Introductory Activities and Research:
It is advisable that students view the Six Wives video after a
number of introductory steps are taken. The following activity will
prepare students for the main activities (Learning Activities) that
|| Tell students that in this unit they will be learning
about Henry VIII of England, his six wives and the times in which
they lived. Explain that the video they will see has some difficult
vocabulary, so it is important to learn these terms in advance.
||Write the terms listed on Organizer
#1 on a blackboard or whiteboard and ask students to shout out
meanings (short definitions) they think they may know as you go through
the list. Hand out the student version of Organizer
#1 and ask students to follow along and fill it in as you proceed.
Prompt them by using example sentences to help with context. Write
only reasonably correct “definitions” next to the terms.
Leave those the students do not know blank.
|| Tell students that they will now work in pairs to find
definitions for the terms left on the board. Divide the remaining
terms throughout the class so that this does not take a long time.
You may elect to have them physically look them up in a dictionary
or to use online resources. When they are finished, write the definitions
along side the remaining terms on the board.
||Now ask the pairs of students to spend the rest of class
writing example sentences for the terms on Organizer
#1. Assign the work remaining for homework.
|NOTE: Depending on how knowledgeable your
students are, you may want to do this activity over two days instead
of one. You may or may not choose to review the terms with your students
after they have completed the sentences. You may choose to collect
and grade the sentences as well.
Each learning activity assumes that the Introductory Activities have
been completed in advance. Before beginning any of the activities,
be sure to explain the evaluation/assessment plan as it is outlined
on Organizer # 5.
| ACTIVITY 1: Researching the Wives
|| Ask your students to create a research presentation,
for the purpose of “teaching” the rest of the class. Divide
your class into six groups and assign one wife to each group. Do not
make any group larger than five students; if your class exceeds 30,
create duplicate groups. The wives are:
The presentations should fulfill the following requirements:
- Catherine of Aragon
- Anne Boleyn
- Jane Seymore
- Anne of Cleves
- Catherine Howard
- Catherine Parr
- Utilize two or more of the bookmarked sites or other Internet
sites to develop an educational presentation for the entire class
on the assigned wife. Students should not be required to submit a
report but instead be encouraged to use presentation software and
to supplement any presentation with informational handouts for the
rest of the class. These handouts might be summary bullets, maps,
- Answers the general questions outlined on Organizer
#2 as specifically as possible.
||After presenting and explaining the project and determining
a presentation date, ask groups to convene and determine roles in
the project (i.e.: who will do what). This may be broken up by requirement
or in some other manner, but regardless, students need to be encouraged
to take into account each others’ strengths and weaknesses when
determining roles. If students have trouble with this step, impose
additional parameters on the project planning stage by requiring that
each pair (group) submit to you a work plan detailing who will be
responsible for each specific part of the project and when each part
will be finished.
|| It is advisable to begin the research process with
your students in class. The amount of class time you decide to spend
will depend on your students’ ability to work together and to
work on research projects. If they have not been exposed to much Internet
research, you may need to take them through the basics of conducting
searches. If students are more adept at research, allow them to complete
a larger portion of the work independently, for homework. Encourage
students to communicate via email to ensure that they work productively
outside of class.
|| The presentations should take place in one class period,
if possible, and should be scheduled before Activity II and the viewing
of the video. If you limit each group’s presentation to five
minutes, you should have time to fit all into one period. Schedule
more time if you feel that it is necessary.
|| When groups are ready to present to the class, tell
students that they must take notes on each group's presentation because
they will need to use the information later in an essay. Encourage
students to ask questions during or after each group’s presentation.
The presentation should not exceed 5-10 minutes per group.
ACTIVITY 2: Viewing and Taking Notes on the SIX WIVES OF HENRY
|| Show the SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII video on consecutive
days, or break the four episodes up in any way that makes most sense
for your class schedule.
|| As mentioned above, require that students take notes
on the videos in their journals, and emphasize that they should pay
particular attention to their assigned wives. Hand out Organizer
#3, which provides students with a list of items to take notes
|| Tell students that they will need to use a certain
number of references in the video in a later writing assignment. In
Activity 3, you will require that students incorporate some of what
they learned from the video into their writing.
| ACTIVITY III: Writing a Comparative
|| Ask your students to use the notes they have taken
in Activities I and II to write a comparative essay of two or more
wives. Emphasize that they should avoid merely listing qualities of
the wives they choose to compare, but that they should take a stand,
or develop a thesis statement before beginning to write. Use Organizer
#4 to help students think about how they will construct their
essay. They should draw on information from the class research on
the wives and their notes from the video. Completing this outline
can be assigned for homework and the writing of the first draft can
be started in class so you can provide assistance.
|| To emphasize the use of the vocabulary learned in the
introductory lessons, you may want to require that students use a
certain number of the vocabulary terms in their essays.
|| Depending on the manner in which you teach writing,
conduct peer-revision sessions with your students so that they may
improve their essays over time, or you may elect to revise your students’
work yourself. Regardless, students should go through a writing/revision
process and be given a hard due date for the final copy.
| Culminating Activity/Assessment:
|| You are encouraged to ask your students to share their
essays with the class if they so desire. You might even organize a
“reading” that is the culmination of the entire unit and
allows for some closure.
Alternatively, or in addition, you may want to encourage
some of your students to illustrate and/or perform their stories
for the class.
|| Use Organizer #5
to assess your students’ work.
If you have the time and would like to extend the outcomes of this
activity, take the writing to the publication stage by asking students
to post their work on your school/classroom Web site.
- You might consider expanding the Web-based research to include
interviews with local historians and actors. Even a visit to a
nearby theater for a tour of the stage for a 15th or 16th century
production would be beneficial.
- If you can arrange a field trip to an appropriate museum or
a visit by a guest speaker, both would enhance student understanding
of England and the period in history.
- If you have the opportunity and resources, take your students
to England to tour the castles!