Teaching Britain 1500-1750

Outstanding KS3 history lessons and shorter Smart Tasks: Britain 1500-1750

When teaching this crucial period of British history, you will want to focus  on the Reformation, the mid-17th century Civil Wars, the execution of Charles I and the aftermath. This 1500-1750 topic offers a great opportunity to look backwards to change from medieval times and forwards towards the current British parliamentary system. It used to be taken as read that pupils will come from Key Stage 2 with a reasonably secure knowledge of the characters of Henry VIII and Elizabeth but this is no longer the case so the balance between 16 & 17 centuries needs to be restored. Always find space for a details study of Cromwell. A statue of Cromwell stands proudly outside parliament because the Irish nationalist MPs at the turn of the 19th century refused to have it inside. In fact the PM Rosebery ended up having to pay for it himself to circumvent the Commons , so controversial was Cromwell even 350 years later!

You won’t want to miss the outstanding lesson on the execution of Charles 1 one of those lessons most frequently graded as outstanding and known as the lesson that never fails!

uk 1500-1750

Why were so many witches hanged in the 16th and 17th centuries?

Can we beat the textbook explanation?

The inspiration for this lesson came from the talented history department at Court Moor school and in particular the outstanding history subject leader Claire Conley-Harper. Originally it was a short thinking skills activity on raising historical questions which then grew...
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How ‘Bloody’ was Mary Tudor?

At the heart of the lesson is a courtroom trial. Pupils have to acquit Mary Tudor of the charge of being 'Bloody'.  They look together at the reasons why she was thought to be 'bloody' and then work in groups to analyse the evidence in...
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Parchment in the flames – the World Turned Upside Down

This lesson uses a familiar post-Civil War source in an unusually intelligent way to give Y8 pupils a good understanding of the need to interpret sources in their historical context.  The featured pamphlet has been variously attributed and captioned with dates as far apart as...
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Did the Great Fire really end the Great Plague of 1665?

In this one-lesson enquiry pupils look carefully at statistics and maps in order to challenge received opinion.  To do so they must raise as well as answer questions and need to be mindful of flaws in the evidence they use.  They conclude by reaching an...
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Great starter on interpretations of Henry VIII

Working closely with academic authors, in this case Catherine Fletcher, always gives a fascinating insight into what historians want to write and publishers want to sell.  This is fertile ground for exploring the question of interpretations with pupils at KS2 and KS3. With this simple...
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Cromwell a reputation deserved. KS3 Smart Task

This short task focuses on an entry from a website used by lots of people today, mainly in Ireland, to find out about Cromwell’s time there. Pupils are asked to assess whether it is a reliable interpretation of Cromwell’s behaviour in Ireland in the early 1650s....
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Early Modern Britain 1500-1750 Smart Task: Editor’s Pencil

A quick overview activity in which pupils have to spot and correct 20 deliberate mistakes. Pupils are given an activity with a summary of the changes that took place in Britain between 1500 and 1750. Unfortunately, the person who wrote it is bad at history. Using their...
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Teaching KS3 History: Early Modern History

The following Key Stage 3 history lessons for teaching Early Modern History 1500 -1750 have all been judged to be outstanding according to OFSTED criteria. You will find a wide variety of teaching and learning activities and full lesson plans as well as a rich...
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