Outstanding Lessons at KS1

If you have ever searched the internet for inspiration for your history sessions you will know how frustrating it can be. Luckily the answer is at hand. Built up from twenty years’ experience of working with infant schools, the site brings into one place some of the best history lessons you can expect to find. Not only are they logically developed with clear learning objectives, thoughtful structure and fit-for-purpose, fully-resourced activities, they are all in some ways creative or imaginative. They are not run of the mill. They will almost certainly fire your imagination and stimulate an even better idea.

How should we remember Grace Darling?

This last key question of 6 on the medium-term planning, focuses on her legacy and why we should commemorate her. It introduces pupils to a number of ways in which people are remembered before inviting them to use their creative imaginations to come up...

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KS1 Medium term planner: The sinking of the Titanic Y2

This topic provides an exciting addition to the usual famous events taught at KS1. Not only is there a clear, compelling narrative that pupils can relate to, it also offers opportunities to develop worthwhile historical concepts such as diversity, causation, consequences, interpretations and source analysis....
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Why weren’t more people saved from the Titanic? KQ5

In this problem-solving activity, pupils have to speculate, using a stimulus image and then evaluate a range of given reasons based on their plausibility, placing them on a spectrum. To demonstrate their understanding pupils complete 3 speech bubbles giving the most important reasons coming from...
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Final Moon Landing lesson ( KQ3) available now on request

  Pleased to announce that final Moon Landing lesson resources for KQ3 are available on request as we find the last missing piece of the copyright jigsaw! Subscribers simply email us and we'll send all the lesson resources, by return, prior to full upload....
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What happened during the Great Fire and how do we know?

This lesson focuses on the idea of evidence and proof. Can pupils find evidence to back up statements made in books? Can they tell which is the strongest piece of evidence to support a statement. By learning how to select the sources which they think...
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What did people do at the seaside 100 years ago? KQ2

From mime to movie. SMART TASK

This fun activity is carried out by children working on tables of six.  Half the class work on one image, the other half  on another interesting image.  Each table is given an A4 colour picture either A or B.  For...
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Planning for a cross-curricular topic on Going to the Seaside

This advice with associated downloadable resource below is for KS1 teachers planning a cross-curricular topic and focuses on how to integrate history, geography, literacy and ICT. Start the topic with a brief discussion with the children about where they are going on their summer...
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Why did the Great Fire burn down so many houses?

This Great Fire lesson focuses on developing children's powers of explanations.  They will already have looked at the sequence of events and will be able to offer a few simple reasons.  This lesson aims to take them beyond a simple list towards deeper understanding of...
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The Gunpowder Plot: Prove it using a gallery of images

This skilfully differentiated lesson places pupils in the role of detectives that have to find evidence to back up statements that have been made about the Gunpowder plot.  They are given responsibility for a range of statements carefully matched to their learning needs.  They work...
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How shall we rebuild London after the Great Fire?

This lesson gives full rein to children's creative flair, disciplined by evidence.  The City of London is offering a prize for the best design for a rebuilt London after the Great Fire.   If the children know the causes well, and they should do after using...
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Grace Darling: setting up the enquiry

This is the first lesson on an enquiry into Grace Darling: what she did, and why she was famous. The kernel of the lesson is a slow reveal activity which works really well on an Interactive White Board.  The key image comes from the...

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Teaching In Living Memory to Key Stage 1

Within living memory is one of the periods of time KS1 pupils need to study. At first sight it might seem obvious that this is the period best suited to Year 1, because it is more familiar. If you think a little longer you may...
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How do we know what holidays were like 100 years ago? KQ3

Designing an authentic Edwardian Seaside Poster

This KS1 history lesson uses the Mantle of the Expert approach to place pupils in role as historical advisers to a film producer.  Their job is to create an historically accurate poster which will trail the new film set...
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Spying on your rival lord’s latest new castle

This is a really fun way of helping children to look closely at the detail of a medieval castle.  They are cast in the role of spies for their local lord ( Earl Fuddy Fuddy), who has an old-fashioned castle.  He has heard that his...
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Bonfire Night when Granny was a girl: Smart Task

These activities have been designed for the new 2014 history curriculum, covering the past within living memory and commemorative events. The three PowerPoint presentations, including copyrighted images of the 1950s and early 60s from Mary Evans picture library give children a flavour of a familiar event...
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Washday in the past; helping the hopeless Mr Lather

The children will be familiar with the range of processes involved in washing clothes in the past.  They will have watched programmes such as Magic Grandad and will have explored a range of artefacts such as a mangle and a dolly-stick/posser.  The aim of...

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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 Learning Curve section of the National Archives site. The interactive...
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Are you teaching your KS1 the truth about Guy Fawkes?

In many schools I hear teachers tell the same story about Guido Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was angry at the King and the government for the way it treated Catholics. He then brought together a team of plotters intent on killing the king and his cronies...
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Why do you think Amy Johnson was famous? Smart Task KQ1

In this session on Amy Johnson (KQ1 on the planner) children learn to: predict from small clues link together disparate pieces of evidence and draw conclusions based on the clues they are given. With the help of the slow reveal of the clues in carefully arranged order, pupils build...
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Amy Johnson story-telling relay KS1

How did Amy the secretary end up being the first woman to fly to Australia? Smart Task KQ2

This short, fun activity using mime and props, tells the story of Amy Johnson's first flight to Australia in a way that children will never forget.  Each of...
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KS1 History Mystery. Whatever happened to Amy?

How can we solve the mystery of what happened to Amy Johnson? Smart Task KQ6

This enduring mystery has puzzled historians for over 75 years. New evidence has just come to light which makes this an ideal opportunity for pupils to explore reasons for themselves. Clearly...
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KS1 Star Lesson on The Great Fire

Why did the Great Fire of 1666 burn down so many more houses than other fires in London at that time?

In this exceptional lesson, pupils adopt the role of providers of a new plaque for a monument explaining why the Great Fire of 1666 burnt...
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The Wright Brothers first flight. KS1 Prove it! task KQ4

How can we possibly know about the Wright Brothers first flight when there’s nobody alive now who saw it? This is a question about evidence, one which makes pupils consider how we know for sure about the past.  Their thinking needs to be developed beyond ‘it...
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