Television series such as Channel 4's Edwardian Country House demonstrate the popularity of practical social history. This is the kind of thing that brings history alive for children who find it difficult to develop a sense of the past.
The Creative History Activity Packs from David Fulton are a delightful collection of 10 colourful, double-sided, laminated activity cards that have been designed to put fun back into history.
Charmingly illustrated, they feature easily created craft activities such as Victorian cornucopias and fans, Tudor pomanders and miniature portraits. Food technology includes traditional but easy-to-follow recipes such as sweetmeats and biscuits. Equally fun are the music and drama activities based on Tudor markets and dancing and Victorian music hall and parlour games.
The cards describe rarer items such as oak galls (nut-like parasitic growths) and also recommend music for dancing. All activities are presented in a way that brings history out of the textbook into a real, participative activity for lower key stage 2 children. Many could be easily adapted to supplement Key Stage 1 history, which is largely based on the daily lives of children.
I like the way the pack brings together such a wide range of easy-to-use activities that help children appreciate the differences that have taken place to the daily lives of ordinary people. The cards can be used by adults working with groups of children or can be handed out for groups to work through independently.
There are packs for national curriculum topics such as Victorians, Tudors and Ancient Egyptians. Other titles will be available in the near future.
Available at pound;15 per pack from David Fulton Publishers, The Chiswick Centre, 414 Chiswick High Road, London W4 5TF Tel: 020 8996 3618www.fultonpublishers.co.uk