CRIME: The Big Question

Has crime really changed over time?

You may want to print out these instructions so you can refer to them as you work.

In this Strand you will find evidence of the changing story of crime in England over 800 years. This story is split into four Galleries:

In each Gallery you will find several Case-Studies, with sources giving you real evidence of real crimes and real criminals from the past. Your CHALLENGE is to decide whether crime has really changed, or not, in all this time. To save you going through all the documents in the strand we have chosen a small collection for you to work with.

Using the documents selected for you, your task is to choose some of these to present a much smaller Travelling Exhibition for the Public Record Office called "Change and Continuity in English Crime". It has just four panels:

Panel 1 CHANGE
Place on this panel no more than six documents showing just how much crime has changed over 600 years. (Look for examples of actions which are crimes now, but were not in the past, or actions which were seen as crimes but are not any more, or of crimes created by modern technology.)

Panel 2 CONTINUITY
Place on this panel no more than six documents showing how little crime has changed. (Look for actions which were crimes in the past and are still crimes today, or 21st century versions of similar crimes from the past).

Panel 3 FACTORS AFFECTING CRIME: GOVERNMENT
Place on this panel up to six documents showing how governments through the ages have changed their views on what is and is not a crime.

Panel 4 OTHER FACTORS AFFECTING CRIME
Place on this panel up to six documents showing what other factors have affected crime. (Look for examples of changing attitudes towards crime, religion, changes in wealth and poverty, changing attitudes towards young people).

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How to work online

The Big Question page has a list of sources that can be found on the Crime and Punishment site. You choose which sources go on which panel in your exhibition, and then write a short caption that says how your source explains the point you're making in the panel.

Follow the links to a source and decide which panel you want to use it in. Use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Big Question page and pick one panel number from the right-hand column. Then fill in the text box with a short caption. Don't write more than four or five lines in each caption box (there is a limit to how much text will be saved).

At any time you can save your work or see how your exhibition is looking by using the buttons at the bottom of the page.

Signing in

You can work online without signing in, but your work will not be saved when you leave the computer. Use the link at the top of the main page to sign in and permanently save your work. This will also retrieve any work you saved earlier.

Saving and printing

To save your work at any time click the "Save my work so far" button.

To produce your finished exhibition (or to see what a partially finished exhibition will look like) click the "Create my exhibition" button. Your exhibition will be displayed as a Web page which can be saved onto your own computer or printed out. On most computers you can choose "Save As..." or "Print..." from the "File" menu.

Important! Your work may be cleared out if you do not use the Learning Curve for more than 20 minutes - this is done automatically by the computer. Remember to regularly use the save button, and to sign in if you want to come back to your work another day!

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