t clash – it enhances the likelihood of success.

See the material HERE …

 

Doing History

I think we’ve got really tangled up over the last 30 years about what we want students to learn about the process of studying the past. What began as quite a general aim has got unbelievably cluttered and the big picture of that process is hidden behind too much detail. Do students really understand or even see that bigger picture? This article discusses how to make that bigger picture visible again.

See the article HERE …

 

The Big Human Timeline

This is glorious fun, sorting a class into a timeline, but it’s far more than fun – it’s vitally important and, done this way, is a very effective and memorable way of building chronological knowledge.

It needs repeating and revisiting but once you’ve created the resources the first time it’s not time-consuming to do so.

See the activity HERE …

 

 

Guidance for New Teachers

Notes on the aims of the approaches described on the site and how to implement them in the classroom, basic class management issues and practical issues.

See the guidance HERE …

Some Highlights

Je Suis le Roi

Henry VII Survival Game

Decisions of a Kentish villager, 1381

Teaching Issues at KS3

Anne Herbert

Developing Enquiry Skills

Wars of the Roses: 52–55

Coulson Guide to Architecture

Raising Attainment

Developing Independent Learning

Doing History

Big Human Timeline

Guidance for New Teachers