The execution of Charles I – advising a film director: a study in source analysis and evaluation

This lesson uses a set of 4 contemporary images and a secondary narrative account to examine how the author seems to have used some sources and rejected others. By trying to write their own 6 statements for the film director first, using a range of visual sources, pupils quickly realise some of the processes historians go through when they write historical accounts.

Learning objectives

  • Pupils are able to cross-reference a range of sources, spotting similarities and differences;
  • pupils are able to grasp that some sources are more reliable than others and can give at least one reason why that might be so, with reference to pictorial sources;
  • pupils understand the need to consult additional sources of different types in order to answer specific questions;
  • pupils know the types of sources a historian might use to study events of 1649;
  • pupils realise that ‘Hollywood’ versions of events can still be historically accurate and well-researched in parts, whilst exaggerating in others.

Starter

Pupils are told that they are to advise a film director who is planning a block-busting film featuring the execution of Charles I. The director has been heavily criticised in his last few films for flights of fancy and lack

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