This is a lesson I have used for several years as part of a project on London and the Great fire of 1666. Students have to infer and reach a reasoned judgement based on the evidence at hand. This includes primary sources and secondary reports.
The class works in pairs to decide why the Great Fire of London was able to spread so far in such a short space of time. They assess the evidence to decide whether the main reason was:
The evidence is not given to them all at once, instead the teacher drip feeds it throughout the lesson. This is in a bid to challenge preconceived ideas and see if pupils will change their minds when faced with new data or sources.
The last task is to write an extended piece (like a DBQ) explaining what the different factors were and what they believe was the biggest contributing factor to the fire spreading in this way.
The lesson fits with the common core requirement for students to analyse, evaluate and consider causation. It is designed for the UK National Curriculum and I have kept in the level descriptors as these may help you with grading your students as they are skill descriptors: ie: identify, then describe then explain then evaluate at the top end of ability. But if not they can be easily deleted from the slides.
The zip file contains:
- fully animated powerpoint
- Clues from the scene worksheet
- Answer worksheet
- 9 minute clip from Charles II: Power and the Passion
- Full lesson plan description
My classes have had great fun with this lesson. It can stand alone or be used a a project, for example on Stuart housing.
I hope you find this useful and enjoyable. If you do I plan to create further enquiry based lessons like this on various topics, so any feedback would be very gratefully received!
You may also like my other History mystery:
Tolland Man Murder Mystery
WHO WAS JACK THE RIPPER?
THE MARY CELESTE HISTORY MYSTERY
TIME TEAM – WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM ARTIFACTS?
HISTORY MYSTERIES BUNDLE!
And if you are interested in literacy for history:
PEEL paragraph Placemat
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© A. Hughes (MsHughesTeaches), 2014
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