Holding History

Holding History, a stop motion animation film

Lesson at a glance

Suitable for: Key stage 2, Key stage 3, Key stage 4

Time period: Early 20th Century 1901-1918, Early modern 1485-1750, Empire and Industry 1750-1850, Interwar 1918-1939, Medieval 974-1485, Postwar 1945-present, Second World War 1939-1945, Victorians 1850-1901

Curriculum topics: Crime and Punishment, Diverse histories, Industrial Revolution, Medieval Life, Political and social reform, Revolution and Rebellion, Significant individuals, The Civil Wars, The First World War, Tudors, Victorians

Suggested inquiry questions: How has the archive changed and developed over the centuries? What are the challenges, threats and importance of an archive in today’s world?

Potential activities: Answer the questions provided. Create your own short film or narrative project based on a key moment in history.

Download: Lesson pack

What is 'The National Archives'?

Holding History is a stop motion animated film created by students during a week-long workshop at The National Archives. The film was designed to highlight key historical stories from within our collection and covers a variety of time periods and themes. Many thanks to the Friends of The National Archives for their support on this project.

When making the film, students were asked to consider:

What is The National Archives? How has it changed and developed over the centuries? And what are the challenges, threats and importance of an archive in today’s world?

Each student was then given a specific story to research within our records before they could storyboard, design, create and capture their stop motion sets.

These finished film clips can now be used by teachers and students as brief overviews, introductions or interest points for the various topics explored within the film. These accompanying questions are designed to work alongside the film clip, to guide students in thinking about what they have learned from the clip or from their lessons and previous knowledge. Some questions can be answered from the film itself, others are intended to be answered after class discussion or independent thought.

The clips can also work as a model for student’s creative exploration of history, allowing students to see what can be done to tell stories from history and inspire their own creative work – either through animation, drawing, storytelling or other creative exploits.

NOTE TO STUDENTS

You will need to listen to the narrator of the film clip to answer some of these questions. Other questions require you to study images included within the film clip or require your own ideas and opinions based on your own knowledge.

Read through the questions before you view the clip.

You can now view the video in full here, or download our lesson pack complete with questions and clips using the button above.


Tasks

Domesday Book

  1. Why did William of Normandy come to England?
  2. Who was the King of England?
  3. What date was William of Normandy crowned King of England?
  4. How did William try to gain control over the country?
  5. Why did he commission Domesday Book?
  6. What questions were asked by his inspectors as they visited different parts of the country?
  7. What do you think is the value of The Domesday Book for historians writing about 11th century?

Henry VIII

  1. Why did Henry VIII break with Rome?
  2. Who was his first wife?
  3. Why did Henry VIII want to marry Anne Boleyn?
  4. Who oversaw the dissolution of the monasteries?
  5. What was Valor Ecclesiasticus?
  6. Why would Henry VIII be interested in having the information provided by Valor Ecclesiasticus?
  7. Why did Henry send men to visit the monasteries?
  8. How were ordinary people effected by the closure or dissolution of the monasteries?
  9. How many monasteries were closed 1536-1540?
  10. How much money did Henry VIII receive from this closure by 1547?

English Civil Wars

  1. Who were two main groups in dispute during the English Civil Wars?
  2. Why was King Charles I put on trial?
  3. Freeze frame the document called ‘The Act’. Write it out, then put it in your words.
  4. What was Charles I’s attitude to the court that put him on trial?
  5. When was Charles I executed?
  6. Why might people at the time have been shocked by the execution of Charles I?
  7. What do you understand by the term ‘Divine Right of Kings?’

Fire of London

  1. Who was Thomas Farrinor?
  2. Where did the Great Fire of London start?
  3. How many houses were burnt down in four days?
  4. How many people were made homeless as result of the fire?
  5. How did Charles II help London to recover from the fire?
  6. Can you think of three original sources that we could use to find out about the impact of the Great Fire of London?

Industrial Revolution

  1. Why was James Watt’s invention so important for the Industrial revolution?
  2. What does the term ‘workshop of the world’ mean?
  3. What different things were manufactured in Britain?
  4. Why have some people described Britain at this time, as an ‘age of innovation?

The Maroons

  1. From what area did Britain capture and enslave people?
  2. When and how many people were taken?
  3. What words would you use to describe this activity?
  4. How did enslaved people try to resist?
  5. Who were the Maroons?
  6. What did they do?
  7. When did they achieve freedom?

Victorian Prisons

  1. What two changes in Britain increased the growth of crime?
  2. How did the government respond to this increase?
  3. How many prisons were built from 1842-1877?
  4. What did many people think was the purpose of prison?
  5. What was the treadmill and the crank used for?
  6. Why was prison particularly bad for child prisoners?
  7. How can we find out about child prisoners? Use the image clue in the clip to help.

Chartism

  1. When did popular protest and radicalism start to take off in Britain?
  2. How did people find out about public meetings at the time?
  3. How did the government try to control these protest movements?
  4. What was the Chartist movement?
  5. Who was William Cuffay?
  6. How did he resist the authorities?
  7. When was he brought to trial and what was his sentence?
  8. What documents can be used to help us find out about his trial?
  9. Why did he remain in Tasmania once his sentence was over?

Titanic

  1. Who was Cyril Evans?
  2. What was the name of his ship?
  3. Why did he send a radio message to ships in the area?
  4. Who was Jack Philips?
  5. What historical evidence can we use to find out about events concerning the sinking of the Titanic?
  6. How many people lost their lives as result?

Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

  1. When was Archduke Franz Ferdinand assassinated?
  2. Why was this one of the triggers for the outbreak of the First World War?
  3. What other factors led to the outbreak of war?

Noor Inayat Khan

  1. When was Noor Khan born?
  2. When did she come to Britain?
  3. What do the letters SOE stand for?
  4. During her training for SOE, why was opinion about her abilities divided?
  5. Using the clues given in the film clip, how can we find out about Noor Khan’s role in the Second World War?
  6. What work did she do in France in 1942 as a British spy?
  7. When was an investigation launched into her disappearance?
  8. Why was she rewarded the St George Cross?
  9. When were files about Noor Khan released to the public?

Propaganda in war time

  1. When was the Ministry of Information set up?
  2. What was the purpose of the Ministry?
  3. Freeze film frame on the completed poster called Careless talk Costs lives: Keep Mum, she’s not so dumb.
  4. Can you work out the message behind this poster?
  5. Freeze film frame on the group of posters designed for other campaigns on the Home front.
  6. Which in your opinion is the most persuasive poster? Can you explain why?
  7. Do the posters vary in their approach? [Clue: think about differences in use of language, design, colours used]
  8. How important is the use of language in trying to persuade the public to do things?
  9. Why do you think The National Archives has copies of these posters in its collections?
  10. Can you think of other sources that could be used to influence how people should think and behave?
  11. Can you write your own definition of the term propaganda, or ask your teacher to help?

Windrush

  1. Why did Britain face labour shortages after the Second World War in 1948?
  2. Can you name two islands in the British Caribbean which many people left to travel to Britain?
  3. How many passengers travelled on the Empire Windrush to Britain?
  4. What living conditions did some of the new arrivals face in Britain?
  5. Who was Sam King?
  6. What was his important achievement?
  7. Can you explain the term ‘Windrush generation’?

AIDS

  1. What year did fear about contracting AIDs emerge?
  2. What was the result of this sense of panic?
  3. How did the government in the UK respond at the time?
  4. Who was the Health Secretary at the time?
  5. What were the aims of his campaign?
  6. Why was the campaign criticised by Mrs Thatcher?
  7. Was the health campaign effective in reducing number of deaths from AIDS?

Dark Archive

  1. What is the Dark Archive?
  2. How is a file protected from deletion or corruption?
  3. Can you give examples of any new types of digital documents which could now be saved in the Dark Archive?
  4. How could this affect historical research in the future?



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Lesson at a glance

Suitable for: Key stage 2, Key stage 3, Key stage 4

Time period: Early 20th Century 1901-1918, Early modern 1485-1750, Empire and Industry 1750-1850, Interwar 1918-1939, Medieval 974-1485, Postwar 1945-present, Second World War 1939-1945, Victorians 1850-1901

Curriculum topics: Crime and Punishment, Diverse histories, Industrial Revolution, Medieval Life, Political and social reform, Revolution and Rebellion, Significant individuals, The Civil Wars, The First World War, Tudors, Victorians

Suggested inquiry questions: How has the archive changed and developed over the centuries? What are the challenges, threats and importance of an archive in today’s world?

Potential activities: Answer the questions provided. Create your own short film or narrative project based on a key moment in history.

Download: Lesson pack

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