Using drama to teach the Gunpowder Plot at KS1: a big hat, a lantern and a sleeping guard

You may choose to use drama for any number of reasons. You might simply want to recap the story.  Perhaps your aim is to deepen children’s understanding of the plotters’ motivation.  You might merely want to illustrate the real tension of the period.  Whichever reason governs your choice, the following drama session should achieve your aim, and hopefully all three!

Ask children about Bonfire Night. Show pictures from modern times: fireworks.  If possible excite their imagination by describing the dramatic scenes that take place at Lewes in Sussex, using video as appropriate. Many teachers have used the last 2 minutes of this shortYoutube clip

Now take them back into the past – for which you will need a big hat.  Then explain that a long time ago there was a real man called Guy Fawkes.  Explain that you have his hat.  In a moment you are going to do some drama using the hat. You, the teacher, are going to be Guy: the children will all be his friends or “plotters”.

Try to re-arrange the furniture or use the hall to make it look like somewhere they would meet.  They are all huddled together so they can whisper their

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