Teaching Students About King Arthur’s Full Name


King Arthur, a legendary figure in British history, has captivated the imaginations of storytellers and historians alike for centuries. At the center of countless legends and tales, King Arthur’s full name, Arthur Pendragon, is perhaps best known in connection with the Knights of the Round Table and the mythical sword Excalibur. To introduce students to this important historical figure, educators must delve into his origins, explore his journey as a ruler, and highlight his enduring legacy.

Arthur Pendragon: The Name Unveiled

In order to teach students about King Arthur’s full name, Arthur Pendragon, we must first examine its etymology. “Arthur” is believed to be derived from the Celtic word “artos,” meaning “bear,” while “Pendragon” translates to “head dragon” or “chief dragon” in ancient Welsh. These names evoke powerful imagery and suggest that he was a strong and fearsome leader.

Early Origins and Key Moments

To provide an accurate account of King Arthur’s life, teachers should discuss key moments from his tale that offer insight into his character. These may include:

  1. His birth to Uther Pendragon and Lady Igraine: This significant event shapes his destiny as heir to the throne.
  2. His childhood under Sir Ector’s care: Educators can outline how King Arthur’s upbringing contributed to his personal growth and development.
  3. The discovery of Excalibur: Teachers can stress the importance of this mythical sword in cementing King Arthur’s leadership role.
  4. The formation of the Knights of the Round Table: Educators must emphasize how this elite brotherhood represented unity, loyalty, and chivalry during King Arthur’s reign.
  5. His love for Queen Guinevere: Here lies a significant aspect of his personal life which also led to personal tragedy.

Fact vs. Fiction

When teaching students about King Arthur, it’s essential to separate historical fact from fictional legend. While the existence of King Arthur is still debated among scholars, there is evidence to suggest that he may have been a real figure during the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Teachers can encourage students to examine historical texts and archaeological remains to discern fact from myth.

The Enduring Legacy of King Arthur

To wrap up the lesson on King Arthur Pendragon, educators should emphasize his lasting impact on British culture and literature. From medieval chronicles such as Geoffrey of Monmouth’s “Historia Regum Britanniae” to Thomas Malory’s “Le Morte d’Arthur,” King Arthur has inspired countless retellings and adaptations. Furthermore, films, television series, and modern-day novels continue to breathe new life into his story.


Teaching students about King Arthur Pendragon goes beyond introducing them to a legendary ruler – it provides them with an understanding of British history, societal values, and cultural imagination. By unraveling the origins of his name, exploring key moments in his life, and distinguishing fact from fiction, teachers can ignite students’ curiosity in the figure who has captivated audiences for generations.

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