Black voters protesting literacy tests

Could you pass the 1965 Alabama voter literacy test?

PBS in the United States have published a section of the 1965 Alabama Literacy Test, which was used at the discretition of the voting officials. In Section A of the test a person wishing to vote needed to read aloud a section of the Alabama Constitution. Sections B and C they could be asked any of these questions (or none at all). The literacy test was therefore a way to control who would be able to vote and was primarily used to prevent African-Americans from voting by giving them the hardest sections of the Constitution to read, and requiring them to answer the hardest questions on the test.

Click here to view the test and the answers

For more examples, see http://www.crmvet.org/info/littest.htm

Franco-Prussian war monument in Berlin scarred by subsequent conflict. Good starter

Franco-Prussian War monument marked with bullet holes. Good starter.

This image of the Franco-Prussian war monument, marked by bullet holes, was taken by photographer Lewis Bush (www.lewisbush.com) in Berlin during 2012 for The Memory of History.

Question and answer icon

‘Question and Answer’ booklets for GCSE topics

These ‘question and answer’ booklets have been created to go alongside the revision podcasts on this website, but can be used on their own in a variety of ways:

  • Distribute them to students to act as a very rudimentary ‘knowledge organiser’
  • Students cover the answers for self-testing at home or in class
  • Teachers use them as the basis for low-stakes testing and factual recall quizzes

Booklets will gradually be added for each of the revision podcasts on MrAllsopHistory.com. Click the links below to download the booklets that are currently available.

International Relations 1919-1939

The Big Three at the Paris Peace Conference

The Treaty of Versailles

The League of Nations in the 1920s

The League of Nations in the 1930s

The Road to World War II, 1933-39

International Relations after 1945 revision

The origins of the Cold War

Weimar and Nazi Germany

Weimar Germany 1919-1929

The Rise of Hitler 1919-1929

The Rise of Hitler 1929-1934

Nazi Control of Germany 1933-1945

music quiz 2016

Music Quiz 2016 – Inter-House (or Form) Competition

I put together a short quiz for our House competition, which I’ve shared as it might be useful to others for form time, end of year, or pretty much any other time you want a few quiz questions!

We only had time for three rounds of the quiz. Click the link to download a .zip file of each set of MP3s – the tracks are named with the answers:

  • Chart music intros – name the artist and song title for one point each
  • Mashups – name the two songs that have been stuck together
  • Classics – name the 4 artists and song titles and get 2 bonus marks for spotting the link between them
Confederate troops in 1861

Confederate troops in 1861. Compare to WW1 for cont & change in warfare

This 1861 photograph of Confederate artillery in the American Civil War is a great starter for discussions about continuity and change in warfare. Compare it to images of WW1 field artillery for some interesting student observations. Click to download a full-size version.

Nazi society 'speed dating'

Support for Nazi policies – ‘Speed Dating’ activity

Students always show a keen interest in comparing and contrasting different social experiences within Nazi Germany. With this in mind I’ve created a series of character cards based on the experiences of workers, farmers, the middle class and ‘big business’. These can be used in many ways to gather and record information. ‘Speed dating’ is often a lively and successful activity.

Each student is given a character and then ‘dates’ each of the others, filling in a chart to record how the person has benefited or lost out under Nazi rule. They need to find their closest match, and should also identify the people who are most and least happy.

This leads to a lively plenary discussion about the range of experiences, and can be linked to work on Nazi systems of control.

You can download the Nazi Society character cards as well as a simple chart for recording findings here.

If you go with the speed dating idea, it’s quite fun to set the scene by having some relaxing/romantic music playing in the background.

You might follow this lesson up with some independent consolidation based on the life in Nazi Germany podcast, or show the excellent video clip about Nazi domestic policies 1933-36.

Eight team bracket

‘March Madness’ 8-factor causation priority bracket

The ‘March Madness series of North American College basketball games uses a ‘bracket’ system to eliminate teams. You can use the same bracket system to run a series of debates or individual considerations to identify the most significant / important cause of an historical event.

Begin by identifying 8 key factors, which are written on the 8 legs of the 1st Round. Each pair of factors is debated, with the ‘winner’ (i.e. the most convincing argument) making it through to the 2nd Round. The 2nd Round factors are then debated against each other, resulting in the final two factors making it through the the Championship round.

Download the A4 version of the bracket here.

Editable ‘fortune teller’ template for plenaries and peer questioning

A while ago I saw a brilliant resource from Stuart Godman at www.aheadofhistory.co.uk who had created a peer assessment version of the playground paper ‘fortune teller’ game. It’s great to reach these out as a plenary activity at the end of an intense lesson of historical analysis and get the students talking to each other about their work.Nazi-Rise-to-Power-'Fortune-Teller'

I’ve since made a series of ‘fortune tellers’ for different units. The most successful seem to be those which require students to explain the contribution of a specific factor to an event. Students enjoy having a little bit of control over the factor they are going to be asked about, while still maintaining the random element. You can download some examples below.

Nazi Rise to Power ‘Fortune Teller’

Causes of WW1 ‘Fortune Teller’

Causes of WW1 ‘Fortune Teller’ v2

Origins of the Cold War ‘Fortune Teller’

Collapse of Soviet Control ‘Fortune Teller’

I thought it also made sense to share this editable PowerPoint of a fortunate teller so that you can create your own. Instructions on how to fold it, in case you can’t remember back to when you were in KS2, are below!

Fortune teller instructions


Great website to find music, sorted by country & decade www.radiooooo.com

The www.radiooooo.com website is definitely worth adding to your ‘Favourites’. A crowd-sourced directory of 20th Century international music, it features a host of tracks categorised by country of origin and decade. With just a couple of clicks you have quick and easy access to a huge range music to play in the background while students work. Great for adding a ‘sense of period’…or just for fun!

Timeline Competition

History-based Inter-House Form Competition: Timelines

This simple resource, based on events from the excellent About Time boardgame, allows you to run a history-based House / Inter-Form Competition with minimal effort.

Each team is given a copy of the timeline (click to download) which contains events from the entire range of KS2-5 History (as well as some references to other subject areas) so that all students can get involved. Each date has two events associated with it. Teams should be given the dates as a single chronological strip, but the event cards need to be cut out individually.

Students simply match the events to the dates, and at the end you allocate points based on accuracy. I give 3 points for an exact match and 1 point for being one date out. The team with the highest number of points wins. It’s a quick and easy event to set up, and quick and easy to score.

In my experience it works well in a 20-30 minute session, and is surprisingly competitive. As the teams begin to add events they also start to consider the relative contexts in order to add those ones they are less certain of.