History can be quite theoretical and lingual. To make history lessons less difficult the teacher has a whole range of pedagogical methods available. Some strategies are mostly relevant when starting a lesson. They may be: an activity to lower the threshold, such as on chronology, to let students experience the period of the new topic compared to the former one; introducing the topic by raising curiosity, showing how different that past was compared to nowadays, possibly by making comparisons with students’ own lives; revising for example in a spider-diagram, what the students already know from the topic and asking them what they want to know more about; starting from the legacy of the topic in the 21st Century and retracing with the class the topic in the past. Other strategies are mainly aimed at putting the content of the lesson in a perspective that makes it interesting and relevant to students. For example, storytelling to provoke students’ questions or bringing them to the teacher’s enquiry question. Using a variety of media, such as images, an account, or a film, to stimulate students’ curiosity and stir their imagination. Teaching in an interactive way to include students in the thinking process and keep them motivated. Provoking questions of the past derived from current events. It is also important to plan for the right level of language for students when using sources, adapting language as appropriate.
The activity scaffolds the use of historical data and mapping them out in both connecting graphs and line graphs, creating visual representations. It is aimed at helpings students develop a more ‘structured’ approach to investigating certain (historical) claims (e.g. 1914 was unique, so it is completely logical the war started there and then).
Slow burner: a heightened sense of international tension
Why did the peace fail? - the ‘uniqueness of 1914’ in contrast to previous years.
Making history accessible: the activity is aimed to elicit students’ curiosity, using a new way to introduce a topic (focussing a specific theme, connected with the present, and entering into it in medias res).
Discover the attitude that Mussolini kept toward the press, starting from his speech to the newspapers editors on 10th October 1928.
Students will be asked to consider the indignity of the camp system through vivid source material.
Lamsdorf as an example of how POWs can cope with the camp experience
Students focus on a particular story in order to learn about the lives of people in camps.
Why did some people hide their past after liberation? Why did some people rewrite their biographies? How did imprisonment affect a person's life and opportunities afterwards?
Students use a range of accessible interpretations to engage them with a difficult historical concept.
What's behind historical interpretation?
Students become a human timeline to be able to visualise and feel what they are learning and discussing.
How can becoming the timeline help us to understand the change from peace to war in 1914?