History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

Why did James Maley go to Spain?

MaleyThis enquiry asks students to use a range of evidence to work out why Glasgow native, James Maley made the decision to go and fight in the Spanish Civil War? Starting with a scene of the crowd at Glasgow Celtic, can your students use their historical enquiry skills to work out what the crowd were demonstrating about? Who was James Maley? What did this ordinary man do that was extraordinary?  We love using the personal story to help students understand the past.

The second phase of the enquiry asks students to consider the extent to which James was a typical member of the International Brigades. They compare him to other volunteers who decided to head to Spain to fight the fascists.


By the end of this lesson sequence students should be able to:

  • Use the personal story of James Maley to raise questions and test their own hypotheses about why someone might choose to fight in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Create an overview of the Spanish Civil War.
  • Cross reference evidence to make judgements about the typicality of James Maley.
  • Present their own thoughts about the memorials to casualties from Spain in their local area.


Download lesson

  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource 1-4: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

Price: £12.99

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