Ask the children to mind map what they already know bout the Tudors and Henry V111 Write down three things that would like to find out Could use mind map software or paper

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Lesson Objective

Key Vocab

Lesson Introduction


Success Criteria



To locate the Tudors within the context of the history of Britain



Henry VIII


Ask the children to list the different periods of history which they are familiar with already. List on board with approximate dates (go back as far as the Egyptians). Include several inventions to orient the children

Take the class out onto the field and (using the scale 100 years: 1 metre) place children along a line

Place key periods on timeline using A3 paper for each child.
Give SEN CHILDREN a prepared timeline with pictures to stick on


Ask the children to mind map what they already know bout the Tudors and Henry V111

Write down three things that would like to find out

Could use mind - map software or paper

All children can place the key historical periods on a timeline and understand where the Tudors fit in

Ask the children what they already know about the Tudors and note on display. Ask the children what questions they have about the Tudors and write them on the display


To understand who Henry VIII using portraits and written sources.


Henry VIII



Using PowerPoint show /IWB SHOW children photograph of Henry VIII. Who do you think this is? - Prompt children e.g. look at the way he is standing, look at the way he is dressed, and look at all the jewellery he is wearing.

Give the children a variety of images of Henry VIII. Tell them to use the portraits to ask and answer as many questions as they can about the king’s appearance.

Give the children some words describing Henry’s character, e.g. dignified, fierce. Encourage them to add their own words.

Ask the children to decide whether they think the portrait suggests the king had these attributes.

Children to use pictures to write about Henry VII. What Kind of person is he and what evidence do they find.

Children to sit in mixed ability pairs for discussion

Activity 2
Children to write a job description for a King Children to be given an example and Heading will be:

e.g. Job Description for a King

Age: between 21 and 60

Skills needed:

  • ability to sort out quarrels

  • arguing

  • archery


  • brave

  • strong

  • considerate

Knowledge needed:

  • warfare: fighting ships

  • know what's going on all over the world

  • how to impress people

  • how to raise money for armies and ships


  • identify features and characteristics from portraits

  • identify characteristics of Henry VIII from written sources

  • Can children identify who Henry VIII is?

  • All children have written sentences about Henry with reference to the image given.

Can they draw up a realistic job description?

Can they explain what qualities Henry had that made him a good King?

Read a description written about Henry VIII. Does this tell the children anything else about him? How true do they think this information is? Can it be truly reliable? Why?


Children will know about the power and importance of a King. Children will be able to identify what a Monarch did and did not do.

Explain the idea of hobbies compared with duties. Ask the children to talk about their hobbies, and then their duties. What do they like to do? What must they do? Who do they do it for? Why do they do it? What happens if they don't do it? What rewards do they get? Make a list of all the things that the children know that Henry liked to do. Discuss whether these are hobbies or duties.

Look at some activities and sort them into two categories: What the King would have done and what he wouldn't have done. E.g. hunting, attending church, signing papers, making decisions, cooking, washing the curtains etc... Develop an understanding of the time period with the children - Why did Henry VIII not play on a game boy, watch TV or go to church in a car?

Ask the children to make their own list of What Henry VIII did and did not do. Allow them to add ideas of their own to their lists. Ask them to think about the rewards and punishments of doing or not doing his duty? Come together as a class and compare the children's lists. Compile a list on the board, under the two headings. Talk through whether which activities were Henry's hobbies and which were his duties. Discuss with the children whether they think Henry's life and duties were difficult or easy. Ask the children to give reasons for their thoughts.

Now ask the children to use the ideas in the column entitled 'What Henry VIII did' and sort them into hobbies and duties, recording this on a new chart headed 'Hobbies' and 'Duties'.

Again, come together as a class and compare the children's lists. Discuss any discrepancies and clarify the concept of a hobby and a duty.


Do they understand the differences between hobbies and duties?

Can they categorise what Henry would have done and not done?

Learning Objectives

Most children will: sort information to demonstrate their knowledge of the role of a Tudor monarch.

Some children will also: use primary source material to extract information about kingly activities.

Some children will: know that the king undertook different duties from peasants.


Children will be able to identify the problems of the Tudor King. Children will understand why Henry wanted a male heir. Children will know about the reasons for his divorce to Catherine of Aragon.

Discuss why Henry would have wanted a male heir to the throne and the significance of this during this time. List the reasons and put them in their order of importance. Then discuss what would have influenced his choice in a suitable wife: age, to build relations with another country, money from a dowry etc.

Show the children a picture of Catherine of Aragon. Brainstorm words they feel describe her. Do they think she would make a good wife for Henry? Why? Tell the story to the children of Henry's marriage to Catherine. Help the children to understand what Catherine was like and for which reasons Henry might have chosen to marry her.

Ask them to think about and write in partners, why he would have felt the need to remarry and reasons for the failure of the marriage. This could be written as though they are Henry, writing a letter to a friend.

A strong coffee mixture (cold) could then be used to stain the paper to give the letters an aged look.

See video – Henry V111 and his wives

Other option is a videoed interview with Henry or Catherine

Can they explain why Henry wanted a male heir?

Can they explain the reasons for him wanting a divorce from Catherine?


To investigate the wives of Henry VIII.

Henry VIII

Catherine of Aragon

Anne Boleyn

Jane Seymour

Anne of Cleves

Catherine Howard

Katherine Parr





Who were Henry VIII’s six wives?

Show children the time line of Henry’s marriages.

Discuss with children how people choose a partner and why they marry. - Explain that Henry is a member of the Tudor royal family and why he might have married. Make a list of children’s ideas to refer back in future lesson.

To investigate the wives of Henry VIII.

Children to work in groups of 3 to investigate one wife of Henry VIII’s.

Children to use books and fact sheets to gather information on the wife of Henry they are investigating to make a poster.

Poster should include:

  • Name of the wife

  • When she was born and when she married Henry.

  • A picture of the wife they are investigating.

  • Time line of his six wives and which number wife was she, e.g. 1st, 2nd, 3rd. 4th, 5th or 6th.

  • Did she have any children? Who was it?

  • What happened to her? E.g. Divorced, Beheaded, Died or Survived.

One person form each group to move to another group to pass on information about the wife they have researched

Each pair have a good understanding of one or more of the Wives of Henry VIII

Each member of the group has knowledge to pass on to another group

Select few children to share their posters with the whole class.


To know about the reasons for Henry’s divorce/execution of his wives

(2 hours)

Henry VIII

Catherine of Aragon

Anne Boleyn

Jane Seymour

Anne of Cleves

Catherine Howard

Katherine Parr





Explain that the children will be telling the story of Henry’s various divorces by creating a news broadcast explaining the key events of each episode

Show demonstration news broadcast and how to operate the digital video cameras

Give each table a divorce/execution to research and a selection of books and two laptops

Children research the demise of one of the wives (most able grouped together to explain Henry’s death)

Children create a one-minute video news broadcast

Separate more detailed lesson plan attached

Each news broadcast must contain all the key details of the event and have an appropriate tone and structure

Show children’s news broadcasts on whiteboard and discuss what these events tell us about Henry and his motivation


Review lesson

Children to create a presentation in groups about Henry V111 and his wives.

  • Booklet

  • Poster

  • Powerpoint

  • News item – video

Complete mind map to show new knowledge

Have children explained who Henry was and why he married so often?
Have they explained the outcome of each marriage and the fate of each wife?
Have they chosen an appropriate method of delivery?

Tudor Newsroom
Children will need

  1. notebook

  2. The notes made about Henry’s wives from a previous lesson

  3. A pencil or pen

Discuss with the children

  • Think about what you know about Henry’s wives already

  • Write down two things that are usually used in a news broadcast

Give them a time by which they must have

  1. Organised their team

  2. Researched one of Henry’s wives

  3. Written notes about the story

  4. Filmed a one-minute video news broadcast telling the people of Tudor England what has happened

Give the children these on a card ready for use so that they can use them as they go along.

Step 1: Organise your team
Team roles

  • Director

  • Camera operator

  • Newsreaders (x2)

  • Scriptwriter

  • Time manager

Roles for each step:

      • Researchers (everyone)

      • Note takers (everyone)

Writing a script:

      • Suggesting ideas (everyone)

      • 1 or 2 scribes


      • 2 presenters

      • 1 camera operator

      • 1 director

      • 1 time manager

      • 1 editor

Step 2: Research your topic
Research tips

      • Try to answer the questions on the prompt sheet

      • Use a variety of sources

      • Work as a team (make sure everyone is researching a different part of the story)

  • Use books!

  • Use the internet

  • Write notes under these headings:

  • What has happened to the Queen?

          • Why has this happened?

          • What might happen as a result of this?

Get as much detail as possible!

Step 3: Write a script
Scriptwriting tips

          • Make sure the newsreaders can read your notes

          • Make sure the notes are written big enough

          • Add another story (made up) if you have the time

          • Just write notes

          • Use different colours

Step 4: Filming
Director: Make sure that everybody knows what to do

Presenters: Speak slowly, loudly and clearly

Camera operators: Keep the camera as still as possible

Time managers: Make sure the broadcast doesn’t run over 1 minute

Editor: Make sure the presenters know who is saying what and make sure they can see the words
Filming tips

          • Keep the camera still

          • Stand about two metres away from the newsreaders

          • The camera operator must not speak

          • Newsreaders speak slowly and loudly

Who did Henry VIII marry?


When did they marry Henry VIII?

What did they look like?

Which country did they come from?

What did they do before marrying Henry?

When did their marriage end?

Why did their marriage end?

What happened at the end of their marriage?

Who did Henry VIII marry?

Main Focus

History – finding out about main characters who shaped Tudor history

Topic Links

Art – exploring how portraits are used to reveal personalities

Suitable for

Year 4/5

Learning Objectives

2a) About characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past

4b) To ask and answer questions, and to select and record information relevant to the focus of the enquiry


  • Portrait of Henry VIII

  • Pictures of Henry’s six wives

  • Mini-whiteboards

  • History topic books


Use the OHP or interactive whiteboard to display a portrait of Henry VIII. Tell the children that Henry VII was the King of England from 1509-1547 during the Tudor period. Ask the children to turn to the person next to them and to write some words on a mini-whiteboard to describe Henry VIII’s character and appearance. Get the children to think about how he is dressed and how he might behave towards them if they were a member of his court. Bring the class back together and get them to share their ideas about Henry VIII. Ask the children to back up their ideas by referencing the portrait i.e. he looks important because he is wearing a gold chain.

Tell the children that Henry VIII was a very selfish person and that many people were scared of him. Explain to the children that Henry is famous for changing religion in England and for marrying six wives. Henry’s aim was to have a son who could be the heir to the throne. Tell the children that they will be working in groups to find out about one of Henry’s wives.

Main Activity

Split the children into six groups and ask each group to investigate one of Henry the VIII’s six wives. Tell the children to elect a leader for their group. Explain to the children that only their group leader is allowed to ask the teacher a question. Get the children to choose one of the following activities to complete for their group.

a) Create a timeline showing the main events in their life.

b) Produce a short drama scene showing how Henry treated his wife. Get the children to write down the play script.

c) Write a description of his wife using a portrait and non-fiction books.

d) Write a newspaper report explaining what happened to each wife

e) Write a letter in character explaining what it was like to live with Henry

f) Compile a dairy showing what daily life was like for Henry’s queen.

Get the children to choose the format that they would like to complete each activity. Tell the children that they will be reporting back everything they have found out about one of Henry’s wives to the rest of the class.


You can support some children by providing the children with some templates to help them complete an activity about one of Henry’s wives. Some children can be extended by getting them to devise their own methods of presenting the history of one of the wives.


Get each group to report back to the class about the life of one of Henry’s wives. Each group should choose two of their activities and the drama scene to report back to the class. Allow time for the class to question each group.

Tudor Monarch CV



Date of birth

Family name


Special Abilities

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