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Teaching Issues

Games for the history classroom: ‘Prove it’ ‘Challenge it’

We use this simple technique to check and cement learning and to deepen thinking. Playing games in the history classroom can be fun. We love ‘Prove it’ and ‘Challenge it’.

As you probably know we are unashamed users of cards in lessons. Why? Well, this is because, if the cards are well worded they are accessible to all who can read, and by moving them around your students can show you how good they are at thinking. By sorting / grouping / classifying or selecting evidence you are forcing the kids to make decisions and to think! This adds challenge.

We do not see good thinking from all if we only ever  set written tasks. we only see it from the literate. On many occasion I have been blown away  by a so called ‘lower ability’ student who has justified their thinking my selecting a card to prove a point.

‘Prove it’ ‘chaProve itllenge it ‘is simply a quick competition during a card sort. I think the first time I saw it used was at a session by Jamie Byrom in 1999. If for example you were looking at the reasons behind William’s victory at Hastings, you would get the students to sort cards under headings. You know the drill: luck, skill, mistakes.

But then, to check learning and have some fun you might play ‘prove it’ and / or ‘challenge it’.

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