Lessons on History Skills

Why is it important to learn History skills?

History mostly, involves people, places, dates and situations of which we have no personal knowledge of. It is therefore, important for our students to learn to ask questions about the past to improve their overall knowledge of the historical period they are studying.

In order to do this, your students need to develop the following historical skills:

Background knowledge:

While studying the past, your students will come across a wide range of historical words, names, people, places and dates that they may not have encountered before. Before they can develop the more complex historical skills they will need during their studies, they need to gain a clear understanding and familiarity with this new information.

Chronology:

Understanding chronology is one of the very first steps any History student will need to grasp. Without chronology skills, it is near impossible for students of History to examine the relationships between events and be able to explain cause and effects that impact historical relationships.

Change and Continuity:

As History is the study of change over time, it is imperative for History students to understand change and continuity. Empires, governments, languages, ideas, technology, attitudes, ideology and social constructs are forever changing.

For a deeper understanding, watch the following video:

Causes and Consequences:

Nothing just simply ‘happens’ without a reason. It is important for all students of History to understand this concept. This is where perfecting skills in asking appropriate questions and conducting further research becomes imperative. It is only then, that students can understand for themselves, what caused an event and what were the consequences.

Significance:

Understanding significant events, people and ideas and their impact on the world can allow students to understand the world in which we live today. 

Motives and Empathy:

As your students study History, they will come across a large variety of people who thought, spoke and acted in ways that are foreign to us in todays world. Understanding the time period, the values and morals of those such people’s, will allow History students to evaluate and make informed judgements without imposing our values and morals on these people. It is imperative that students of History do not simply judge another peoples thoughts, words and actions based upon our social and cultural norms. This will allow your students to display a sense of empathy for another’s way of life.

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The Tudors Timeline Activity

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