History - The Crusades teaching resources

This collection focuses on providing context for pupils to gain an understanding of the Crusades. It explores key questions such as who went and why, but also examines individuals such as Richard the Lionheart, Pope Urban II and Saladin, and ultimately considers links to the Renaissance and how the Crusades benefited Europeans.

Introduction to the Crusades

  • A map-based activity to give pupils an overview of Europe and the Middle East before the Crusades.

Why did the Crusades happen?

  • A good introductory PowerPoint to familiarise pupils with the differences between Christians and Muslims and key questions about why the Crusades happened.

Why did people go on crusades?

  • A great PowerPoint and card sort activity, with extended writing frame prompting pupils to examine the reasons why people would go on a crusade.

Why did people crusade?

  • A good differentiated lesson examining key reasons for the Crusades and asking pupils to decide if they would have joined the Crusade.

Why did people go on the Crusade?

  • Detailed PowerPoint exploring the reasons why people chose to go on Crusade, with a good source analysis task and a levelled writing frame.

How similar were Richard and Saladin?

  • A fantastic source-based enquiry which encourages pupils to develop skills of source analysis whilst deepening knowledge of key individuals in the Crusades.


  • A lesson plan examining the significance of Saladin based on different accounts. An excellent opportunity to integrate skills surrounding historical interpretation.

Richard the Lionheart

  • A PowerPoint giving an overview of the end of Richard’s reign, charting his journey across Europe, his capture, eventual death and the start of the reign of his brother, King John.

The First and Second Crusade

  • A simple gap-fill exercise with supporting extract from Pope Urban II’s speech to give pupils an overview of the First and Second Crusade.

What did the Crusades ever do for us?

  • An excellent lesson to connect the Crusades to the Renaissance, and how Europeans benefited, through a series of engaging and creative activities.

What was it like to fight in the Crusades?

  • A source-based PowerPoint examining similarities and differences between Saracens and Christians and how they fought.

General Crusades resources

  • Series of lessons examining the reasons for the Crusades, who went and why, comparing Muslims and Christians, and an assessment with level guides on whether the Crusades changed anything.

Scheme of work and lesson Ideas

  • Scheme of work and lesson ideas that provides an alternative overview of the period 600-1600 from the perspective of Islamic culture. It provides contrasts and connections with aspects of British history – specifically with the Crusades.