Teaching Students About the King of England: Bringing History to Life


The history of the English monarchy is a rich and fascinating subject, filled with tales of power, intrigue, and conflict. One way to captivate students and make history come alive for them is by delving deep into the lives of the Kings and Queens who ruled England throughout the ages. In this article, we’ll focus on various approaches and methods that can be used to teach students about the Kings of England, highlighting their lasting impact on British history.

Understanding the Monarchy

To provide a solid foundation for understanding the role and significance of English Kings, start by outlining the concept of monarchy, as well as its development over time. Introduce students to pivotal points in British monarchical history, such as the establishment of the House of Wessex and its impact on uniting England under one ruler.

Engaging Storytelling

Familiarize students with key Kings and their respective eras by recounting captivating stories about their reigns. For example, tell tales about famous battles, political manoeuvring or personal quirks. Consider sharing about King Henry VIII and his six wives or delve into King John’s turbulent reign and his involvement in drafting the Magna Carta.

Visual Materials

Using visual materials such as paintings, illustrations, maps, and charts can help paint a vivid picture for students of life during different English monarchs’ reigns. Displaying images showing daily life, clothing styles and important locations can significantly enrich your teachings. Additionally, encourage them to look for symbolism in royal portraits as these often represent an intended message or story.

Primary Sources

Incorporating primary sources – letters written by Kings or Queens themselves – into lesson plans allows students to gain a more intimate understanding of these historical figures as people rather than detached rulers. Teach them how to analyse these sources critically while considering historical context.

Role-Playing Exercises

Encourage students to put themselves in the shoes of the Kings, Queens, and other historical characters. Role-playing scenarios enhance understanding while developing empathy and contextual knowledge. For example, let them debate issues from different perspectives during a royal court or act out crucial moments from a King’s reign.

Film and Media

To break up the monotony of textual study, consider incorporating relevant films, documentaries, and television series into your curriculum. While it is essential to discuss any historical inaccuracies presented in these media sources, they can portray the drama and intrigue that often surrounded English Kings.

Utilizing Technology

Using technology to facilitate learning can inspire students to further explore the topic independently. Introduce online resources such as virtual museum exhibits or interactive timelines to help them grasp key moments during different reigns.


Teaching students about the King of England requires a multifaceted approach that incorporates storytelling, visual materials, primary sources, role-playing exercises, film and media analysis, and technology. By employing a diverse range of methods catering to different learning styles, you can keep students captivated while nurturing their appreciation for British monarchic history.

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