The Battle of Hastings

World History teaching resources for the high school classroom: lesson plans, worksheets, quizzes and simulation games for KS3, IGCSE, IB and A-Level teachers.

The following unit of study is built around an online simulation in which students take the role of King Harold Godwineson. They have to take a series of decisions about how best to keep their throne. As events unfold they learn all about the major events and use this to complete a detailed worksheet which focuses on analysing key scenes from the Bayeux Tapestry.

Blind Date, 1066!

A roleplay exercise enabling students to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the various contenders for the English throne in 1066. As a homework, students produce a propaganda poster for the candidate of their choice. There are teacher notes available along with a presentation and a sample poster.

The Battle for the throne: 1066 [Interactive simulation] | Factual Test

A decision-making simulation as King Harold - will you survive the challenges to your throne? This is a major activity that should keep students busy for at least a couple of lessons (they are even given a certificate with a score at the end that could be recorded in a markbook). As an extension activity, students should complete the Key word list by playing the game a second time; this can later be used as the basis for a factual test or a Fling the Teacher challenge (the first few people to finish the quiz successfully get rewards!).

Note this simulation replaces an older version which contained fewer features and multimedia, and which is still available here.

Bayeux Tapestry Slideshow

The lesson could start by watching a Bayeux Tapestry Animation on YouTube. Then, view a series of interactive images from the Bayeux Tapestry with analysis of their meaning. Designed to be used to help teachers in a feedback session after students have completed the worksheet accompanying the game above. There is a teacher helpsheet available for this task. As a follow-up, students could do this Bayeux Tapestry Jigsaw Quiz.

Order the events correctly - classroom challenge

Students cut and paste the information into the correct order [teacher answer sheet available].

Biased Report: Why did William the Conqueror win the Battle of Hastings? | Marksheet

Students then use their completed timeline to produce a biased newspaper report [teacher sample report available].

Essay Task: Why did William the Conqueror win the Battle of Hastings? | Teacher notes

Working with the same points as last lesson, students now categorise these factors to decide whether William's victory was down to luck, his skill, or Harold's mistakes. They then turn this into their first history essay.

Key word list | Teacher version

Students should complete this list either as they progress through the unit, and use their completed work to see how they perform in the following quiz or quizzes:


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