Terror of the Tramp: Why did vagrancy become such an important issue in Elizabethan England?

GCSE lesson in which students work through a range of differentiated clues to work out 8 reasons which help answer the lessons’ enquiry question before evaluating how well a recent textbook explains it.

So often I have seen this lesson taught directly from textbooks and handouts. Textbooks clearly have their reference uses, but for the student they suffer from one serious defect: a problem is solved at the outset. Students are given too complete an answer with insufficient consideration being given to the process of arriving at a conclusion; the student becomes the passive recipient if someone else’s work. This lesson will serve as an antidote. It is the first in a three-part enquiry:

Part 1 Why did vagrancy become such an important issue in Elizabethan England?

The other parts are:

Part 2: How serious a problem was vagrancy in Elizabethan England, and how do we know?

Part 3: How effectively did Elizabeth deal with the vagrancy issue?

Objectives

– To work out 7 possible reasons for the increase in vagrancy in the Elizabethan period
– To analyse a range of types of sources e.g. graphs and tables of statistics and to draw conclusions from them
– To link causes

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