History IGCSE: Paper 4

Dear All,

Today we’ll work on the specifics of Paper 4.

  1. Paper 4

This paper changed three years ago. We shall be discussing the changes and working on what is required of you now.

To that effect, we shall be working on this podcast.

Before we plunge into the actual practice of Paper 4, let’s have a look at the descriptors:

Finally, here are the questions that were asked in June’s sitting:

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A League for Peace.

The new decade found a world craving for peace, willing for peace to come and stay after the horrors of WW1. 

In Wilson’s own words “I can predict with absolute certainty that within another generation there will be another world war if the nations of the world do not concert the method by which to prevent it.”

This is what countries expected the League to do. The coming classes you will be analysing the aims of the League, the decisions she took and the work she underwent in order to assess the degree of her success.

You are now faced with a number of challenges, on the one hand a new topic and on the other hand the challenge of working cooperatively for your group and your own personal benefit.

Let’s take it step by step.

To start, work on a notetaking activity on some intoductory videos on the League of Nations.

Enjoy your Spring break and we’ll keep working when we get back! 🙂

Welcome back!!! 

Today we start working on a set of activities to better understand the work of the League of Nations, its success and failure during the 1920s.

Be ready to use your books when necessary to look up information you may need as well as your computers. Remember these activities will be done in your groups (Grupos Base) and it’s really IMPORTANT that you do the activities in order.

Here are some webpages you may use to help you:





At some point, you could divide the activities with the members of your group if you want to.

If you have questions, do not hesitate to ask the people in your group first, your classmates in another group and eventually ME! 🙂

As you complete your activities, share them in a doc with your group members and with me.

Ready, steady, GO!!! 

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Roles para Aprendizaje Cooperativo.

En esta imagen podemos ver los roles para el Aprendizaje Cooperativo junto con las características de cada rol. En el caso de trabajar con Grupos Base de 3 alumnos, los roles de Comunicador y Soporte podrán fusionarse en uno. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



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On the Korean War – Senior 3

A partir del tema de la guerra de Korea durante la Guerra Fría propuse una secuencia de actividades para que los chicos hicieran en sus Grupos Base.

Ellos no sabían al comienzo de la secuencia que estaban trabajando en sus Grupos Base. La idea era que pudiéramos hablar del espíritu de estos grupos una vez terminado el trabajo, analizando el recorrido en cada una de las actividades así como también las dificultades y los beneficios que encontraron en el trabajo grupal.

Comparto la planificación, fue un plan sencillo que apuntaba a poder cubrir los aspectos más importantes de la crisis en un tiempo razonable y también para poder pensar que se puede organizar una dinámica de aprendizaje cooperativo sin una planificación especialmente compleja o larga.

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13 Days of Tension fearing the Most Dreaded: Nuclear War.


Today we’ll do a notetaking activity on the Cuban Missile Crisis based on the following lecture:




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The Korean War.

A great lecture on the Korean War, summarises the whole conflict in 16 minutes. Amazing!

As you listen to the lecture, answer the following questions. They will help you to focus on the most important details. 

1. What were the characteristics of Japanese rule in Korea from 1910 to 1945?

2. Who led North & South Korea after the Japanese were defeated?

3. What was China’s role on the conflict? Who was the leader in China at the time?

4. What were the events of June 25, 1950? What was the reaction to those events?

5. Who was Douglas MacArthur? What did he do? What was his relationship with Truman?

6. How does MacArthur manage to roll the UN/American troops into North Korea?

7. Why does MacArthur consider it important to control/bombard the Yalu River?

8. How does Chinese strategy force MacArthur to change his plans?

9. Why was MacArthur dismissed by Truman?

10: What’s your personal evaluation of this crisis?

What is North Korea like today? Let’s watch the following Ted Talk and discuss it. It’s good food for thought. 🙂


Let’s revise!

Here’s a very interesting page by the BBC to revise the Korean War.


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The Paris Peace Conference.

It must be a peace without victory… Victory would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor’s terms imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in humiliation, under duress, at an intolerable sacrifice, and would leave a sting, a resentment, a bitter memory upon which terms of peace would rest, not permanently, but only as upon quicksand. Only a peace between equals can last. (Woodrow Wilson)

Watch the following video on the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.

La Conferencia de paz de París y el Tratado de Versalles:

In a new post in your blogs, answer the following questions:

1) War guilt.Explain the arguments FOR and AGAINST this term.

2) Which term followed War Guilt? How much would it be today? What consequences/impact did it have on Germany?

3) Why were the victors planning to prevent a future war with Germany in the Treaty?

4) What territorial losses did Germany have to face? What happened to the German colonies? What did Wilson dislike about this?

5) Which new nations were created after WW1?

Extension work: 

In 2016, the Senior 1 class invented possible conversations between the Big Three at the Paris Peace Conference. They did great work!

Choose ONE of the conversations after you listen to them all and post it in your blog with a description of the conversation and the reasons why you chose that conversation.

Senior 1 2016 conversations:










Enjoy! 🙂

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  1. Why did industrialisation lead to challenges to political structures? Provide examples in your answer.

The focus should be on the challenges and not on the actual changes. There were two main elements to the challenges.

  • The first was the growth of a large and wealthy bourgeoisie which, in both France and in the UK, demanded political power commensurate with their growing economic power and this led to a challenge to the existing aristocratic power structure in all countries.
  • The second was the gradual growth of organised labour, the rise of Trade Unions, with their initial demands for better working and living conditions, which were followed by a demand for the franchise and a share in political power as well. The domination of the landed aristocracy, and the monarchy, were also challenged by this huge economic change.

2. Explain why the Industrial Revolution affected the standard of living. Provide examples to illustrate your answer.

A variety of central factors could be considered.

  • Real wages certainly rose and fell in different areas and for different reasons.
  • Earlier agricultural changes had made a major impact on diet and population rose as a result. However, the decline in infant mortality led to larger families which in itself had an impact on the standard of living. In some cases housing improved, but the transition from a rural to an urban slum was often not a beneficial process.
  • Diseases such as cholera thrived better in an urban environment.
  • The effect on a growing middle class could be dramatic and further up the social scale those aristocrats who did invest could reap huge benefits. For many there was a dramatic improvement, but not all the benefits flowed equally downwards.


‘Overall, industrialisation was a benefit to the lower classes.’ To what extent do you agree with this view? Refer to any two countries in your answer.

  • For the case ‘for’, factors such as the regularity of employment and the fact that the population grew and infant mortality declined could be discussed. Unions gained recognition and powers, factories were gradually regulated and working hours declined. Child labour reduced. Education became compulsory and gradually welfare systems came into being. There was greater opportunity to ‘rise’. Civic pride and a growing awareness that a healthy and nonrevolutionary workforce was an asset to a nation led to further changes.
  • The ‘lower classes’ developed their own political parties which grew in influence, if only because ‘upper’ class politicians became aware of the growing electoral importance of working class voters.
  • The case ‘against’ is well known. Certainly, there was a flight from the land as urbanisation grew and enclosure reduced the need for a rural workforce, but often there was little to differentiate the problems faced by the urban, as opposed to the rural, proletariat. Both living and working conditions initially were barbaric in many cases. It could well be argued that life was nasty, brutal and short for much of the working class throughout the whole of the 19th century.
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The Berlin Blockade.

The consequences of the Berlin blockade were far reaching and were to dominate European politics for the next forty years. Pesident Truman was under no illusion that the Blockade had been a test of strength, designed by Stalin to see whether the West would resist and whether the USA would stand behind the Truman doctrine.

Due to the importance of the Blockade it’s important that we do not miss any of the elements that contributed to the crisis to finally be able to fully understand the impact of the crisis. 

Below is a selection of the videos you provided that discuss the Crisis.

Using the material in your videos complete the chart and answer the question in the pdf below.

Superpower Relations – the Cold War – The Berlin Blockade

Post a photo of your complete graph in a post in your blog.

The Berlin Blockade – QUESTIONS

Answer the questions in the same post where you published the photo of your graph.

Finally, here’s a useful timeline for the Cold War conflicts that we shall be studying together.


Enjoy! 🙂


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Imperial Russia at a Glance.

Watch the following presentation to better understand the complexities of the Revolution we are about to study.


Then, work on a map of Imperial Russia in 1855 to better understand its geography and it implications.


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