Chronological Understanding

Sequencing, events, stories, pictures and periods over time to show how different times relate to each other and contribute to a coherent understanding of the past. You don’t have to teach topics in chronological order but need to relate the topics you teach to their chronological context.

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  • Eweka's story: Benin and Big Picture History

    Article

    The prospect of teaching Benin as a non-European Study within the time frame 900-1300 AD is challenging! Traditional oral evidence  suggests that the critical event during this period in Benin's past was a transition from the Ogiso to the Eweka Dynasty, named after its first Oba, which resulted in it...

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  • Britain from the Iron Age to Robin Hood

    Article

    ‘...if children are to ever fully appreciate history the development of historical time has to be central to our teaching methodologies' This lesson aims to provide an overview of this period, developing pupils' sense of chronology and their understanding of cause and consequence. The context for these ideas comes from...

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  • Victorians

    Article

    The Victorians is a much-loved unit of work in many schools and some teachers were disappointed to see it had been removed but there are still ways to continue to teach it under the 2014 National Curriculum. In many localities there will be a huge variety of Victorian buildings - including...

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  • Teaching Ancient Egypt

    Article

    Editorial note: This paper has two sections: first, a background briefing about Ancient Egypt with a timeline and map that introduces the second section's three teaching activities on: building the Great Pyramid of Giza; Hatshepsut, Egypt's great woman pharaoh; and Akhenaten and his attempt to revolutionise Egyptian religion. ‘Hail to thee, O...

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  • Why stories?

    Article

    Please note: this article was written before the 2014 National Curriculum and some content and references may no longer be relevant. During the Early Years and Foundation Stage children should listen to stories, ask how and why and talk about the past (DfE 2012). Young children are comfortable with stories. Through...

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  • The Great Fire of London and the National Curriculum

    Article

    The Great Fire of London is a favourite National Curriculum teaching topic. This paper draws on the latest resources and teaching ideas to suggest how you can meet both the NC history requirements and the wider ones of the National Curriculum, particularly in integrated programmes that include teaching about the Great...

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  • Stone Age to Iron Age - overview and depth

    Article

    Stone Age to Iron Age covers around 10,000 years, between the last Ice Age and the coming of the Romans. Such a long period is difficult for children to imagine, but putting the children into a living time-line across the classroom might help. In one sense not a lot happens...

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  • The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum

    Article

    At this stage children should listen to stories, ask how and why; use the past, present and future tense; talk about the past and present in their own lives and the lives of family members; recognise similarities and differences between families and traditions, objects and materials; and role play and...

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  • Churches as a local historical source

    Article

    At Key Stage 1 children should learn about significant events, (e.g. the Great Fire of London) and about people and places in their locality. At Key Stage 2 they should learn about British settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots (e.g. Anglo-Saxon art and culture) and do a local history study (e.g....

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  • Ideas for Assemblies: historical events

    Article

    Here are a few suggestions for assemblies over the next few months (March-June); each idea is linked to a specific historical event from that month...

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  • Chronology - an Olympic timeline

    Article

    Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated. Pat Hoodless illuminates how chronology can provide a spine, a backbone and an ‘essential framework' to support and shape pupil learning of NC History. The Olympic movement provides the perfect opportunity to consider the broad sweep...

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  • Constructivist chronology and Horrible Histories

    Article

    Hilary Cooper illuminates how Horrible Histories can be effectively used to develop an understanding of chronology. She researched two topics: children and law and order. You can download her full paper: it is included in Primary History 59 on Teaching Chronology.

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  • Case Study: Creative chronological thinking

    Article

    Personal biographies I often ask groups to collect and record their own personal chronologies. They are asked to bring in evidence to tell the stories of their own lives or of the life of a relative, which they will then weave into a ‘photo book' story. The photo books become...

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  • Thematic or topic based whole school curriculum planning

    Article

    Creative curricular planning With the National Curriculum under review, it seems that more schools are taking a creative approach to planning by delivering the curriculum through a focused theme or topic. This has allowed schools to take more ownership of the curriculum and has helped teachers become more innovative in their...

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  • Creating the 'creative history' website

    Article

    Editorial note: The role of ICT in the Digital Age is a major, perhaps even, the major factor, in enhancing creativity in the learning and teaching of history. This paper illuminates another dimension of ICT in the Digital Age and creativity. It shows how a teacher's creativity  has produced a...

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  • OFSTED, primary history and creativity

    Article

    Co-ordinators concerns: OFSTED, primary history and creativity I'm told the emphasis in schools now is for a rigorous approach to history where the children are taught the main facts and features of history. I recall a time not so long ago when the whole curriculum was about creativity but surely...

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  • A creative Egyptian project

    Article

    Ideally when teaching history, teachers will look to deliver projects that will engage and motivate, hopefully making the hard work of being creative stimulating and rewarding, based upon questioning, enquiry, investigation of sources and reaching conclusions grounded in the evidence.Ancient Egypt is one of those history topics which, because it...

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  • Chronology through ICT

    Article

    Introduction: Research into chronological understanding Chronological understanding is both one of history's most important disciplinary organising concepts (Lee and Shemilt: 2004) required for developing a full understanding of history, and certainly one of the most researched, though often with a broader remit that just historical understanding. It is possible to sympathise...

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  • Time, Chronology, language and story

    Article

    Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated. Time, although an extremely complex, abstract concept, is one that begins to develop in children's minds as soon as they are born. Although it cannot be seen or touched and leaves no visible trace, very young...

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  • Understanding Chronology at Key Stage 2

    Article

    Please note: this article pre-dates the 2014 National Curriculum and some content may be outdated. Introduction - Issues and Concerns Was I wise to accept the invitation to write this piece? There has been little research to shed light on the question [of what understanding of chronology can we expect of...

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