As I prepare to apply for a PGCE course this October, I am spending a lot of my time watching history teachers bring different periods to life. I have noticed a considerable leaning towards bureaucracy that many teachers have long complained about, but I still find it absolutely fascinating the way in which a class full of bored teenagers can become suddenly enthusiastic about Tudor poverty or social issues in 18th Century England when given the right tasks to do.
One of these ideas that I have absolutely fallen in love with, is the task of writing a monologue. Students are asked to write a page explaining their life as (for example) a vagrant in the Tudor period, how they were treated, what happened to them, etc. I have found that children, especially older children have adored this task and even the ones who often refuse to participate have been really connecting with the emotion of their character.
The fact that this task is so open, means that you could use it really for every period and topic from slavery to witchcraft to the Industrial Revolution.
I intend to come up with a few examples over the next few weeks. I hope you like them!
Here is my first.