Roleplay and recreation: sharing great Normans resources

Happy New Year to all of you! History teachers are a wonderful tribe and OneBigHistoryDepartment exists to connect history teachers not only to each other, but to the many years of great history teaching that have gone before. We are all too busy to reinvent wheels. We are all too clever to be gulled into thinking that the issues we face in the classroom are all brand new and have never been thought about before. It is a waste of time to develop resources that already exist and is so much more exciting to develop practice that is clearly informed by the thinking that has already happened. In that spirit, we are starting the New Year by sharing some great resources that tap into years of classroom practice and the expertise of academic historians … and sharing just a little about how they developed. There is such a rich pile of ideas available to you @histassoc Enjoy! Adapt! Share! Let’s spend 2018 keeping up the great conversations about history teaching and get more of us involved.

Once upon a time, there was a talented history teacher of many years experience, who found her A Level students were floundering with a complex topic. She dug deep, used her own interest in drama and turned their grades around by using a script. You can read about the idea here: Scripted drama

A few years later, one of the scripts was being presented at the @1972SHP conference and this inspired another colleague, on the other side of the country. His department had struggled to motivate their GCSE students in the first year of GCSE teaching on the Normans. Going back to the drawing board, he created a script to solve the problem – developing it in consultation over @twitter. Here is the result: Battle of Hastings scripted drama

Meanwhile, two other teachers had been working on resources for teaching the ‘new’ Norman module. They had been engaged by listening to colleagues at an @histassoc conference talking about the use of historical scholarship in the classroom: NNN (1) They linked up with the latest research on Domesday Book from Professor Stephen Baxter at the University of Oxford and developed some resources for KS3 or KS4. They presented them @histassoc events. These were then been added to by colleagues, who adapted them for their own needs. Here is everything, freely available: Domesday Book

Looking back through the posts on this blog you can also find the adaptation of some great change and continuity work to help students investigate the life of Edward the Confessor: Signposting a life.

We hope you find these resources interesting and useful. We also hope that you will join in the sharing and the conversations that are taking account of so much really good practice from the past as well as the present. Do get in touch via @histassoc!


Thanks to Kate Brennan, Richard Kennett, Ruth Lingard and Helen Snelson for the work behind this post. 

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