Florence Nightingale – KQ5 – How do we know so much about Florence Nightingale when she lived so long ago?

This differentiated core activity is Prove it! Working in pairs as detectives with their own find the clue sheets and clipboards, pupils are given 10 statements about Florence and have to find the original sources that helped historians to make these statements. These pictorial sources are placed around the room, as if an art gallery.


Pupils are asked how we could possibly know so much about Florence Nightingale when she lived so long ago. The idea is that pupils gain some sense of the sources available and the way historians use them to make the statements they do in books. This is important as pupils need to know that this is not a made-up story but is based on evidence. So, can they suggest the types of evidence we might be look at when studying Florence’s life? Hopefully by now they will be able to go beyond simply ‘boos’ and pictures and videos to consider photographs, paintings, letters, newspaper accounts etc

Step 1 – setting up -Prove it activity

To make this a more active session, use the activity called Prove it! Pupils work in pairs as if detectives who are hunting down clues in the evidence to prove

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