Ian Mortimer is a godsend for history teachers trying to encourage reluctant students to do a bit of reading. He has an engaging, vivid style, enjoys the story and also seeks out the sort of historical nuggets that still elude textbooks. And unlike the stroppy Terry Deary he probably doesn’t mind his books being used in classes, or recommended by teachers.
Much of the study of the Cuban Missile Crisis focuses on the Soviet–US confrontation. However, it is important to remember that the UK was the third nuclear party involved in the crisis. This excellent article from Total Politics examines the role played by the British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan during the Cuban Missile Crisis - it seems he was more closely involved than is typically thought.
Here’s a great starter activity from Andy Lawrence using tutor2u’s Wipeout Challenge quiz format…read more...»
If you missed the superb Into the Storm last night, then it is well worth catching on BBC iPlayer.
Loads of reenactments of key WW2 events in there for students, including Dunkirk, the War Cabinet, Yalta and the bombing of Dresden. The 1945 General Election is also featured prominently.
According to the programme guide:
Jeremy Vine marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by looking at its history, from construction in 1961, to the day it was finally breached on 9 November 1989.
Jeremy visits the city to examine what remains of the Wall and speaks to those who lived on both sides - East and West. He visits some of the key locations in the Wall’s history including Checkpoint Charlie; the Brandenburg Gate; Bernauer Strasse, which was cut in two in 1961; and Mauerstrasse, where the largest remaining section of the Wall exists today. Jeremy explores why the Wall went up in the first place, why it came down and asks whether the psychological scars of a divided Germany still remain.
The programme contains firsthand testimony from Germans who escaped from the East and those who helped them. It also considers what it was like to live in a state controlled by the secret police or Stasi and hears from a political reformer who was held in the notorious Hohenschönhausen prison. He considers to what extent the phenomenon of “ostalgie” or nostalgia for life in the former East Germany still exists, particularly as some former Stasi and government officials have prospered since the Wall came down 20 years ago.
There are interviews with escapee Joachim Neuman, who spent two years working on tunnels under the Wall to bring his girlfriend to the West; and escapee Irmgard Muller, who escaped from East Berlin under a false passport to be with her husband. We also hear from West Berliner Horst Seeliger, who was in East Berlin on November 9 1989, and one of the first people to cross back through the border into the West; and Vera Lengsfeld, an East German reformist politician who was imprisoned by the Stasi.
Additional contributors include historian Frederick Taylor; Sunday Times journalist Peter Millar and veteran BBC reporter Brian Hanrahan, who both covered the fall of the wall; and Ben Bradshaw, Secretary Of State for Culture, Media & Sport, who was a young BBC reporter in Berlin in 1989.
A terrific resource from the BBC archive has recently been updated and upgraded. The Berlin Wall archive contains a rich collections of video and audio clips explaining the entire history of the Berlin Wall. An essential AV resource.
The Polish challenge to the Soviets from Lech Walesa’s Solidarity trade union is described in this 10 minute You Tube video.read more...»
If you need resources for the study of Apartheid in South Africa I recommend taking a look at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. Having visited it recently, I can say it really is fantastic. You can access educational resources from their site at apartheidmuseum.org
This excellent short CNN video tells the story of Checkpoint Charlie…read more...»
This ten-minute newsreel video tells the “official” story of the Allied Berlin Airlift…read more...»
If you need some A level resources for units on British History between 1915 and 1978, take a look at The Cabinet Papers area of the National Archives site. There are some dedicated A level materials. The site has particularly useful sections on the origins of the NHS and the Welfare State.
Paul Seward, Director of the History of Parliament, formerly a Clerk in the House of Commons will speak on Politics into History: Hobbes and Clarendon consider the English Civil War at Richmond & Twickenham branch meeting in the Vestry Hall, 21, Paradise Road, Richmond 8pm Thursday 15 October 2009.
The massive History of the Rebellion by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1609-74) is the most famous contemporary history of the English Civil War; the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), best known for his towering work of political thought, Leviathan, also wrote on the Civil War in a book he called Behemoth.
Both men were working on their accounts at the same time; both were intimately connected with the politics of their time; and they knew each other very well. What can their work tell us about how the Civil War was explained by contemporaries? More broadly, how politics is transmuted into history - and history into politics?
6th Formers especially welcome!
Admission free to HA members: guests £2;
If you want a really good site to immerse your A level students in the world of research try British History Online
If you are looking for resources on Malcolm X, the New York Public Library has a great educational resource guide. These could be used in class or for independent research.
A way to introduce a topic, give an overview or just get them to read content to be discussed in lesson.
This actually works and students do like doing it!
Students are given two or three sides of text, or a section of a text book.
Students are split into groups of three. There is a reader, a writer and a runner.
Each group is allocated a pack of ten question cards
(different colour for different groups). The same ten questions are in each pack
The cards are kept at the front of the classroom
When the teacher says, ‘Go!’ The runner runs to get a card and takes it back to the group
The reader is busily reading the text ( although more often than not the whole group end up reading it)
When they find the answer the writer runs to the front with the written answer.
The teacher checks that the answer is correct and then the runner is allowed to take the next card.
It is best if the cards are shuffled so that they do not all have the same card at the same time.
The first group with all the cards gone is the winner.
www.biography.com is an excellent way to introduce A level students to research. Students can be asked to research the backgrounds, aims, methods and achievements of early Black activists such a Booker T Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph, Ida B Wells-Barnett…
Obviously this site could be used with many different topics.