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Resources for History teachers at KS3 and KS4. Please review, share, and follow my shop to keep up with all my latest lessons!

Resources for History teachers at KS3 and KS4. Please review, share, and follow my shop to keep up with all my latest lessons!
How did the British Empire Grow?
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How did the British Empire Grow?

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This lesson is an introduction to the idea of Empire, and could be used over the course of two lessons. The lesson starts with a Victorian image of Empire. What does this image suggest? What can we learn about how Empire was viewed in the nineteenth century? Keyword checklist! Do your students know what these key terms of Empire mean? Why did Britain want an Empire? And how did it grow? Looking at the four different factors - religion, economics, politics, discovery - students will discover how these factors came into play as a carousel activity. What were the consequences of the British Empire? The British Empire is a controversial subject - what were the downsides of these growth factors? How do historians interpret the British Empire? Two differing opinions on the impact of the British Empire - why are they so different? Can be used for a plenary discussion task, or as a way of enforcing interpretation skills with the included worksheet. All worksheets needed for the lesson are included, as well as a bonus essay plan checklist - ‘The British Empire grew mainly because of politics. How far do you agree with this statement?’ - that helps develop extended writing skills for GCSE. This lesson is a KS3 lesson that incorporates skills required for GCSE.
Elizabethan England - Witchcraft
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Elizabethan England - Witchcraft

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Lesson Objectives: To know key details of witchcraft in Elizabethan England To describe key features in the rise of witchcraft To interpret sources about witchcraft Designed for the OCR B Elizabethan England module, this lesson looks at Elizabethan attitudes to witchcraft, the features of witchcraft beliefs and trials, and looks at a source question as a plenary. This lesson does require the use of the OCR B textbook. The starter features images for students to begin discussing ideas around witchcraft and the powers Elizabethans believes witches had. The lesson goes on to discuss differences between cunning women and witches, and changes in society that led witchcraft accusations to go up. The lesson discusses who was particularly vulnerable to witchcraft accusations, and the interpretations used by historians to explain why accusations rose in this period. The lesson analyses a source in the plenary and provides prompts for students to use.
Anglo-Saxon England
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Anglo-Saxon England

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This lesson is an introduction to Anglo-Saxon England for KS3 students who have not previously studied this era of British history. Starter in the Back Of Your Book; how would students define a selection of terms to do with government? A quick post-it note quiz! The video gives a quick rundown of Anglo-Saxon history - how quickly can students note down information, and how much can they remember? Who lived in Anglo-Saxon England? A card-sort of types of people with their definitions. How was Anglo-Saxon England governed? Mix up the types of government in England to create a hierarchy of who was in charge. The Anglo-Saxon crisis; why did the rule of the Anglo-Saxons end in 1066? What was the problem? This lesson is ideal for Year 7s and Year 8s leading into a SOW on the Battle of Hastings and the Normans.
Great Fire of London Mystery!
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Great Fire of London Mystery!

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Let your students have the opportunity to develop their detective skills! This lesson is a crime solving mystery based on the Great Fire of London in 1666. Provided with an evidence pack, stuffed full of crime scene pictures, evidence from eye witnesses, reports from fire fighters, and confessions from suspects, students will go through the evidence packs and try to work out just what happened in September 1666 - was the fire a simple accident in Pudding Lane? A royal conspiracy? A plot launched by a Popish spy? This lesson is a fun way to explore the tensions in Charles II’s England, and a launching pad for exploring tensions between Protestants and Catholics in later Stuart England. This lesson can be used to develop skills with analysing evidence, making conclusions using evidence, and developing persuasive arguments.
Murder! Mary Queen of Scots Mystery!
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Murder! Mary Queen of Scots Mystery!

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Let your students have the opportunity to develop their detective skills! This lesson is a murder mystery based on the death of Lord Darnley, King of Scots at Kirk O’Field. Provided with an evidence pack, stuffed full of crime scene pictures, evidence from eye witnesses, autopsy reports, and private letters between the main suspects, students will go through the evidence packs and try to work out which of the three main suspects they believe is guilty. This lesson is a fun way to explore the death of Darnley and the scandal it created at the time. This lesson was aimed at KS3, but could be adapted to support KS4 learning/or to provide extra detail for a Elizabethan England GCSE module.
Elizabethan England - Elizabeth and Parliament
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Elizabethan England - Elizabeth and Parliament

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This lesson explores how Parliament and Privy Council worked to govern England under Elizabeth I. Starter: A word and definition match to get students familiar with some key terms for Parliament and government. How did Parliament work for Elizabeth? What functions did it serve? How did Elizabeth control Parliament? She might not rule alone, but this goes through the limitations she put on Parliament. What was the Privy Council and how did it compare with Parliament? Each student will have a single piece of information on Privy Council and problems with Parliament - get them to circulate and create a revision poster (included) with key information. Checkpoint and Challenge. Get your students to apply their knowledge to two tasks: how Privy Council and Parliament were important in governing England, and connections between key points of government. This lesson was developed to meet minimum criteria for GCSE, and could easily be adapted to include more exam board specific tasks for the final plenary.
Elizabethan Exploration - Was Francis Drake a Hero or Villain?
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Elizabethan Exploration - Was Francis Drake a Hero or Villain?

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This lesson explores the start of Elizabethan exploration and the motivations for why the English were interested in developing overseas colonies. Following this, students are to learn about Francis Drake’s role in global exploration and whether he should be considered a hero or a villain. The lesson starts with students considering a primary source, a 1570s map of the world, and what this tells us about the knowledge of the Elizabethans Students to explore the role of John Dee and developing imperial ambitions at the Elizabethan court. Why else did the English seek to explore the world? The role of Spain and Portugal in the Americas, and the value of the spice trade A carousel assessing Francis Drake as a case study in exploration. There are information sheets for the room on key acts of heroism or villany from Drake, and students have a table to use for this purpose. This lesson was developed for the OCR B Elizabeth module on ‘Going Global’ but could be easily adapted for other work schemes.
Year 11 Revision Guide for OCR B Elizabeth 1580 - 1603
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Year 11 Revision Guide for OCR B Elizabeth 1580 - 1603

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This is a set of revision guides that follow the entire course of the OCR B Elizabethans from 1580 to 1603. Included in this pack; Key dates for Elizabeth’s reign, family tree, and discussion of how she used images in her portraits Elizabeth and Government Catholics Daily Lives Popular Culture and Merry England Going Global Each set of notes addresses the enquiry question set in the relevant section of the OCR B textbook, as well as suggestions for revision techniques, methods to improve knowledge retention, and opportunities to develop source skills. The set was designed to be used in conjunction with the OCR B textbook, but could be a useful starting point for students who are getting to grips with the subject, or as a means to test students who have already covered the topic previously and are in the process for revising for summer exams.
Murder! William II of England Murder Mystery!
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Murder! William II of England Murder Mystery!

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Let your students have the opportunity to develop their detective skills! This lesson is a murder mystery based on the death of William II of England, son of William the Conqueror, who died in mysterious circumstances in the New Forest. Provided with an evidence pack, stuffed full of crime scene pictures, evidence from eye witnesses, autopsy reports, and private letters between the main suspects, students will go through the evidence packs and try to work out just what happened to William - was his death an accident? A murder? A vast criminal conspiracy? This lesson is a fun way to explore the tensions in Norman England, and the problems between church and state that later flourished under Henry II. This lesson can be used to develop skills with analysing evidence, making conclusions using evidence, and developing persuasive arguments.
WW1 - The Alliances
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WW1 - The Alliances

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This lesson would work as a follow-up to the Assassination of Franz Ferdinand Lesson Objectives: To know the key members of the Alliances in 1914 ​ To compare key sources of tension in Europe before 1914​ To select key points of tension that led to war This lesson is designed to be an introduction to the Triple Alliance and Triple Entente of Europe pre-war. Starter activity: Placing the key events that led to the outbreak of World War One in correct chronological order. (Provided on worksheet, or could be done as a BOB activity). Who were allies in 1914’s Europe? Play a quick song to get the countries known to your students, and explore the map of Europe. (Blank map provided). Did the alliances make war more or less likely? What resources did the alliances have in 1914? Is one side stronger than the other? Or are they equally matched? Sources of conflict between countries. Have students explore the sources of tension and create a table to show these problems. Information provided with a lower ability option, and with challenge tasks. Think, Pair, Share for plenary. How would students explain the sources of conflict and use key examples to demonstrate them? This lesson would be suited for a KS3 higher ability group, or for a KS4 class developing further skills. All worksheets provided.
Murder in Canterbury! Thomas Becket mystery!
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Murder in Canterbury! Thomas Becket mystery!

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Let your students have the opportunity to develop their detective skills! This lesson is a murder mystery based on the death of Saint Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1170. Provided with an evidence pack, stuffed full of evidence from eye witnesses, autopsy reports, and private statements from those closest to the main suspects, students will go through the evidence packs and try to work out exactly what happened that led to the vicious murder of Thomas on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral. This lesson is a fun way to explore the death of Becket and the different motives that played a part in his death. This is ideal for KS3 students in Y7/Y8 as part of the National Curriculum for the development of Church, state and society in Medieval Britain 1066-1509 - struggles between Church and Crown.
OCR B Elizabethan England 'Merry England' and theatre
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OCR B Elizabethan England 'Merry England' and theatre

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‘What role did the theatre play in Elizabethan life?’ Lesson Objective: Describe the key features of Elizabethan Theatre.​ Explain why theatres were so popular and why some people opposed them.​ Assess the importance of theatre to Elizabeth and her reign. What was an Elizabethan theatre like? Go through the main features of an Elizabethan theatre with attached diagram. How did theatre become popular and where were theatres located in Elizabethan London? Who was involved in theatre? Create mindmaps of the most important patrons and playwrights. Who opposed the theatre and why? Go through some primary sources from theatre’s critics. Highlight and annotate the quotes and draw out the concerns people had about theatre. How convincing is this interpretation about Elizabethan theatre? Let your students try a sample practice question, with a simple essay plan. Memory quiz on theatre as a plenary - how much do your students remember? This lesson was created for KS3/KS4 working on OCR B Elizabethan England Merry England module - theatres and their opponents.
OCR B Elizabethan England Merry England essay plan
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OCR B Elizabethan England Merry England essay plan

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Fully worked essay plan for the essay question for the OCR B Elizabethan England SOW for ‘Merry England’. This essay plan takes students step by step through constructing a persuasive argument to answer the question and how to best use evidence to do so. Sentence starters provided with each paragraph, keyword spellings given, and a challenge task for HAP students. Hopefully this will help students who find essay writing tough or a bit of a chore, and you can use it as a template for creating other scaffolded essay plans.
Mary Queen of Scots Mock Trial
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Mary Queen of Scots Mock Trial

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Bring drama into the classroom! Have your students take the stand and plead guilty or not guilty with this fully immersive mock trial experience. With witness statements, copies of incendiary letters, courtroom set up, roleplay guides, this fully planned lesson will take you step by step through one of the most dramatic trials in history. Let your students put Mary, Queen of Scots on trial and explore the Babington Plot through drama. Suitable for KS3 or KS4 class studying Elizabethan England and the Catholic Threat, this lesson will let your students explore the complicated motivations and desires that led to Mary, Queen of Scots being executed in 1587. The lesson could be done as a standalone for a double session, or over multiple lessons giving students time to prepare. Do you plead guilty, or not guilty? Let the students decide!
World War One - Assassination of Franz Ferdinand
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World War One - Assassination of Franz Ferdinand

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*Lesson Objectives: To know the events of 28th June 1914 To interpret why the death of Franz Ferdinand happened To investigate the impact of the assassinations * This lesson is designed to be used to start a topic about World War One by investigating the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie. The lesson begins by opening students to discuss the impact individuals have on history. How could the deaths of just two people change world history? The tensions between Austra and Serbia are explained, briefly, and establishes the role of empires and nationalism. What happened on the 28th of June, 1914? Lead students through the events, either by using the notes on the board, or the worksheets that detail a historian’s account of the day. What went wrong? Use the worksheets of 28th June 1914 and lead students in group work. What opportunities were missed on the day to avert the deaths of Franz Ferdinand and his wife? This could also be used with higher level students to investigate the role of historical narrative and bias - this account is prepared by a writer, who was not present at the time. How reliable is this evidence? What is the role of Gavrilo Princip? Many remember him as a murderer, but some remember him as a hero and a freedom fighter. Is this interpretation valid? The Road to War - the events of June and August that led to war in Europe. Students can use the Road to War worksheet to copy down the important dates on the pathway to World War One. Without the death of Franz Ferdinand, would WW1 have happened? The lesson closes on a student discussion about the role of individual impact on events and history. Can one event ever be considered as the single start of war? This lesson would be suited for a KS3 higher ability group, or for a KS4 class developing further skills. Worksheets provided: the Road to War, the day of 28th of June, and a simpler version of the 28th of June.
The Dating Game - Elizabeth I and Marriage
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The Dating Game - Elizabeth I and Marriage

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This lesson explores the question that dogged Elizabeth I for much of her reign - who was she going to marry? This lesson explores the issues that England faced, and the many suitors that Elizabeth considered. The lesson starts with students considering a primary source, the family portrait of Henry VIII. What does this tell us about the concerns of the Tudor dynasty? What problems did Elizabeth face when she became queen? Why did she need to find a husband? Who wanted to marry Elizabeth? This dating game is perfect for student interaction. This could be set up as a speed dating mock up, with students acting as expert educators, or with a carousel. Two exam style questions - explaining why it was important that Elizabeth didn’t marry, and assessing a source on Elizabeth’s decision to not marry. This lesson was developed not developed with a specific GCSE guideline in mind but could easily be used for OCR or AQA guidelines.
Elizabethan England - Elizabeth I and Image
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Elizabethan England - Elizabeth I and Image

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How did Elizabeth I use her image? Why was her image so important to her? And what messages do her portraits convey? This lesson looks in detail to why image was so important to Elizabeth I, and teaches students to decode the symbolism of her most famous portraits. The lesson starts with students considering the images of the royal family today. What messages can we get from pictures? Why are images still important to people in power? Elizabeth and her image - why pictures were important in the sixteenth century. The slide also includes a hyperlink to a National Portrait Gallery video that discusses the access people had to images, and the role Elizabeth played in creating an official state image. Think Like A Courtier! A guide to unpicking symbolism, using a portrait of Elizabeth as a teenager Group work with portraits. Using four portraits of Elizabeth and cards with key symbolism explained, students are to try and match up the symbol with the meaning. Challenge: can students work out what the message of the entire portrait might be? Class feedback on the images, discussing when they were produced. What does Elizabeth’s reliance on symbolism suggest about her power? The lesson ends with a class discussion on the role of propaganda - does it suggest weakness, or is it a source of strength? This lesson was designed for the OCR B Elizabethan England module ‘Elizabeth and Government’ but would work as a lesson to develop source skills, or as an exploration of Elizabethan power for other exam boards.
Abolition of the Slave Trade in UK and US
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Abolition of the Slave Trade in UK and US

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This set of lessons will see you lead your students through the abolition of the slave trade in the British Empire and in the United States of America, and through the experiences of peoples of African descent in America and in the UK. This set consists of: A lesson on the leading figures of abolition as a carousel activity An assessment on the role of William Wilberforce in the abolition of slavery with full writing frame provided A lesson on the American Civil War with full helpsheets provided Two lessons on the Reconstruction era of America, with helpsheets provided A homework task on notable African American figures (with names provided to pull out of a hat) A drama/roleplay lesson on notable figures of the Civil Rights movement A lesson on the current difficulties facing the Windrush Generation in the UK, which also covers the Stephen Lawrence case on the twentieth anniversary of his death This set of lessons was developed for use with KS3 students, but it also uses material for the OCR B American West module and could be useful revision material at GCSE.