Get your students thinking and working like historians with this lesson!
I have used this lesson for several years as part of a project on developing history skills in my pupils. Students have to infer and reach a reasoned judgement based on the evidence at hand. This includes primary sources in the form of artefacts and secondary reports.
The class works in pairs to decide why and how the man found in the peat bog in Denmark died. They assess the evidence to decide whether it was:
- Illness/natural causes.
The evidence is not given to them all at once, instead the teacher drip feeds it throughout the lesson. This is in a bid to challenge preconceived ideas and see if pupils will change their minds when faced with new information or sources.
The last task is to write an extended piece (like a DBQ) explaining what the different options were and what they believe happened to Tollund Man based on the evidence they have collated.
The lesson fits with the common core requirement for students to analyse, evaluate and consider causation. It is designed for the UK Curriculum and I have kept in the grade descriptors as these may help you with grading your students as they are skill descriptors: ie: identify, then describe then explain then evaluate at the top end of ability. But if not they can be easily deleted from the slides.
The zip file contains:
- fully animated and annotated PowerPoint
- Clues from the crime scene worksheet
- Answer worksheet
- Full lesson plan description
My classes have had great fun with this lesson. It can stand alone or be used part of a project on historical skills. If you like this method you may also be interested the following ‘history mystery’ resources in my shop.
I hope you find this useful and enjoyable and that your students have as much fun as mine have over the years!
© A. Hughes (MsHughesTeaches), 2014
history skills social studies mystery cause critical thinking evidence sources argument
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Amy Hughes (MsHughesTeaches) All rights reserved.