Making a difference project
Challenge your pupils to research and create a video about the life and legacy of someone buried or memorialised in Westminster Abbey, whose words or actions made a difference.
This step-by-step guide will give you everything you need to run this project at your school, wherever in the world that might be.
Step 1: Select your person
With over 3,300 people buried or memorialised at Westminster Abbey, there is so much choice about who to choose.
Will your class go for a famous writer remembered in Poet's Corner? Perhaps they will select one of the kings or queens buried here? Or, could they share the story of someone less well known?
Every person buried or remembered at Westminster Abbey has a biography page on the Abbey's website to get your class started. Use the Abbey's Famous people search to filter by occupation, country, time period and much more.Discover famous people
Step 2: Research and write your script
Now, it's time for your class to find out more about this person. Encourage your pupils to do further research online or in books to help them understand the life and legacy of that person.
Once all the research is gathered, it's time to decide what information make it into the film and what should be left out. We recommend writing a script and spending time thinking about how to explain the key ideas to the people watching it.
Your class could also take a free Virtual tour of Westminster Abbey to help them find out more about this final resting place for so many people.Take a virtual tour
Step 3: Time to make your film
Lights, camera, action...
It's time to make a film. We recommend that films should be no more than five minutes long, but that's the only rule to set. Talk about different types of filming - acting out a scenario, talking straight to camera like in a documentary, presenting a news story, and many more.
Encourage pupils to take on different roles, from actors and presenters to directors and stage managers.
When it comes to filming, keep things simple. Smartphones and tablets often come with free, downloadable software to make films with ease. Check out this Padlet, created by the Connected Learning Centre, packed full of ideas to get you started.Explore film-making tips
Looking for inspiration?
Here are some examples of films created by 7 to 11 year olds.
Extension: Memorials of the future
Ask pupils to design a memorial for someone who has made a difference and deserves to be remembered at Westminster Abbey. They might be famous or someone less well known. Here are a sample of the memorials of the future created by 7 to 11 year old pupils.
Marcus Rashford is an inspirational black football player who dedicated his time during lockdown preparing school meals for those who couldn't afford them. He also raised public awareness for families who suffered during the Coronavirus pandemic by campaigning for free school food (that growing up wasn't accessible to him). Maggie
She cares about the environment, helping animals and plants. Greta is a great role model for children. Nivedha
Beyoncé has had a massive impact on lots of people; her creativity has inspired a generation of artists and fans too. As well as this, many of her iconic hits have been played on the radio and top charts. A memorial for her extraordinary and inspirational creativity would be great. Anthony
Special care dogs
Special care dogs have been trained to help children with disabilities, for example children with autism. These dogs help children to communicate, make friends, laugh and see positive changes in behaviour. Before children have received their dogs, they were scared to leave their house, now with the help of these special dogs, children can explore more without fear. Elizabeth
L M Montgomery
One of my favourite books is Anne of Green Gables. Written by her, it was a great Christmas present from my parents; the story was amazing and it inspired me to read more. Tami
Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough is so interested in saving our planet and he has done everything he can do to help. Another reason why he deserves this memorial is he has helped people to understand and to connect with nature. Louis
Emmeline Pankhurst was a Suffragette and played a big part in gaining women rights and equality for women. Like many others of the Suffragettes, she endured to achieve the goal, votes and fairness for women. Without Emmeline Pankhurst's work, women would not have votes or equality today. Holly
Helene - Eloise's relative
Helene should be memorialised because she was an NHS worker during COVID-19 and she worked long hours and even switched to work with Covid patients. Despite all this, she stayed strong throughout. Eloise
Sir Captain Eric Brown
Sir Captain Eric Brown was a brilliant British R.A.F test pilot from the Second World War onwards. He has inspired lots of test pilots and has flown more than 2,000 times testing 100+ different planes. Matthew