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 … Continue reading Roleplay and recreation: sharing great Normans resources
This week a post to help teach tricky concepts at GCSE… Left-wing and right-wing are not easy concepts for GCSE students. Every year I make my students laugh by pacing from side-to-side of my classroom being the political positions on an imaginary political line from left to right. I am not good at impersonations, but I try to put politicians on the line in a … Continue reading Substantive concepts: ‘Left-wing? Right-wing? Do you mean like in hockey, miss?’
Recently we’ve been trying to shake up how we use sources in our History lessons. We decided that our Key Stage 3 students might be getting the impression that sources are just something History teachers use to get them curious about an enquiry question. There’s nothing at all wrong with using a fascinating picture, artefact or intriguing text to get students’ engaged. However, historians don’t … Continue reading Knowledge to use sources as evidence
As Helen wrote in her previous blog interpretations are a tricksy concept for students to understand, but due to the more rigorous demands of GCSE and A-Level one that we cannot ignore as we might have done in the past. At both GCSE and A-Level, the exams want our students to unpick interpretations using their contextual knowledge of the period. In essence they want students to … Continue reading Interpretations: Tell the artist why they are wrong!
The conceptual thinking required to understand historical interpretations is challenging for many of students. It is a multi-facetted concept and we take an incremental approach to developing our students’ ability to understand and work with it. A tourist tea towel is an interpretation. We use one to get across the idea that an interpretation is a selection to present a particular perspective that is made … Continue reading Interpretations: ‘And then she waved a tea towel at us!’