Historical Significance Presentation, Lesson Plan & Worksheet Resource

Historical Significance materials. Teach your student(s) how to understand the concept of historical significance and be familiar with criteria in identifying historically significant people, events, locations and ideas. Suitable for any budding historian. Download today and use in the classroom or homeschool environment.

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Historical Significance

This resource covers the concept of HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE as used in several topics, including:

  • The First and Second World Wars
  • Aztecs and the Spanish conquest
  • Health and Medicine
  • The French Revolution
  • Germany and the Great Depression


Significance is a historiographical concept used by people of the present to evaluate an important part of the past. Historians consider significance as the second-order knowledge following the primary content of history, which are dates and events.

Historical significance could be used for select people, events, locations, ideas, movements and developments in the past. Examples are provided below.

  • The Vikings, William the Conqueror, Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Elizabeth I, Mao Zedong etc.
  • Norman conquest, the First and Second World Wars, Holocaust, English Reformation, the Cold War etc.
  • Tenochtitlan, Berlin, White Tower of London, Giza, Hiroshima, Stonehenge, Acropolis etc.
  • Democracy, Capitalism, Marxism, Consumerism, Monarchy, Fascism, Communism etc.
  • Romanticism, Renaissance, Suffragettes, Enlightenment, Civil Rights, Feminism etc.
  • Space race, Industrial Revolution, Age of Discovery, Scientific Revolution etc.


At the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the concept of historical significance;
  • Be familiar with criteria in identifying historically significant people, events, locations and ideas; and
  • Evaluate the importance of this skill in studying history.


  • Concept of historical significance
  • Criteria of historical significance
  • Example of questions for historical significance
  • Sample presentations
  • Practice assessments

Resource Examples

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