Life in Tudor Times – KQ2 part 2 – the highs and lows of Catherine of Aragon

The context of this lesson was to explore the highs and lows of Catherine of Aragon as a lead up to the Break with Rome.  Pupils had already looked at the personality of Henry through his portraits.  They had noticed, using the ‘Police line-up’ activity that Henry seemed to be much more concerned with power and image in the 1530s and that something seemed to have changed around that time.  The puzzle of the ensuing lessons was to work out what. Rather than looking at all the wives at once, it was decided to tell the story of the Break with Rome initially through the eyes of his first wife. I am grateful to the ever-creative and imaginative Jan Field of Gomer Junior school, Gosport ,for trialling the lesson and reporting on how well it went.

Please note that there is an assessment task, using a different image of Elizabeth, to test pupils’ understanding of sources. See the Assessment section/tasks.

Learning objectives

  • to understand the stages in the build up to Henry’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon
  •  to consider the main events that brought it close
  •  to grasp the importance of a male heir
  •  to create an initial hypothesis as
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