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History Bombs Classroom Review by Lori Hooten

History Bombs

The teaching of history can reach from one end of the interest spectrum to the other, from fascinating to boring. History Bombs is striving to give every student the opportunity to learn history from the fascinating end of that spectrum. With their History Bombs Classroom, each major period of history is approached with humor, fact, and interest. 

History Bombs is in the UK. They are an innovative media company whose goal is to present history in a way that is appealing, interesting, and engaging. Their productions have garnered several awards. History Bombs Classroom is an online space for teachers to access the History Bombs engaging and unique materials for use in the classroom. Teachers can use these materials to engage their students and increase understanding. 

History Bombs has created an online classroom resource with courses for World War I, World War II, The Cold War, The Industrial Revolution, 20th Century, Early Modern, and Medieval. Each of these courses involves several videos, a printable transcript of the video, printable teacher's notes & activity sheets, and an online quiz. As each part of the individual courses are covered, it is checked off on the online format, making it easy to keep track of what comes next. Each login provides an overall percentage of the course completion, as well. 

The videos are the highlight of the courses. They are done in period dress and presented with facts flying amid the humorous discourses. Recorded at various sites to fit the topic and period, each video packs a punch of facts that come so quickly it can be hard to keep up with. The actors do a wonderful job with getting their accents and roles right, helping make it clear what the events are that led through the time period being studied. 

These innovative, intriguing videos will pull the viewer right in, illustrating the connection of events from one part of the world to another. One of the videos is about the Cold War. It is titled The Cold War (in One Take). This video is approximately 7 minutes. It covers from the end of WWII through the change of power in the USSR and the USA in the 1950s and keeps going. It goes through the rise of Communism, several of the meetings of the heads of state from around the world, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin segregation, and other issues, and the resolutions that occurred in most of those situations. The video transcript for this is helpful because the information comes very quickly in the video. It is a helpful reference. Activities for the students to do with this In One Take video include remaking a video and editing out half of the events, thus having to decide which are the most significant. Another activity looks at the tensions in the relationship between the USSR and the USA, plotting them on a graph. The third activity is creating a chronology of the Cold War. All the videos and activities have this attention to detail and are this packed with information.

The videos and activities, along with the online quiz, the teacher's notes, and how the videos and activities line up with Ofsted criteria/standards, makes this a rich, full curriculum for use in history courses. The interest and intrigue created through the videos also allow this to be used as a supplement or for interest led discovery. History Bombs has created a fascinating product and program that is innovative, rich, and impactful.

-Product review by Lori Hooten, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2019