Huge History Lesson: Teaching ideas for secondary

Secondary teaching support for the Huge History Lesson

Tes Resources Team

How to make history relevant to the local country in international schools

Today marks the launch of the Huge History Lesson competition and we’d love for you and your classes to get involved.  To make it as easy as possible, we’ve pulled together some of the best resources for teaching historical enquiry skills, many of which can be easily adapted to suit your current or upcoming unit of work. 

Find inspiration for the object-led enquiry competition via Teaching history with 100 objects and support students with their entries using this explanatory guide.

If you have any questions about the competition, or how to tackle object-led historical enquiry, do get in touch.

Observing and analysing history

This introductory lesson to source analysis uses an example story to support younger pupils in identifying the key skills required to determine the purpose, usefulness and reliability of evidence when drawing conclusions. Older students can get to grips with the finer details of source analysis with this learning mat, which also offers a variety of sentence starters to help them best present their findings.

Your class can practise their new-found analytical skills in this enquiry into the much discussed construction of the Bomber Command Memorial in 2012, by comparing various sources and making their own judgement as to whether it should have been built or not.

When it comes to studying objects in the KS3 classroom, this short teacher guide is a great place to start.  It contains handy hints on how students should observe, describe and record findings from their investigation.  In addition, this simple poster could be used as the centrepiece of a classroom display on enquiry skills, reminding learners of the important questions to ask when analysing an object or source.

Investigating and interpreting history

Using the sources given in this differentiated investigation, pupils write a short essay outlining their conclusions on the identities and deaths of the mysterious Riccall skeletons.  Alternatively, this series of three lessons related to the First World War requires students to collect evidence to investigate how much the role of women changed between 1914 and 1919. 

Interpretation is often considered one of the trickier enquiry skills to teach, but this Teachers TV video unpacks the concept by getting learners to think about their own reputations as a precursor to that of famous historical figures. 

KS3 pupils can demonstrate their understanding in this one-off lesson that explores the numerous interpretations of Stonehenge, whilst older students can challenge themselves with this worksheet activity, in which they are required to investigate various sources from the start of the British Industrial Revolution.

Quick links

Observing and analysing history Investigating and interpreting history
KS3 introduction to source analysis Riccall skeletons investigation
GCSE source analysis learning mat Women in the First World War unit
Bomber Command enquiry lesson Teachers TV: teaching interpretation
Learning from objects: teacher guide Stonehenge interpretations lesson plan (KS3)
5Ws of source analysis poster Industrial Revolution interpretation worksheet (KS4)

For guidance on supporting pupils in completing their entry for the competition, see the Huge History Lesson website and this step-by-step student guide for more details.

Are you a primary teacher? Find our post with suggested resources here.