Section 3 : Using different forms of evidence in history

Key Focus Question: How can you use mind mapping and fieldwork to develop historical skills?

Keywords: historical skills; mind mapping; fieldwork; investigations; history; maps

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will have:

  • used pictorial maps to help pupils see the importance of the natural environment in human settlement patterns (see also Module 1, Section 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] );
  • used small-group investigations, including fieldwork, to develop pupils’ understanding of early African societies.


In addition to looking at oral and written evidence, your pupils can also learn about the past from other sources, for example maps.

In this section, you will structure lessons and activities that will help pupils understand the factors that led to the emergence of strong African kingdoms in the past. It provides you with insight into the kinds of evidence and resources you can use.

It covers:

  • using maps and other documents to examine factors in the natural environment that influenced the nature of the settlement and the kingdom;
  • exploring the role of pastoral and agricultural practices in shaping African lifestyles and culture;
  • exposing pupils to the material evidence that remains in and around settlements, which will help them examine how the past is reconstructed.

1. Thinking about the location of settlements