Houses of History is a playful, exploratory resource, but also a research and creative writing tool. We suggest setting your students a task to investigate the timeline and write an article in the 'my project' area.
To get you started, we've created eight writing challenges to match the eight timeline themes. Each challenge sets the context for enquiry and supports the development of key skills including:
- Reading for information
- Finding out about the past
- Analysing and evaluating information from different sources
- Interpreting evidence and understanding changes that take place over a period of time
The writing challenges and newspaper tool support fiction and non-fiction writing and presentation skills including: discussion texts, explanatory texts, chronological and non-chronological reports, persuasion texts and recounts.
Challenge 1: Modern social reforms
1832 to 1918
It’s 1918 and Parliament has just passed the Representation of the People Act, also known as the Fourth Reform Act. You’re a newspaper journalist and have been asked to write a story covering this historic event. You also need to provide an account of the background leading up to the Act.
Challenge 2: Women and the vote
1903 to 1918
It’s 1918 and women have just won the right to vote. You’re a newspaper journalist and have been asked to write a story covering this historic event. You also need to provide an account of the background leading up to this change in the law.
Challenge 3: Political campaigning
1807 to 1918
Why do people organise political campaigns? What difference can they make? It’s your job to write a persuasive article to convince people that participating in civic life by campaigning really can make a difference.
Challenge 4: The journey to democracy
1958 to 1999
It’s 1999 and an historic ruling in Parliament has changed the character of the House of Lords. You’re a newspaper journalist and have been asked to write a story covering this historic event.
Challenge 5: Votes for all
1918 to 1969
It’s 1969 and the voting laws for men and women have changed. You’re a newspaper journalist and have been asked to write a story covering this historic event. You also need to provide background leading up to the changes that came about in 1969.
Challenge 6: War and conflict
1628 to 1689
It’s 1649 and King Charles I has just been executed by Parliament. Organise your class into two camps: the Cavaliers are in favour of the king and monarchy; the Roundheads support Parliament. Each group must write a report about the beheading of King Charles I that reflects their own camp’s position.
Challenge 7: A building for Parliament
1939 to 1945
It is 1945. After six years of fighting, the Second World War is over. The House of Commons has been destroyed in the Blitz. It’s your job to write a report about how Parliament responded to this crisis and how it chose to rebuild the Commons.
Challenge 8: The story of the Union
1536 to 1999
A class of young people from America are learning about the history of the United Kingdom. Write a short article identifying the key dates and events that led to the union between the four nations of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Use this template to create your own writing challenges.