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.
To mark Holocaust Memorial Day, Survivors Fund (SURF) has launched a new education microsite which conveys the untold stories of an array of UK-based survivors of the Rwandan genocide through film.
The microsite features excerpts of interviews with an array of UK-based survivors, all of whom are playing an active role in raising awareness of the genocide and the situation of survivors today as part of SURF’s Speaking2Survivors project. Supplementing the interviews are a series of specially designed lesson activities.
Hollywood is in love with the British monarchy again. The King’s Speech is the surprise Oscar nominee that seems to be sweeping all before it with a heart-warming tale of a reluctant king over-coming his stammer to lead his country in defiance against one of the twentieth century’s worst monsters. There’s even a cameo for Britain’s Greatest Ever Prime Minister, as he offers sage advice to the introverted future monarch. Well, quite. Just as the film is beautifully made, wonderfully directed and sublimely acted, and rightly on course for its Oscars, it also manages to show just how much history is surrendered to art in the making of historical dramas. A backlash is already beginning against its re-writing of history, and few are more trenchant than British ex-pat and enfant terrible, Christopher Hitchens, in this article for online magazine Slate.read more...»
Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for producing this Auction House starter activity quiz on warfare…read more...»
Here’s a great starter activity from Andy Lawrence using tutor2u’s Wipeout Challenge quiz format…read more...»
A major new teaching resource to support learners covering Scotland’s history has just been launched. As part of Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland’s History covers a broad range of curriculum topics, from Scotland’s early history right up to the 21st Century. Well worth a look
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.
Like many colleagues we’ve been taking large groups of Year 9 pupils to the First World War battlefields for many years. Only this year did we discover the fantastic ‘Road To Passchendaele’ experience. This allows groups to dress up as Great War soldiers, eat what they ate and be guided along the route taken by Australians on October 4th 1917 as they attacked German positions. Because we had a large group we couldn’t don the uniforms but the tour was magnificent and worked its way from Zonnebeke to Tyne Cot. I’d recommend it to any colleagues planning a trip. Further details here
On the 80th anniversary of the Wall Street Crash, the Guardian has produced this excellent interactive guide to the events in 1929.
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.
Test your knowledge of key names, events and concepts in the history of the Cold War with these four “wildcard”-style quizzes. We give you a partially completed term. Your task is to complete it.read more...»
Here is a collection of interactive multiple choice quizzes which help students test their knowledge of the Superpower conflicts:read more...»
Free to secondary school teachers
Places are available free of charge to every state secondary and middle school in England. And the programme workshops are delivered regionally by world-recognised experts. For workshop participants, the CPD also offers distance learning through a Virtual Learning Environment which provides on-going resources and development opportunities.
CPD participants can also become part of a network of Holocaust educators, and a community of enquiry and exchange, with access to a set of online resources and support materials which will continue to grow and develop.
Benefits of the 2 day workshop
The CPD comprises a two day workshop. It will allow you to:
•Access effective, engaging and age-appropriate learning materials,
•Participate in regional CPD workshops at a venue near you,
•Network and share materials and expertise in an online community,
•Bring the latest developments in learning theory and Holocaust research into the classroom,
•Access national and international experts in Holocaust education,
•Continue to a Masters Level course following the CPD (optional)
Click here for more information and to apply
You can download a teachers pack from BHM. Ostensibly these are for younger students but I can see the KS3 pack being very adaptable for GCSE courses, particularly the coursework and teacher assessed units on the OCR GCSE Pilot.
The skill of evaluating evidence is essential for the GCSE Pilot. There is quite a paucity of evidence for the external Medieval unit. Here is an ideal opportunity to take your students to see a sample of this Treasure Trove found by a chap from my home town!
The Staffordshire Hoard contains about 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver, making it far bigger than the Sutton Hoo discovery in 1939 when 1.5kg of Anglo-Saxon gold was found near Woodbridge in Suffolk. A small selection is on show at Birmingham Museum from tomorrow until 13th October. You can also see a short video on the items at BBC Staffordshire
It is absolutely the equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells, Leslie Webster, former keeper at the British Museum’s Department of Prehistory and Europe.
Events, dear boy, events. And the Cold War period was packed full of them - so many in fact that GCSE History students can be forgiven for confusing Potsdam with Prague or Detente with the Domino Effect.
Here are a couple of revision crosswords which you might use with students to help reinforce core knowledge of what happened and when during the Cold War. There are two crosswords - one with 10 clues and one with 20 clues.
Many thanks to Andy Lawrence for producing these resources which we are about to make available as part of a comprehensive PuzzlePack on the Cold War for GCSE History students
Do you have students who don’t know their Arms Races from their Eisenhower?
Here is a matching activity which can be used to help students test their knowledge of the main historical characters involved in the Cold War. There are two puzzles - one has 10 people listed; the other has 15 people. The aim is to match the person with the clue!
Superb interactive and animated Historical maps.
Tomorrow is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Dr Samuel Johnson. Dr Johnson House in his birth place, Lichfield, Staffordshire, is hosting a series of events to celebrate the occasion.
Visit Dr Johnson House site for more details.
A presentation application, which provides so much freedom.
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has lots of lesson plans, activities and worksheets to download. Take a look particularly at An Historical Enquiry for History Students (Secondary)
Apply for the new Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.
For the purpose of the Quality Badge they define Learning Outside the Classroom as “the use of places other than the classroom for the teaching and learning of young people aged 0-19” This includes experiences that take place in:
•School grounds: for example gardening
•The local environment: for example land and streetscapes or places of worship
•Places further afield: for example museums and galleries or field study and environmental centres
•Residential places: for example summer camps or expeditions
You can also check out which establishments hold the LoTC Quality Badge when planning trips.
If you are considering writing a unit on Heritage Marketing or Presenting the Past for the GCSE History pilot have a look at The National Football Museum We are always being challenged to enthuse those boys - this could be just what you are looking for!
For help assessing OCR pilot GCSE History take a look at Teacher’s TV - KS4 History - Assessment for Learning
The SHP promotes History as a subject and a discipline, it provides one of the two GCSE History options. The SHP website is in the process of re-construction, but does contain a number of teaching ideas and activities from leading proponents. The website provides information on the structure of the SHP; its regional advisers and fellows. The website also provides information on the conferences and educational publications which have become such an inspiration to History educators. I feel this site will become one of the essential websites for History teachers.
The Shatila refugee camp was established in Lebanon to temporarily house Palestinians who had fled from what became Israel during the 1948-49 war. The refugees have never been able to return. This slideshow from the BBC looks at life within the camp and makes reference to the massacre that took place here during the Israeli invasion of 1982.
Another great resource from the BBC that will aid revision on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Watch them here.
A quick look at a school of history that sees past events in a particular way. This may be useful for those wanting to study history at university.
Johnny Isaac today gave our Oxbridge History group an excellent overview of AJP Taylor’s work and significance as an historian. I’ve uploaded his presentation below.
Many thanks Johnny.read more...»