As a ‘choose your own homework‘ option, suggest to students that they consolidate their chronological understanding by constructing a “Tubular Timeline Tower”.

Case Study

In the February holidays, I give an open homework task to students who will be taking public exams in May. I ask them to choose any topic that they are currently not very confident on, and produce a useful revision resource which demonstrates at least two hours of thoughtful effort. In the past, and for students of Modern World History at IGCSE, they have chosen such ideas a a ‘TripAdvisor Graphic‘ to illustrate successes and failures of the League of Nations, or have designed a children’s storybook covering the main events of Hitler’s foreign policy among many other things.

Another idea, which history student Jade came up with recently, was to go through the entire IGCSE Modern World History course and transform the main events and themes into a timeline, with each one covered in one “pot” of a joined up tower. On the cover of each pot was a title and the date, and inside a series of colour-coded revision cards covering such things as key events, main personalities and their significance, and key terms for revision.

As well as being creative, the end result was thorough and academically rigorous: on which basis I think an excellent student like Jade is a fantastic reply to the sorts of educationalists who tiresomely insist that “progressive” and “traditional” approaches are somehow incompatible. Here she is talking about her project further: