What If?

What If?
200 XP / 90 minutes

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Your Task: Create a textbook page showing how history would have changed if one major detail had changed such as if King John had written the Magna Carta to grow his power instead of his nobles writing it to grow their own.


1. Find the page in your textbook that discusses your event and read it. Twice.

2. Decide what you are going to change about the event and write out that change at the top of your paper. This will be the title of your altered page.

a. For example: “Magna Carta Makes King John More Powerful”

3. Write a one-paragraph summary of how this change may have happened. (example below)

4. Write a one-paragraph summary of what you think would have happened in history if this detail had changed in history. (example below)

5. Show the two paragraphs to your teacher.

Do not move on until you have completed steps 1-5 above and shown them to your teacher.

6. After your teacher approves your paragraphs create a new page for your textbook that teaches your version of the event. Your page should include:

a. Proper titles and headings.

b. The information in your two paragraphs with details.

c. A graphic (picture, timeline, map, etc.) that illustrates the event.

d. A review question

7. The page should have color in appropriate places and be neatly written. It should look like a real page from your textbook (except handwritten). You may, however, do it on a computer if you choose.

Example of part 3 and 4 for The Magna Carta:

What Changed?:

King John became incredibly rich and powerful. His new alliance with the church, sealed by this document, required the nobles to submit to him in every situation. If they did not they would be punished harshly by both John and the church. The people, amazingly, had even less rights than before. Even the courts worked to keep the people in line. Instead of protecting their rights judges simply enforced anything John said.

How it Happened:

When threatened by the church King John backed down immediately. He told the church that England needed the extra tax money and he couldn’t think of any other way to do it. The church agreed that the money was needed and told John they would support him raising taxes against the nobles. They sat down and wrote the Magna Carta to set out a new set of rules for the nobles to ensure John’s power would be safe.