Introducing secondary students to new historical periods

Sian Evans
24th August 2018
Old-fashioned lettering of history as part of introducing KS3, KS4 and post-16 students to new historical periods

Provide background to new topics with these overview presentations, lesson ideas and activities

Introducing a new historical era to your class is always a challenge. From the outset, it is important to find a succinct way to contextualise the period of history, looking at what came before and after, as well as broadly explaining the social, political and economic events that altered the way people thought and acted at that time.

We’ve gathered a selection of introductory resources that will give your class the starting points they need to delve further into a new historical period.

KS3 resources

Kick-off teaching the rollercoaster events of Tudor England with this presentation and card-sorting activity, designed to showcase the key characters of the era and how their lifestyles differ from our own. For studies of the Empire and slavery, use this introductory lesson to find out what the British Empire was and why it was important to Britain.

This presentation is ideal as a concise overview of the Industrial Revolution, offering students a summary of the key changes between 1750 and 1900. Or, encourage inquisitive minds with this source-based analysis lesson to understand why pupils of the 21st century should bother studying the First World War.


Year 8 L1- Intro to Tudors

What was life like in 1500s compared to today in Croydon
By rimmel55

The British Empire - An introduction

An introductory lesson to the 'Empire and Slavery&' topic.
By pharris15

Introduction to the Industrial Revolution

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ON THIS RESOURCE - ESPECIALLY IF YOU DOWNLOAD IT. This is a lesson that I used to introduce the Industrial Revolution. It is a very general lesson to get the students used to the idea that 1750 and 1900 looked and felt very different, hence the diary entry activity. This P/Point has borrowed from another that I downloaded from these very pages, although I have added features.
By Cassius82

Why should we bother studying WWI?

A simple stand-alone lesson that asks students to consider the lasting impact of WWI and some of the reasons behind studying the conflict. Works really well as either an introduction to WWI or as a route into studying the impacts of the conflict in more detail.

The ideas covered include:
- Remembrance
- Child soldiers
- Weapons
- Medicine (e.g. Marie Curie and the use of x-rays or the triage system)
- Ethnic diversity (e.g. Indian soldiers fighting for the British army)
- Language (the new words and phrases that have become part of our everyday vocabulary)
- Role of women in society (e.g. Blythe Spartans Ladies FC or the first female police officer having the right of arrest)

Resources are simply differentiated ('one star' for easy to access, 'three star' for more challenging) and a worksheet is included for students to record their ideas.
By jacko7

KS4 and post-16 resources

Prepare your class for an epic journey through 5,000 years of medical history using this overview presentation, which neatly summarises change and continuity for each period. Alternatively, offer your class insight into the context of the Vietnam War and the reasons why the US got involved using this comprehensive booklet, packed full of short activities.

Make use of this introductory lesson, which provides older learners with a clear explanation of European fascism. Why not try something completely different to capture the attention of your A-level class by using a speed-dating activity to introduce them to the key individuals of the Russian Revolution?


Vietnam War Unit Introduction.

Content : Unit key words, who is who, the domino theory and containment, why did the USA get involved?, source comparison and evaluation.
By Ichistory

An introduction to fascism for A and AS Level students

An introduction to fascism for A and AS Level students

A detailed introduction to fascism, focusing on European fascism in particular.

Designed for AQA History AS/A Level but can easily be adapted and used across exam boards/specs.
By History Teacher

Speed dating Russia 1894-1924

First lesson in new Edexcel Russia in Revolution year 12 course. Seed dating with some of the individuals they will meet in the course. Key word sheet and homework task included
By glayne

Contact us

Visit our forums

Latest education news

New to TES Resources ? Find out more about becoming an author on TES, or dive straight in and start downloading.