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A new, innovative and visual approach for students studying history for GCSE and the International Baccalaureate
A new, innovative and visual approach for students studying history for GCSE and the International Baccalaureate
72 backers pledged £6,590 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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What is Make History?

Make History is a series of new books developed for students following the GCSE, IGCSE and international Baccalaureate history curricula. They are designed to help them understand the essential details and framework of a particular historical topic through an engaging, visual-led approach. 

So far, in just under 2 years, we have written and illustrated 12 books, with an additional 2 in their final stages of completion! Each book is in an A5 format, is between 30 to 60 pages long and produced in full colour with bespoke illustrations throughout in the style of a graphic novel. 

Our current catalogue of books includes:

  • The Arab-Israel Conflict
  • The American Civil Rights Movement
  • Cold War Origins
  • Cold War 1950s
  • Cold War 1960s to 1970s
  • Cold War 1980s
  • The Interwar Period, 1919-1939
  • Mao, China 1945-1976
  • Russia, Revolution and Turmoil, 1897-1922
  • Rise & Rule of Stalin, 1923-1940
  • The Vietnam War
  • Weimar and Nazi Germany
  • Elizabethan England * (pending completion)
  • India and The Partition * (pending completion)

An International Team effort 

Creating these books has really been a team-driven process, with contributors in several different countries. We have tried to involve people from all the different angles of history education in order to create a great product – history graduates, teachers and students (bachelors and graduate), writers, illustrators, graphic designers and editors - It has really been an iterative process and with each fresh pair of eyes the product has improved. 

"Re-writing" History

First of all we select a series of topics from the curriculum and sit down as a team to discuss which one to focus on. 

Forming the initial outline 

One of our researchers then takes the selected topic and makes some initial notes on the outline of the book based on the material a student would need to cover in their history curriculum for this module. These documents are very helpful guides to make sure we cover the essential key points, and keep the book focused and relevant. 

 

Writing the text 

Having decided on the number of pages and the themes / events to be covered in them, the author (a historian) writes out the main text for each page with close reference to the curriculum. 

Sketching out the frames 

The main writer, together with input from the creative team, then plans out the structure of a potential page and collects together interesting visuals from the historical period to send over to our team of illustrators. The aim is to come up with something that captures the key ideas and provides a memorable ‘link’ in the historical chain. A central part of creating the frames is also writing the text inserts and speech bubbles that help summarise and reinforce the material for the student in an impactful way. 

Creating Original Digital Artwork

Nino and Joel (our creative duo), then take these sketches and other accompanying materials and create digital illustrations for each page. They really have to immerse themselves in the historical milieu of the period they are illustrating in order to capture its visual essence in a way that is engaging for the reader. Their initial drawings are shared with the authors and the rest of the team and feedback is discussed as a group for potential improvements. 

A Resource for Students and Teachers

We have really tried to keep in mind through the whole process that Make History is about helping students and teachers. Therefore we have also created a series of teaching resources to go with each book (with 9 out of 14 completed so far). These will help teachers utilise the books in a classroom setting and give ideas for questions and exercises based on the material covered. 

Help us Launch Make History

We have poured an enormous amount of time, effort, energy and love into creating this first series of 14 books covering some of the most studied topics at GCSE and IB level. But we would like your help to continue making the journey. We really see this as the first step in a process of reinventing the way students engage with history. 

We are initially asking for £5,000 to help us launch the series and market it to schools, teachers and students, trial their use in classrooms as well as launch to the general public and individual readers. The product is ready to be printed and shipped – we just need your help to make sure people hear about us, and get the ball rolling. We will also concentrate on finishing the remaining teaching resources and finalising the digital companion platforms to accompany the books.

Initial response towards the books has been overwhelmingly positive, but we know that with further feedback from students and teachers we can make it even better. With extra funding we could expand the series to cover more periods and more topics in the history curriculum, as well as potentially expanding our approach to other countries to help them embrace a new way of teaching the subject. 

In the future we would also like to explore constructing an immersive digital environment for each book with more information, videos, charts, interviews, newspaper extracts etc. from each period to engage the student and really bring history alive for them.

Thank you from all of us at ERLY Stage Studios! 

Visit our websites!

www.erlystagestudios.com

www.makehistory.io

Risks and challenges

12 out of our 14 books are ready to be printed and sent out after final checks, so the risks that they will not be sent to our backers are very low indeed. The last two books need to go through the final review process, but apart from that we are ready to go!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £5 or more About $6

    Copy of One Make History Book

    Pledge £5 and receive a copy of a Make History Book of your choice

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    Pledge £20 or more About $25

    Copy of Make History Book & 1 poster

    Pledge £20 and receive a copy of the Make History Book of your choice and 1 poster (choice of 4 will be available)

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    Pledge £25 or more About $31

    Set of 4 Cold War Make History Books

    Pledge £25 and receive the set of 4 books on the Cold War

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    Pledge £40 or more About $50

    Set of 4 Cold War Books & colouring book

    Pledge £40 and receive the set of 4 books on the Cold War plus colouring book version of one of our books

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    Pledge £50 or more About $62

    Set of 4 Cold War Books & Large Poster

    Pledge £50 and receive the set of 4 books on the Cold War plus large poster of your choice of artwork from books

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £85 or more About $106

    Full set of 14 books

    Pledge £85 and get the full set of our Make History Book Series!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £175 or more About $217

    Full set of 14 books & two prints

    Pledge £175 and receive full set of 14 books, plus 2 large framed prints of your favourite pieces of artwork from the books

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    Pledge £300 or more About $372

    Full set of 14 books & bespoke artwork

    Pledge £300 and receive full set of 14 books, plus bespoke piece of artwork of your choice. Do you have a favourite historical scene, family event or portrait you would like illustrated? We will do this for you! And then provide you with a large framed print together with original digital file.

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    Pledge £1,500 or more About $1,862

    Your family history illustrated!

    Give the greatest present ever with your family history written and drawn. We will initially organise a one hour fact-finding session (in person if in London or over skype if outside UK) to discuss what you would like in your book. Then we shall collect reference materials, photos and information for our creative team to produce a storyboard for your book. After this has been built we shall have another hour meeting to finalise your book content.

    Then we shall go away and create your book – up to ten pages of content bound together with a bespoke cover and entirely all yours!

    This will be conducted on a first-come-first-serve basis.

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Funding period

- (30 days)