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 will prove most useful, they are beginning to think as historians would, sifting and then weighting the evidence.

Learning objectives

  • children recall how the fire started and how it spread
  • they can describe the direction in which the fire spread and grasp how long the fire raged
  • they understand that we use a range of sources, including eyewitness accounts, diaries, paintings etc to build up a reliable picture of what actually happened
  • they are able to make inferences and deduction

Part 1 – Storytelling and sequencing

Activity 1: Washing line

How you tell the story of the spread of the fire is matter of personal preference. You could use a short video but I would recommend that you tell it dramatically. A good device would be create a classroom washing line strung across the room, along which the details of the fire’s daily spread would be added as you tell the story.

Step 1


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