Free History Teaching Samples

All parts of this site have been written and quality assured by Neil Thompson, who has vast experience of history teaching from years in the classroom, leading a department, and being part of SLT. For even longer he was an OFSTED history inspector, the county history adviser to Hampshire primary and secondary schools and  consultant and author for the BBC, DFE, exam boards, publishers, and QCA. Neil continues to support teachers by running national courses and works with teachers in schools. He also runs school-based INSET and acts as ‘virtual adviser’ offering crucial support to new subject leaders.

Hoover’s rubbish: Roosevelt moves in

This lesson on a fairly familiar theme approaches GCSE cartoon analysis in a different way.  Instead of showing the students the cartoon they are to interpret, they are simply given an outline, without the detail...
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Help Tom to fight the Great Fire. Smart Task

This ICT based activity draws heavily on the superb new website created as a joint enterprise by the National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of London and London Fire Brigade Museum. It appears on the...
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Raising attainment at Key Stage 4

This section of the site contains four different types of advice. There is general advice, outlining factors that usually explain success at GCSE and a short paper entitled 'Smoking Out Underachievement'.  Then there are...

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Italian foreign policy-outstanding lesson

At what point did Mussolini seem to side more with Germany than with Britain or France? Students arrive at the lesson having familiarised themselves with key events of Mussolini’s foreign policy which is checked with a...
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Fit for purpose teaching Strategies at Key Stage 3

Personalising learning by establishing what students already know about a topic, before beginning teaching. Case study: Comparing students’ initial perceptions with their end-of-study study views of the First World War To build effectively on what students bring...
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Expert Advice: Key Stage 1 – Mary Anning

She sells sea shells: planning a topic on Mary Anning, Dinosaur hunter, using the Anholt's Stone girl, Bone girl  “Would you like to go Dinosaur hunting? Well one young girl did when she wasn’t much older than...
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Why was this World War One painting censored?

Students studying Britain during World War One, whether it be for AQA, OCR or Edexcel, need to know about censorship. This deceptively simple lesson asks penetrating questions which both engage and challenge. Students analyse one...
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What made runaway slaves successful?

This short enquiry enables pupils to come up with their own ideas about runaway slaves working from first hand evidence of adverts for the slaves ‘ arrest'. They work in pairs to come up with...
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The mystery of the empty Saxon grave

This highly engaging lesson places pupils in the role of detectives. After a short briefing they have to work out the significance of the various clues found in the bodiless ship burial. They then use...
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Eric the evacuee

Extending the BBC website on Eric the evacuee

The BBC children’s history section has been in touch with the school asking for their help in extending their website section on Eric the evacuee. There is nothing...
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Long term planning for history at Key Stage 1

Superficially, Key Stage 1 seems the least complex history curriculum to plan because the burden of content to be covered seems manageable. Scratch beneath the short section that describes the demands of Key Stage 1...
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Thinking skills in history at Key Stage 1

There is nothing particularly radical about using a thinking skills approach to history at Key Stage 1, but there are certainly two main pitfalls that snare the unwary. The first lies in the area of...
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Curriculum models for KS1 history

It seems a logical extension of the advice on long-term planning of the curriculum to offer you some models of what it might look like. As you know, the devil is in the detail.  You...
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