This innovative session places pupils right from the start of the enquiry in the role of detectives to discover when, where and why the Great Fire of London broke out. Using a wide range of carefully chosen images, pupils have to sift through the evidence to find answers to the key questions, before comparing their findings with a brief expert video.
Set the scene using slides 2-5 of the PowerPoint which give pupils some context of 17th Century London. You might also want to play a version of the short nursery rhyme ‘London’s Burning’ e.g. Example nursery rhyme
to help get a feel for the period, without giving much away.
Pupils are given a brief overview of the fact that the fire burnt down a quarter of London, but they are not told where, when, how or why. That is for them to work out. So, with slide 6 projected, a good place to start would be to ask pupils what questions need answering in our investigation. They usually find this difficult but it is an important dimension to thinking like a historian.
With slide 7 projected, explain to the children that they are going