This lesson focuses on encouraging students to evaluate the testimony of just one man, Charles Booth.  It opens with an analysis of the reasons why the Liberal government introduced its reforms, and asks about the significance of the role Charles Booth played in bringing appalling social conditions to the government’s attention.  Students are presented with 8 possible reasons for Booth’s evidence being reliable, each of which they must mark out of 10.  Where this lesson wins is the way that Chief Examiners have been asked to give their judgment so that students can see how close they get in reading the examiners’ minds.

Learning objectives

  • Students can consider the nature of contemporary testimony and the way historians set about evaluating it;
  • they are able to evaluate 8 reasons for reliability and compare their own views with those of experienced examiners;
  • they are able to adjust their thinking in the light of peers’ and experts’ judgements.


NB In advance of the lesson print slide 12 of the PowerPoint for the ranking activity stage 4.

The lesson begins with the display of slide 2 showing one of Booth’s colourful maps. Students are told that this is a map produced by a

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