Smart Tasks

KS4 lesson

These are short tasks for history lessons designed to promote thinking skills. Although they might look like starters and plenaries, and indeed some are, most are designed to be used more flexibly at different stages of the lesson. They give you a ready-made activity which you can slot into your own teaching style. It may be an animated PowerPoint presentation, a puzzling image, a set of perplexing statistics or maybe a piece of text to analyse. What they all have in common is that they have worked and have both engaged pupils’ attention and have stimulated further learning. They do not attempt to provide a full lesson plan but they do have clear learning objectives and should fire your imagination to think of creative ways of using or developing them.

SMART TASK Revision: name your best squad

To help students remember who the key individuals were in the history of medicine, you might like to present them as members of two opposing football teams.... [private] Team A is clearly the best squad of 11, perhaps with...
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Teaching international relations 1945-1990

This section, dominated by the Cold War focuses mainly on teaching its origins, its main crises and the reason why it came to an end.  With the recent 'strengthening' of GCSE specifications many schools who...
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Smart Task: Key Stage 3

Puzzle corner: SMART thinking skills task on why so many infants continued to die before their first birthday at a time when the death rate was falling rapidly.

This short activity works best as a starter...
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Bonfire Night when Granny was a girl: Smart Task

These activities have been designed for the current curriculum, covering the past within living memory and commemorative events. The three PowerPoint presentations, including copyrighted images of the 1950s and early 60s from Mary Evans picture library...
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Help Tom to fight the Great Fire. Smart Task

This ICT based activity draws heavily on the superb new website created as a joint enterprise by the National Archives, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of London and London Fire Brigade Museum. It appears on the...
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The Empire strikes back! SMART TASK KS3

Having previously investigated the criticism of empire, students now set about defending it.  After studying a contemporary Indian view of Empire, which they critique in terms of usefulness, students explore a range of possible achievements...
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Who started the Korean War? Smart Task

In this short starter smart task students are given two contradictory accounts of the start of the Korean War, both emanating from Korea. But which account do they think is more plausible and which extract...
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