Elizabeth and the Catholic threat: Elizabethans GCSE Smart Task

Asking questions in history.

Elizabeth’s policy towards the Catholics: students use a graph to raise their own enquiry questions which are then researched.

Working in pairs, students study the graph showing the number of Catholic priests who were either executed or died in prison during the reign of Elizabeth I. Normally students are given set questions to answer. This time it’s different: students frame the questions. So, as a means of launching the broader enquiry into why there were so few Catholics in Elizabeth’s kingdom in 1603, issue pairs with a copy of the graph on slide 2 of the PowerPoint and see if they can come up with high quality enquiry questions.

The sort of questions they might ask are (in no particular order):

1. Why were so many priests killed in 1588?
2. Why were none killed between 1578 and 1580?
3. Why did the number of executions double in 1582?  

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