Using evidence to support hypotheses
Sir Henry Unton

Rhona Dick

This article first appeared in MAPE Focus on History Spring 2000

The following questions offer opportunities for children to use the CD-ROM both to read for information, and also, through more open questioning, to make use of evidence to support hypotheses.

Children should be encouraged to discuss and give reasons for their responses.

There are also activities for each section of the picture that adopt a more creative approach to this topic. In both cases these start with general questions and activities, giving children practice at using evidence and considering interpretations of history before progressing to the more specific activities related to the picture.

Using evidence
How do we know about people and events in history?
Are pictures and written records always accurate?
If not, why not?

Questions and activities

Before exploring the portrait in any detail ask the children to:
1. Describe what they think the picture shows.
2. Tell you why the picture was painted.

Use the picture as a stimulus for creative writing. For example:
Look at the scene of the men in the study. Ask the children to explain what is happening here.


'A banana discovered by archaeologists . . . near the Tower of London may have been nibbled by Henry VIII' 
(The Times 16th June 1999)

How could the archaeologists know that the banana skin was from Tudor times?
Do you think the archaeologists said that Henry VIII might have eaten it?
Do you think Henry VIII ate it? Explain your answer.

At the same site archaeologists also found:

What do these tell us about life in London in Tudor times?

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