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8 November 2017

Year 7: Using evidence from the Coppergate dig to challenge generalisations

Here's a new lesson I've planned which I hope will enable Year 7 students to use evidence to challenge some generalisations about the past.

First, let's remind them how today's lesson fits into the broader enquiry which students are following. This is something which seems to be working at the moment, helping my students to relate what they are doing today to the overarching investigation. 

In the starter, I want them to get the idea of what a generalisation is. Hoping to present them with some generalisations which will result in some animated discussion. Then I plan to tell them that historians should not accept simplistic generalisations about the past, but should examine their validity in view of the available evidence. 

Now I’ll present five generalisations about life in Viking settlements.  These are the statements which I want students to revise and improve later, using evidence. 

At this point I'm going to give them a little context.  So far in the unit, we've focused mostly on Vikings as raiders, rather than invaders and settlers, so I'm going to teach them a brief narrative of how Viking contact with Anglo-Saxon England changed over time.

Now I'll introduce some of the evidence found during the Coppergate dig.  Students have already done some work looking at the different types of evidence available regarding the Vikings, so are familiar with the idea of using archaeological evidence to make inferences.

Next up, a reminder of those generalisations which students will be correcting later.  We'll have this slide up on the board and refer back to it as we read the evidence from Jorvik.

Now students are (hopefully) ready to correct those generalisations, selecting evidence from the Coppergate dig to prove their ideas.

At the end of the lesson, we'll reflect on what students have learned about working with generalisations and draw out some transferable tips which can be used next time they encounter this.

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