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.

KQ6 How can we set up our own toy museum?

This final KS1 lesson on the Toys topic cements children’s understanding of old and new in an interesting way. Learning objectives
  • Pupils are able to make reasoned decisions as to what constitute old and new items
  • They can apply criteria to their chosen objects
  • They can...
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How did sea rescue improve as a result of Grace Darling’s story? KQ5

This session comprises 2 principal activities: matching descriptions of lifeboats to time periods to deepen pupils’ sense of change, continuity and chronology; sequencing and then selecting images for a Museum about most significant changes to sea rescue since Grace Darling's time. Step 1 Ask children to think...
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KQ2 Why did Grace Darling act in the way she did?

An active lesson in which pupils generate adjectives and then use a Diamond-4 ranking activity, followed by hot seating, to ascertain Grace’s motivation.   A broader context is achieved by asking pupils to analyse the possible reasons why Grace was seen as particularly famous at the...
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KQ2 What are other people’s toys like?

This session comprises two very simple tasks: matching objects to the young children who would usually play with them, followed by a follow-up task, this time on the theme of wheeled transport where children have to sequence 3 images and match them to who would...
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KQ3 How can we tell these toys are old?

This smart task complements the existing lesson on the site using ICT . Rather than re-write the whole lesson this is added as an extra task. Using slides 2-5 show pupils the pairs of objects - old and new versions of teddies, dolls, trains and roller...
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Toys old and new: Sorting and setting

This lesson draws on some excellent resources you may not have come across, produced by museums in Bedfordshire and Warwickshire.  Not only do they look at old and new and then and now they also offer Venn diagrams which provide that extra challenge.  You will...
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OFSTED’s report on teaching of Toys-outstanding lesson

  When the inspector entered, the pupils were sitting on the carpet around the teacher. She was gently exploring whether they understood the concepts ‘old’ and ‘new’ and the differences between the present and the past. The pupils responded very well to this. Virtually all were...
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How should Scott be remembered today? KQ6

Exciting finale to the topic sees pupils analysing different ways in which Scott has been commemorated in the past, coming up with their own 21st century ideas and then completing a diamond-4 prioritising activity before acting as historical advisers to a stone mason renovating a...
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How should we remember Grace Darling? KQ6

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 KQ 1

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 current 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 within a...
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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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