History Heroes – trying to get everyone interested in the past

At the moment Year 8 are studying “How great was Great Britain in the nineteenth century?” I needed a simple Home Learning to go with the scheme of work and over the last few years had seen a lot of people who’d set their students the task of picking a history hero. I’ve always liked this idea and decided I would make it 19th century heroes to go with the scheme but wanted to make it a bit more interesting.

Now I have no clue where exactly my inspiration came from, but I swear I’d seen an advert on the telly with people holding pictures of their mums or something naff like that. Anyway I thought it would be quite cool if the students made posters of them holding a photo or painting of their hero, along with an explanation of why they are their hero. One I thought the kids would like this a bit more as it made it a lot more fun as they could pull funny faces and poses (which they did) and two it would make an ace display (which it did).

I think it’s extremely important that students see that teachers are still learners too and are engaged and interesting in their subject. So I decided that all the history teachers in the department would complete the Home Learning too and that we’d do it before the kids to model what it should like. This was an (extremely) rare stroke of genius as its really inspired the kids who think it’s hilarious we’ve done it too and are also pulling funny faces.

As a result the kids’ Home Learning is probably some of the best of the year. We obviously had a lot of Lincoln and Nightingale but many  picked the most random people ever from a whole host of important women to the man who created the Football League, to one of the first black actors in Britain to Pedro II of Brazil (because his name is ace). The display is great and stretches around three of the four walls of my class and truly shows the vast nature of the 19th century and how this was truly a great period of change.

Even better it inspired other non history teachers around the school who saw the display and wanted to take part, so now I’ve also got MFL and RE teachers involved too which is great as its showing that as a community we are all interested in history.

It’s funny how sometimes the silliest simple idea leads to such a good outcome.

If you want to see me (Marx, who else comrades!) and some of my colleagues’ work they are below (hope they don’t mind me shoving their pictures on the internet!):

hero 1

hero 2

hero 3

hero 4

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2 Responses to History Heroes – trying to get everyone interested in the past

  1. I gave you a thumbs up on stumbleupon, so might get extra traffic.
    Inspired by your enthusiasm.
    Good luck to you.


  2. Pingback: History Heroes – trying to get everyone interested in the past | The Kenradical School of History | InKleined-To-Teach

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