History

24th November 2006 at 00:00
Age 11-16 Theatrical flourish is often the best way to get the attention of a restless, over-talkative Year 9 class. Props can be simple - in this case an old metal tobacco tin, that I use for keeping my loose change for cups of tea at breaktime in the staffroom. You don't need to be a great actor to make the most of the old metal tin.

Hold the tin up and tell the class you want to tell them a story about it.

This prospect seems so bizarre that the class turn to face you.

You'll only get one chance before somebody starts talking again, so you've got to seize it. I tell them it was a tin this size that they put the cyanide crystals in. Then I point to the ceiling of the classroom. "The tin was placed about there in a room this size", I explain. The immediacy of the comparison holds their attention.

From then on, I can tell the story of the gassing of the Jews and set the scene for my lesson on the Final Solution

Website

For further thoughts on history teaching visit SchoolHistory.co.uk

Paul Blum teaches at Islington Green School in London

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now