One of the best ways of exciting young children in history is to put them in role.  Dorothy Heathcote’s approach called Mantle of the Expert invests expertise in the pupils, giving them a real, adult role to play.  On the accompanying diagrams (see downloadables) you can see about 20 different roles pupils can take on.  Not only does it make the learning more meaningful and exciting, it also allows children to work collaboratively and in a problem-solving way . I am grateful to Grant Bage for providing the initial inspiration and many of the ideas behind this section.

I would urge you to consider varying the role of the learner two or three times during each topic. Try a few out for yourself. You’ll be amazed how well they respond.  Just getting them to help out a hopeless Mr Lather in the laundry, or to take film stills of the various tasks carried out by the astronauts on first landing on the moon, will bring learning alive and raise the quality of the work, as well as the motivation.

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