Learning to engage with documents through role play

Primary History article

By Hilary Cooper, published 7th December 2010

Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated.

First let me say that I did not research the materials used or plan this lesson. For this I must acknowledge, with thanks, that this is the work of my colleague, Mike Huggins, and the senior assistant archivist in the Cumbrian Record office, Margaret Owen. However, I subsequently taught this lesson on several occasions. I modified it, as teachers do, and interpreted the material in my own way, relishing the role I created for myself as ‘Old Sally'. I was profoundly impressed by the intellectual and emotional involvement of the Year 5/6 pupils. And the great thing was that they were engaging with old documents, for a purpose, and involved in genuine historical enquiry, through discussion...

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