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Historical Boxing Matches


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#1 A Finemess

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 05:40 PM

Teaching History featured "Historical Boxing Matches" in a recent issue. If I remember rightly the idea was to encourage pupils to use detailed K&U to support an argument by arranging a contest with another pupil advancing another argument. The topic used as an example was the rise of Hitler and causal factors thereof. Has anyone out there tried this idea? If so, to what effect?
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
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#2 Andrew Field

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 05:51 PM

Ah! I now see the 'discussion' a year eight class was having today in an entirely new light. :D :lol:

I haven't tried this, but certainly will. I guess this really just another way of promoting effective discussion. The possibilities are endless - I have visions of a kid with a bloody nose on the floor whilst the rest of the class is acclaiming a new heavyweight champion of the 8N2 historical discussion.

I was sent a starter yesterday which will appear on the site very soon. It was a shooting starter. You had the kids lined up back to back (duel style). Question is posed by the class or teacher. The first kid to shout out "BANG!" and get the question right 'wins' the duel. If they answer incorrectly they lose and are replaced.

All ideas like this can have a really positive impact on the teaching and learning - as long as the teaching and learning doesn't take second position!


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#3 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 06:28 PM

Teaching History featured "Historical Boxing Matches" in a recent issue.  ..... Has anyone out there tried this idea?  If so, to what effect?

Well, I didn't know I was doing something really trendy, but I have done something that I imagine could be called a 'boxing match' for years - especially when revising at A Level.

Working in pairs they sit facing each other across a desk. One makes a statement, the partner challenges it and so on until one of them gives in. (Each must support what they say by reference to specific evidence.)

Is that the sort of thing you mean?

If so, it works very well, but everyone needs to be thoroughly prepared in advance otherwise the whole activity just fizzles out or can deteriorate into a slanging match.

I haven't often done this but you can develop the idea into a 'knockout competition'. Victors from Round 1 play each other and so on until a Champion emerges. Trouble with this is that after Round 1 too many are not engaged.

#4 jo norton

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Posted 04 March 2003 - 08:46 PM

That sounds fantastic - I haven't tried it but I certainly will - can you remember which issue of teaching history it was in?
I can see the chaos now - Kennedy vs Johnson over Vietnam! Think I'll steer clear of mentioning the current president though... :crazy:

#5 A Finemess

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 09:25 AM

I'm planning to try it out as a revision exercise for my Higher class but I thought I would check it out with the forum first. I can't remember the issue of TH it appeared in - it may have been the most recent one. The problem of what to do with the kids who are not taking part can be addressed by giving each a judge's card and getting them to award points like real judges in a boxing match e.g.

Correct use of a primary source quote in context = 3 points

Use of historiographical evidence = 3 points

Use of statistical evidence = 2 points

Assertion supported by use of other K&U = 1 point

Unsupported assertion = 0 points

The points weighting is pretty arbitrary but is intended to reflect the need for analytical responses in essays.

At the end of the match, the class can decide on who has won by discussing the points awarded. Come to think of it - the matches could be video taped and highlights shown as "Match of the Day" during the next lesson!
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
<img src="http://www.cyberium....lawrence-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /> Who said bikers can't be pretentious?

#6 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 05 March 2003 - 05:10 PM

The problem of what to do with the kids who are not taking part can be addressed by giving each a judge's card and getting them to award points like real judges in a boxing match  ..... At the end of the match, the class can decide on who has won by discussing the points awarded.

Why on earth didn't I think of that! Excellent. Thanks.

#7 Richard Drew

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 02:31 PM

i have just come across this thread while searching. i missed it at the time (something to do with a 2 week old baby at the time!!!). i love this idea.

it will definitely get used in my A-Level politics lessons from next term

thanks to all who posted at the time!!!
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#8 A Finemess

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Posted 21 August 2003 - 06:50 PM

As a rather belated postscript ... we tried out this idea as one of the activities in our LEA's "boost grades at Higher History conference" this year and it went very well indeed. It was particularly effective at sorting out the average from the high flying kids who took to it like ducks to etc. It also helped to show the average kids how using relevant evidence was a key determinant of ability and therefore tyhe way to get better grades!

Most of the kids rated it highly on the deedback form we issued!

Well chuffed!
“All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out otheir dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.”.(T.E. Lawrence)
<img src="http://www.cyberium....lawrence-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-sig-image" /> Who said bikers can't be pretentious?

#9 cathwar

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 09:08 PM

I also read the article and thought this was a great idea. I adapted it for my year 12s and it was brilliant - I'm just about to do it again.

We took a central statement - last year it was "Was Stalin responsible fo the murder of Kirov?", this year it's "The Soviet people paid too high a price for Stalin's economic achievements" and the class divided into 2 halves - one side was to argu yes and the other to argue no.

Their homework was to prepare for the match.

In the first round each side nominates a speaker who puts their case - they have a time limit of 2 minutes.

Then each side goes back to their "corner" to get advice from their team - this means each team has to listen carefully to the opposition arguments and find suitable replies.

Round 2 - each team speaks again for max 2 minutes and then back to their corners ... etc.

This year it is going to be a wrestling match because I'm going to allow them to "tag" another member of their team into the ring to take over.

As referee,(together with anyone who was absent and hadn't prepared this) I awarded points based on how well they made their argument and how well they dealt with the opposition.

They loved it and could hardly wait for their turn with the 2 main speakers last year shouting "You can't take it! Answer that one!" at each other.

#10 Elle

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 11:22 AM

Have just tried the shooting one with yr 8 and they seemed to enjoy it, made a nice change from "So what do we know now, that we didn't know at the beginning of the lesson?" :teacher: :thumbup

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