Open with the unusual

28th May 2004 at 01:00
Becky Hewlitt samples activities to begin history lessons

Badger Key Stage 3 History Starters

By Phil Suggitt

Badger Publishing pound;25 each


These three books of ready-to-use starter activities fit the bill perfectly. The key stage 3 strategy for the foundation subjects stresses the importance of active, engaging and thought-provoking activities to get lessons off to a flying start.

Phil Suggitt provides a wide range of easily photocopiable starter activities. Book one covers Year 7 - what is history?, the Roman empire and medieval history. Book two covers Year 8 - the making of the UK, and Britain 1750-1900, and book three is useful for Year 9 and GCSE.

The wide range of starters on offer here prevents repetition. The activities include sequencing cards, spotting the difference, drawing keyword icons and interpreting diagrams. They all take five to 10 minutes to complete and are easily prepared.

These activities would be an inspirational and time-saving addition to any history department - an immediate and painless improvement to teaching and learning.

Anyone inspecting a lesson starting with such activities as these could not fail to be impressed by the imaginative use of source material and the pupils' responses.

We particularly enjoyed using the cleverly chosen photographs - for example, one of a woman having a line drawn down her leg and another of an elephant in a farmer's field. My Year 9 group had some hilarious ideas about what these pictures could mean. The lady having "stockings" applied was "drawing trousers on" and the evacuated elephant was there because "they were hungry due to rationing and you get a lot of meat from an elephant".

In fairness to my class they had been told to be as imaginative as possible and most of them did give the correct answer.

My only reservation is that some of the photographs are in colour and many teachers don't have access to a colour copier. Perhaps a pack of ready-to-use OHTs could be issued with further editions? But at a time when resources are increasingly limited, these books would be worth pound;25 of any departmental budget.

Becky Hewlitt is head of history at Windsor High School, Halesowen, West Midlands

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


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