Lesson Plans

Lesson 1 — Learn about the historical figures

Historical speed-dating. A fun, exciting way to ‘meet’ the historical figures

Lesson objectives:

Get to know the historical figures and the time period they lived in!

Consider some questions students may ask the historians about the historical figures.

Curriculum links:

Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological
narrative, from the earliest times to the present day. Learn how people’s lives have shaped
this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.


  • Printed copies of all the historical figures’ profiles
  • A timeline, drawn on paper or on a whiteboard, from Roman Britain to the Present Day. A list of time periods can be found below
  • Pens and pencils or whiteboard pens
  • Suggested Questions can be found below

Starter: 10 minutes

  1. Split students into groups – one group for each historical figure whose profile has been printed.
  2. Ask them to write the name of the historical figure (or draw a picture) in the correct place on the timeline of Britain you have created.
  3. Once all historical figures are on the timeline, ask each group to look at their historical figures printed profile and give one or two facts about the time period that they lived in.

Activity: 30 minutes

  1. Assign each group a new historical figure and hand them a print out of the historical figures’ profile. Get each group to read out their historical figures’ name.
  2. Get the students to read through their historical figure’s profile as a group.
  3. Split each group in half, into As and Bs, for historical speed-dating. Those in Group A are students who will go around and question Group B, who are the historical figures. Group B will use the printed historical figure profile pages on which to base their answers.
  4. Hand the Group A students the list of Suggested Questions to ask Group B the historical figures. They can also ask questions of their own. If the answer is not available on the historical figures’ profile the group can speculate.
  5. The Group B historical figures will stay seated and the Group A students will rotate between each historical figure, asking questions. Move students on to a new historical figure every few minutes.

Plenary: 10 minutes

Go over the questions for each historical figure and discuss the figures as a class. Did students feel they got to know the historical figures? What are their opinions of each person? What would they like to ask the historians about them? Now may be a good opportunity to draft some questions for Ask and Chat.

Suggested Homework:

Log in to https://bhm22.imhistory.uk and post at least one question in Ask.


Do the activity as a class with the ‘historical figures’ at the front. Two or three students play each historical figure.


Students ask their own questions rather than Suggested Questions to the ‘historical figures’. Go onto the site and submit some questions in Ask for historians.


Time Periods in Britain

  • Roman: AD 43–c. 410
  • Early Medival: c. 410–1066
  • Medival: 1066–1485
  • Tudor: 1485–1603
  • Stuart: 1603–1714
  • Georgian: 1714–1837
  • Victorian: 1837–1901
  • 20th Century: 1901–2000
  • 21st Century: 2000-Present Day


Suggested Questions

1. When was the historical figure born?
2. What time period did the historical figure live in?
3. What jobs did the historical figure have?
4. Was the historical figure born in the UK? If not, how did they come to be in the UK?
5. During the time period they lived, what was life like for the historical figure?
6. What influence has the historical figure had on the modern-day UK?

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Lesson 2 — Live Chat

Chat to historians, about the historical figures, in the online Chat.

See the Teacher Guidance notes for information on preparing for this lesson.

Lesson objectives:

Interact with historians in the live Chat.

Increase understanding of the UK, in a global context.

Develop inquiry and critical thinking skills.

Curriculum links:

Know and understand the history of these islands as a coherent, chronological
narrative, from the earliest times to the present day. Learn how people’s lives have shaped
this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.

Understand historical concepts such as continuity and change, cause and
consequence, similarity, difference and significance, and use them to make
connections, draw contrasts and frame historically valid questions.

Understand the methods of historical enquiry and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.


  • Live Chat booking (important: book in advance from your dashboard).
  • Access to the website for individuals or pairs
  • Suggested questions from Lesson 1

Starter: 5 minutes

  1. Log in to the website (https://bhm22.imhistory.uk).
  2. Click Chat at the top of the page to join the session.
  3. While waiting for the Chat to start, as a class go over the suggested questions from Lesson 1 and questions students have prepared. If students were hoping to chat about a specific historical figure who can’t make the Chat, encourage them to post their question(s) in Ask instead.

Activity: 40 minutes

Chat with the historians, as individuals, pairs, or small groups. See the teacher guidance for how the Chat system works.

In the Chat students can get to know the historical figures better, by asking the historians questions about them, in real-time.

Plenary: 5 minutes

Are there any other questions they didn’t get to ask? Post these in Ask.

Remind students that they can use the site to ask questions at home if they have access to the internet.

Suggested homework

Learn more about the historical figures! Go to the ‘Extra Resources’ section in the profile of each historical figure and watch the videos or follow the links.


Suggest questions or ask the historians the questions students thought of in Lesson 1.


Read the profiles of the historical figures. Ask questions about the influence the historical figures had on the UK:

What new information have the students learned about the history of the UK, through the story of the historical figure?

Can the students think of any people who have benefited from their influence?

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