Top introductory history lessons

Lesson ideas and activities to introduce students to historical context and key figures

Sian Evans

History, Secondary History,top History Lesson Introductions,history Introductions,ks3 History, Ks4 History, Post 16 History

Presentations, activities and creative ideas to help teachers introduce students to new topics

A study of any period of history is underpinned by exploring what life was like at that point in time and finding out about the key people who were propelling change. When introducing your class to a new topic, starting with the context or starting with a key figure are both valuable approaches.

Whichever approach you prefer, we’ve gathered a selection of resources to make sure your students have an engaging and accessible introduction to a new topic.

Overview lessons

Help younger students quickly understand the medieval relationship between Church and State with this memorable roleplay script. From Constantine to the end of the Papal Schism, this lesson is ideal for explaining to learners why the Church was so powerful in this period. 

Set the scene for a study of Victorian Britain with this detailed introductory lesson, which offers insight into the social, political and technological progress of the era.

From prehistoric times to the present day, provide students with a summary of public health and surgical developments by working through these comprehensive presentations.

Key historical figures

Discover who King Henry II was, which land he ruled over and what it meant to be the first Angevin king with this collection of introductory tasks. From one Henry to another, this resource pack is designed to encourage pupils to use source-analysis skills to explore the reign of King Henry VIII and his contemporaries.

Finally, challenge your class to find out what kind of man Stalin was and create a timeline of his life with this introduction lesson

Quick links

Overview lessons

Key historical figures

Medieval roleplay script

Victorian Britain introductory lesson

Medicine through time overview presentations

King Henry II introductory tasks

King Henry VIII resource pack

Introduction to Stalin

This blog post is featured in the January history newsletter from TES Resources.

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