If Henry and Becket were such good friends why did Henry have him killed less than 10 years later?

This very active thinking skills lesson comprises three separate episodes.  Firstly having listened to a brief teacher-told narrative, pupils have to sort events into the right sequence before going on to create their own living graph.  This is followed by a history mystery in which pupils attempt their own explanation of this medieval puzzle.  Finally, students predict what the explanation on a short video of the death of Becket should contain before going on to formally evaluate and then improve it.

Learning objectives

  • Pupils can sequence key moments in the changing relationship of Becket and Henry
  • They can analyse reasons and group them in different categories of their own design
  • They evaluate a TV programme’s interpretation and then improve it.

Step 1

Tell the story of the changing relationship between Becket and Henry in outline focusing on the murder in the cathedral initially to grab attention and then fill in the background.  Most textbooks do this well, but it is obviously better if you do it dramatically, without notes, with just perhaps the odd PowerPoint* slide to add gore and colour. (* Not included as all schools have access to good images and there is a separate lesson coming up

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