London’s Burning – Virtual History Lessons in the Infants school


This term’s history project in Year 2, The Great Fire of London, is just one of many examples of how the history lessons have been adapted to fit an online timetable.  If teaching history wasn’t challenging enough in the early years, modifying the content to fit an online timetable and Zoom lessons brings with it, its own specific trials.

 

Year 2 and Mrs Eves have been looking at significant events in British history and who could overlook the Great Fire of London in 1666.  The pupils have looked at both the causes and the events of the great fire and they used this information to plot dates on a timeline.  So far, so good.  All of this could have been taught in a very traditional way but Mrs Eves discovered that the children had done so much research, there was more that they could with their findings.

 

Ever resourceful, Mrs Evens set the pupils a task to present their findings in whatever way they wanted.  To provide the pupils with some ideas on how to do this, they watched a lesson on interpreting history through the eyes of a witness of the event.  This could be, for example, somebody from the bakery (who should be represented with a mixing bowl and spoon – more on that later) or a young boy.  The children even considered the viewpoint of Samuel Pepys himself, the great diarist who recorded the events.

 

The pupils used these ideas to present their findings and the result, we hope you agree, is as creative as it is enjoyable and informative.  From songs to art scenes and from stop-go animation to special effects; everyone’s retelling is different but they’re all a tale of what the Great Fire of London might have been like.  Mrs Eves’s Year 2 has written information booklets and they’ve drawn maps.  They have even built Tudor houses so that they could burn them down! (under adult supervision of course.)

 

Mrs Eves commented, ‘This has been a really great topic and now everyone in Year 2 knows who, what, where, when and why the events happened.  They are all aware of what changed as a result of this disaster.  I even think Year 2 have made a little bit of history themselves!’

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