History books are too full

Subject: History
Summary: Students revise history lesson from the previous school year and decide which characters they liked the most. The lesson is aimed to be the last history lesson in the year allowing to generalize and focus on the impacts of the learned content.
Activity length: Duration is 45 minutes.
Objectives:
  • Students are able to discuss different characters that were talked about during the school year.
  • Students develop argumentation and rebuttal skills.
Preparation:

Teacher prepares necessary handouts with a list of discussed characters.

Description:

Part 1: Teacher announces the topic and objectives of the lesson, hands out the handouts. Students work in pairs. Each pair is given a character they need to defend to stay in the history books. Students pick one character they oppose and don’t want to stay in history books. All arguments created must be developed using content they have learned in history class.

Part 2: Each pair presents their character and arguments supporting his role in history and history books for years to come. They also present arguments against one character.

Part 3: Teacher organizes a vote to decide which characters should stay in history books.

Assessment:

Teacher can use this exercise to check the impact of their own work and understanding of things discussed in class during the whole year.

Additional notes:

“History books are full”

Handout

It’s spring 2016. Ministry of history and education (MHE) is planning a reform to cut all history classes by a third. The minister for history and education D. Lumbridge has ordered his officials to start analyzing curriculums and history books to delete characters who don’t fit the minister’s vision of “new and reformed history”.

Mr. Lumbridge argues: “It’s all so bloody dull. The same stories, same faces, same history. I just can’t stand it. History books are full of pointless facts and names. That’s why textbooks are so heavy!” MHE is taking radical steps to popularize history.

Following the ideals of democracy MHE has used the just invented time machine to summon 10 historic characters in danger of being deleted from the face of history to stand in their defence:

Napoleon

Caesar

Hitler

Stalin

Jeanne D’Arc

Catherine The Great

Colombus

Rosa Parks

Martin Luther

Ramses II

Every character gets to present their case why they should stay in the history books. Each of them can pick a character they think does not deserve a place in the new modern history.

Three of the historic characters summoned will never be returning to their historic importance and will be deleted!