Grace Darling – KQ4 – How do we know about Grace Darling’s actions which happened so long ago?

There are two distinct elements to this session.  Firstly, pupils develop a sense of period and of evidence by thinking about the sources historians would use to find out about Grace Darling.  Secondly, pupils act as history detectives, hunting down the clues which support the statements about Grace made in the textbooks.

Step 1

Start with asking pupils how they think we know about Grace Darling’s rescue, when it happened so long ago and there’s no-one alive now who was there at the time. This will focus pupils’ thinking on the types of evidence that were available then and help them to avoid thinking anachronistically. You can make this fun by hamming it up, for example, through ‘Would they have had X in those days?’ question – Would Grace have had her mobile phone with her?  Would the story have been shown on the TV news?

Step 2

Follow this by quickly showing the first 10 slides of the PowerPoint presentation which indicate the range of evidence available in the 1830s as well as later.

Can pupils work out what each of them are?  This will draw out from the children what they already know and help familiarize them with

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