History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

How should we tell the story of Richard Whiting’s execution?

Inspired by a session I saw Michael Riley give at the SHP conference many years ago, we have developed this murder mystery which never fails to engage.  This first lesson of this series, explores how historians should write about the past. Your students will listen to a gruesome execution story of Richard Whiting’s execution on Glastonbury Tor in 1539, and then re-write it.

They are tasked with re editing a basic description of Whiting’s execution by making inferences and adding in adjectives to bring the story to life more.  They learn to write in the style of David Starkey. This is great literacy work – and they love doing it!

Next they discuss whether this is or isn’t good history.  Starkey might approve, but would Von Ranke?

This approach has never fails to engage or promote heated debate, even amongst the so called ‘less able’. It is great to hear students as young as 11 discussing the pros and cons of Von Ranke’s view of history!

This sets you up nicely for the next enquiry: Why was Richard Whiting executed?


Download includes:

  • Lesson presentation: Power Point
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1, description: PDF
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