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What makes a good history lesson? (non specialist teacher!)

Discussion in 'History' started by ianj6, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    Hi all,
    I'm an old fart, (ahem "experienced" MFL teacher), and am teaching history next year. I'm comfortable with my subject knowledge, ( MFL with Interpol degree so did a lot of history, and watch Time Team every Saturday, so practically an expert!!)
    I get good resources from my line manager, but I'm expecting observations next year and am interested in what makes a good history lesson. At the moment I do too much "chalk and talk" in my opinion. I've tried re-enactments of roman defencive/offensive strategies and a few human time lines etc, but that's about the limit
    What key components should I look for/try to include. If I was doing say the Reign of Queen Mary, any ideas how I could "jazz this up"

    Cheers for any guidance


  2. Try and find out what 'conceptual' angle your Line Manager wants you to concentrate on for each historical topic you're doing. My biggest challenge with non specialists is trying to get them to teach more than just stuff...history teaching is a fine balance of knowledge and skills and most units revolve around an over arching enquiry question. So, for example, is the case of Mary...is the concept of the unit 'Change and Continuty'...therefore are you looking at the changing life, religion, feelings of those in England. Or is the focus on Significance i.e. thinking about why Mary is still relevant today, what impact she had on society. If I could get non specialists teaching with these thoughts in mind and asking questions like this rather than just grubbing about for empirical detail I would be very happy indeed!
    Have fun! :)
  3. ianj6

    ianj6 New commenter

    Cheers History Chick,
    So in that sort of idea where I'm looking at an over arching question, I could bring in several events, eg; Empire, I could do a lesson on Rome, and a lesson on Britiain and say hold an election in the last bit where the kids research for a campaign and vote for the empire they want to be governed by.

    I'm guessing this would be a series of lessons as well, but am I right in thinking that I'm allowed to suck the bits I want from different events to highlight an idea and it doesn't necesarily need to be in strictly chronological order. At the moment my mindset is; teach Romans, teach Normans, teach Tudors typed idea.


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