Using Sources

It is important to use a wide range of sources such as pictures, artefacts, music and sights. Children will use these to build up their enquiry thought and processes and to build up their understanding of past.

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  • Using trade directories: reconstructing life 100 years ago

    Article

    Alf Wilkinson has previously covered the importance of trade directories as a source that teachers can use in primary history.  Alf develops this into a case study for a Lincolnshire village that can be used as a template for primary teachers.  All communities have distinctive characteristics and Alf outlines these...

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  • Changes in an aspect of social history from 1945 to 2000: youth culture

    Article

    A history-themed topic based around music is a popular choice among many teachers and children. Music is after all a thread which runs through all of history, and one through which we can explore many other aspects of life in different times. It can be an exciting avenue into exploring...

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  • Sources for the Great Fire of London and its context

    Article

    Nina Sprigge reveals two interesting sources that can supplement teaching the Fire of London.   Fire of London: fundraising for refugees The receipt on the back cover provides evidence of national fundraising in 1666. It is touching that people from Cowfold, a little village outside London, cared enough to want to...

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  • Re-evaluating the role of statues

    Article

    Like them or loathe them, statues are excellent learning resources and the recent events in Bristol and elsewhere should not dissuade us from using them to aid children’s historical knowledge and enquiry skills. In fact, in the current climate, statues need a careful re-evaluation of their role within our towns....

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  • Film: What's the wisdom on...Evidence and sources (Primary)

    Article

    Please note: the 'What's the Wisdom On' film series has been produced principally for secondary school history teachers, however some of the content is transferrable to a primary setting. We know how difficult life is for teachers in the current circumstances. We also understand your need to stay in touch as a history...

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  • Using different sources to bring a topic to life: The Rebecca Riots

    Article

    For primary school pupils a key aim of the National Curriculum for history is to understand the method of historical enquiry. Working with original sources is of course central to the whole process and provides a great way to inspire pupils’ experience of the subject. Young pupils, once they have...

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  • Knowledge-rich approaches to history

    Article

    In recent years, there has been growing support from policy makers in England for knowledge-rich curricula which view subjects like history as having cultural capital that all pupils should have access to regardless of background. The work of E.D. Hirsch1 has been particularly influential in arguing that a lack of...

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  • The Elizabeth cake

    Article

    Hidden away on top of a dusty, battered cupboard in a local primary school were two equally dusty and battered log books. Each has seen better days and each could provide a range of links to local and national history. The log book was one of two found in one...

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  • Teaching sensitive subjects: slavery and Britain’s role in the trade

    Article

    See also: Teaching Slavery - HA guide Slavery in Britain Sarah Forbes Bonetta - scheme of work Teaching Emotive and Controversial History Diversity guidance for primary teachers and subject leaders Slavery is a part of our history, and its impact can be seen in the statues of influential men, the...

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  • Emerging historians in the outdoors

    Article

    I love history and I love the outdoors. I often find myself wondering who has walked down the same worn cobbled path, or climbed the same rickety stile. I am intrigued about a toy car I found in the garden, and speculate about who it might have belonged to. I...

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  • Getting to grips with concepts in primary history

    Article

    Perhaps one of the most perplexing aspects of teaching history is the fostering of conceptual understanding. History subject leaders often find this a challenging issue. Even if they have a decent grasp themselves, it can be difficult for others in the school who have to teach the subject. Over recent...

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  • How can old advertisements be used in the primary classroom?

    Article

    Advertising is a central part of our everyday lives. There are few ways to escape it and it has a long pedigree. It has long been recognised that it can help sell products through the power of the punch line or the visual image. Trade cards appeared as early as...

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  • For whose God, King and country? Seeing the First World War through South Asian eyes

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 In October 1914 France faced defeat on what would later become the Western Front. If the Germans captured the channel ports then the small British Expeditionary Force (BEF) supporting the French would be cut off from Britain, and the channel ports themselves might be used to launch...

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  • Dora Thewlis: Mill girl activist

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 Dora Thewlis was born in 1890 in Yorkshire to a family of textile workers employed in the mills around the Huddersfield Canal. She followed her mother and elder siblings into the mill at the age of 10, earning around £1 a week. Dora’s family, and especially...

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  • Using the back cover image: Moustache cup

    Article

    Article from Primary History 79 The moustache cup I purchased on ebay is one of the most popular artefacts I use with students in a good game of ‘guess the object’. It has a wonderful quality of being at the same time familiar yet strange. Despite telling the students not to...

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  • ‘So why did they go into hiding?’ Anne Frank in her historical and social context

    Article

    All too often Anne Frank becomes a symbol, used to show ‘the triumph of hope over evil’, even though she was killed during the Holocaust. Sometimes she is quoted utterly out of context to provide uplifting sentiments, or short phrases with redemptive messages.  What this lesson sets out to do...

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  • Siege coins of the English Civil War

    Article

    Looking at the bigger picture and focusing on the local impact can excite primary school children and help them make a connection to a significant event. Combining it with a cross-curricular approach can be a great challenge. One such period is that of the English Civil War which started in...

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  • What can you do with an old postcard?

    Article

    Whether looking at ‘events in living memory’ at Key Stage 1, or a local history study at Key Stage 2, old postcards are extremely useful. They are also relatively cheap and easy to get hold of. One aspect that can easily be explored using old postcards is evidence - they are an...

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  • Making the children work for the information!

    Article

    Your local museum is often a rich but sometimes overlooked resource. Images, documents and maps show a broad range of history but one that also relates to the children’s own local area. This allows children to see the connection with their own past, providing them with examples that they can...

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  • ‘Not again!’ - an additional viewpoint on using railways

    Article

    ‘Not again!’ I can remember my son muttering as his football thudded against the kitchen wall, ‘I went there in Year 2 and then in Year 4 and now I have to go there again in Year 6.’ He was referring to his school trips to the remains of the gunpowder factories in our village,...

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