Teaching Continuity and Change?

Continuity and change is an important concept that features in the coursework and component 1 for AQA History as well as various components for other examination boards and GCSE. Stuck for ideas? Why not try one of these teaching ideas below:


1. Fake social media updates – Fakebook or ‘Broken Twitter’ is a great idea if you are examining social classes over time for instance. I created my own paper template to hand out to the students that is loosely modelled on a Facebook page. Students chose to be a peasant, a woman or a worker for example in Russia and they had to update as that individual as if they were living under different leaders. It was an engaging way to get students to think about continuity and change and produce something that was historically accurate but fun.


2. Living Graphs are not a new idea but they can be really effective in explaining the level of continuity and change there was over time. I have used these when exploring the plight of African Americans for instance. Plot a graph with the X-axis representing time and the Y-axis as the level of change. The higher up the Y-axis, the greater the amount of change took place. So, for example, during the Civil Rights Act of 1964, most students had high scores on their Y-axis.


3. The Dustbin game which can be found on Classtools.net is a great starter or plenary exercise if you have a smartboard. Name 2 dustbins as leaders, e.g. Stalin and Khrushchev and one as ‘both’. You can then list different policies or actions which the student needs to drop in the appropriate bin. The challenge is about how quickly they can do it. This could also be done as a card sort where students move the cards to the appropriate pile.


4. Venn Diagrams can also be an effective way to explore continuity and change between different periods. For lessons on African Americans, one hoop might represent 1865 whilst the other denotes the 1970s. The centre of the diagram denotes continuity. Why not take this a step further and do it with two hula hoops in the middle of the classroom floor?


5. Snap takes a little bit more time to prepare but it is a great game to play when the students are revising. Each of the two players gets a deck of leaders and one player deals policies and actions. When there are two leaders that both did the policy displayed, a player can shout snap and collect the cards. The one who wins all the cards wins.

Do you have some fun ideas you wish to share? Why not tweet them to @myhistoryrocks. For more ideas on teaching continuity and change in essays, why not grab yourself a copy of our History Rocks T&L booklet!