What is history?

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Teachit Author
What is history? unit
Main Subject
Key stage
What is History?: Transition resources
Resource type
Teaching pack

What is history? is a set of eight lessons for year 7 students, designed to introduce them to the concepts underpinning history and to its importance.

Each lesson addresses a different concept – chronology, enquiry, evidence, causation, change, diversity, significance and interpretation – and comprises a starter, several development activities and a plenary. Suggestions for differentiation, extension tasks and homework tasks are also included.

Tasks include role-play, source analysis, debate tasks, group discussion and living graphs.

What's included?

  • eight lessons, each with an accompanying PowerPoint
  • 14 printable resources
  • suggestions for differentiation, extension and homework.

What's inside?

Introduction (page 3)

Lesson 1: What is chronology? (pages 5-11)

  • Chronology (PowerPoint)
  • Shoes through time

Lesson 2: What is a historical enquiry? (pages 12-16)

  • Enquiry (PowerPoint)
  • Question words in history

Lesson 3: What is evidence in history? (pages 17-22)

  • Using evidence (PowerPoint)
  • Using evidence in history

Lesson 4: What are causes and consequences in history? (pages 23-29)

  • Causation (PowerPoint)
  • Causes of Murray’s win
  • Types of causes
  • Causes of the failure Spanish Armada

Lesson 5: What can change mean in history (pages 30-36)

  • Change (PowerPoint)
  • Change word bank
  • Describing examples of change in history

Lesson 6: What is diversity in history? (pages 37-48)

  • Diversity (PowerPoint)
  • When did Britain become diverse?
  • Migrant cards
  • Migrant living graph

Lesson 7: What is historical significance? (pages 49-53)

  • Significance (PowerPoint)
  • Historically significant people and events

Lesson 8: What is a historical interpretation? (pages 54-59)

  • Interpretations (PowerPoint)
  • Source sheet: What have people thought about the gladiators?
  • Interpretations of gladiators

This sample shows a student activity from the What is history? teaching pack.

Ideas for historically significant people


Ideas for historically significant events

William Shakespeare

Florence Nightingale


Battle of Hastings

The English Civil War

Nelson Mandela



Invention of the printing press

World War 1

Elizabeth I

Winston Churchill


Fall of the Roman Empire

Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Martin Luther King

Marie Curie


The Black Death

Invention of the internet

The Queen



Discovery of penicillin

Invention of television

Who or what else would you add?

What is history?
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