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Rebooting in practice #2 – Yr 8: Tudor Life

I’m conscious that I’ve been talking in the abstract in many of my ‘rebooting’ posts, so I wanted to try and be a little clearer about what I mean and how some of the things I teach have changed this year. This is the second of several posts that will hopefully outline how I’ve changed what and how I teach this year. 

Unit: Yr 8 – Tudor Life

How I used to do it
A series of stand alone lessons that covered things like the structure of Tudor society, Tudor schools, Crime and Punishment etc etc. At the end of the half term, students would produce answers to two questions of their own choosing which they researched and presented on a page of A4 per questions.
How I switched it
Driving Question: What should go in a museum exhibition on life in Tudor Wales?

Structure: Research project moved to the start of the unit, with a greater opportunity for AfL and improvement between two research questions. Followed by a team based, body smart challenge to create an exhibit suitable for a museum.

Lesson 1
Go for five – Medieval Life (what do they remember from last year?)
Textbook Challenge – What was different about life under the Tudors – students build on the things they remembered from last year and use a range of textbooks to find out what stayed the same and what changed into the 16th century

Homework: At somepoint over the next two weeks try and visit a museum and post some examples of how they get the information / ideas over onto a class wallwisher or linoit board.

Lesson 2
What questions could we ask about life in Tudor Wales?
Brainstormed possible questions. Discussed the difference between Open and Closed questions, and looked at why we may not be able to answer some questions.
Students wrote down 5 possible personal inquiry questions, and selected one to research first.

Homework: Complete first research task

Lesson 3
Group peer assessment on the first research target.
Share good examples from around the room
Individual targets set for each student to put into practice for their second question

Homework: Second research question

Lesson 4
How were things different in Wales
Nb – This lesson didn’t work as planned. Next year I’m likely to do something more teacher led looking at the Act of Union and the translation of the Bible into Welsh

Lesson 5 – Nb – Tables moved from islands to one large square and pupils sat around the outline looking inwards.
Hand in second research question
Review linoit board of museum ideas.
Over the course of the lesson students had to put themselves into groups and identify a question they wanted to address in the museum. Groups who wanted similar topics had to agree a different focus to avoid duplication.
Students produced rough plans of how what they would need to research and bring in to build their exhibits. These were signed off by me by the end of the lesson

Lesson 6
Students had the hour, in their groups, to produce their exhibits. At the end of the hour we spread them around the room and people walked round and reviewed and commented on each others. The rest of the history dept, form tutors and Head of Year were all invited to drop by to see the work.
Work was photographed and put on the class blog and the items that could go on perminant display were put up.

Homework: Print off a copy of the photo of your work to stick in your book.

Lesson 7
Evaluation of their work, each others work, and the project as a whole.

Feedback was very positive, although many students would have liked more time to construct their exhibits.

Dave Stacey

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