Today was a good day to teach history.
At about 10am during my free I switched on BBC news and watched history make the news – live! At Leicester University after months of speculation they finally announced that the body they found under a car park on the site of Greyfriars chapel was indeed Richard III.
This was stupidly exciting. They actually found a real monarch in a car park! Wow! I know I am a history nerd but seriously this is dead exciting.
I’d been following the story over the weekend. Chris Skidmore wrote a great article for the Telegraph – “The hunchback is dead – love live Good King Richard” so my excitement had been building.
After the news broke I opened every lesson with the news, trying to get the kids excited. This afternoon I decided to go for broke. I ditched the current scheme of work and did a one off lesson on Richard. I mean how often can we teach something that makes headline news! Ian Dawson has designed a really fascinating and engaging lesson on the body, getting the kids to think about what questions in raises or answers. It’s ace. All the resources can be found on Ian’s website: http://www.thinkinghistory.co.uk/ActivityBase/DiscoveringRichard3.html
The thing that’s good about the lesson is that it addresses the significance of the find. When the body was confirmed to be Richard this morning Mary Beard cynically said the following on Twitter:
Gt fun & a mystery solved that we’ve found Richard 3. But does it have any HISTORICAL significance? (Uni of Leics overpromoting itself?))
— mary beard (@wmarybeard) February 4, 2013
Well Ian’s lesson addresses this! Seriously all of you stop your schemes of work this week and teach this. It’s blooming brilliant and I bet after the Channel 4 documentary tonight the kids will be stupidly engaged with it.