This smart task asks pupils to think a little more deeply about why Chamberlain adopted the policy of appeasement. It is so easy to lampoon him as a naive who was easily duped by Hitler. He should have known better. If only he had listened to Churchill! But we want pupils to appreciate that it is easy to judge using hindsight. What were the issues confronting him at the time and was his decision as misguided as people are keen to suggest.
The smart task can either be used as a simple task in its own right or as a prelude to pupils carrying out their own longer investigation using a wider range of sources. Either way, it is important that pupils learn how the terms Munich and appeasement continue to be seen as a byword for weakness and can form their own judgment about the fairness of this view.
The task comes at the point in the teaching sequence when pupils already know the key events leading up to the Munich conference and are about to analyse Chamberlain’s actions.
Set up the lesson using the quotations on slide 2. The documents on slides 3 and 4 show what