Was the Gunpowder Plot a set-up?

This KS3 lesson is part of our work on The Stuarts and comes at the start of the course. We therefore introduce King James I with some source work. However, if the lesson is to be completed in the lead up to Bonfire Night, then this first part can simply be removed, leading you straight into the Gunpowder Plot itself. It will take between 1-2 lessons depending upon how many tasks are completed.

Aims and Objectives:

  • To use sources to think about what type of king James I was (CAN BE LEFT OUT).
  • To know the key events of the Gunpowder Plot.
  • To understand why some people think the plotters were set up.

The lesson starts with the option of some source analysis to investigate what type of person King James I was. There is a more detailed version of this source sheet and a simpler SEN version. We then introduce the Gunpowder Plot with the Horrible Histories clip. The students then use this initial overview to cut out the jumbled events and order them. These are stuck onto the storyboard which is then illustrated (I’ve set this as a homework and competition). The following lesson we look into the conspiracy theory using a range of sources supporting both sides. Students produce a balanced written answer on whether they agree that the plotters were set up before reaching their final verdict.

Save for later
  • The-Gunpowder-Plot.pptx
  • James-I-Sources-(G-T).doc
  • James-I-Sources-(simpler).doc
  • Gunpowder-Plot--events-sort.docx
  • Gunpowder-Plot.doc
  • Gunpowder-Plot-Table-(answers).doc

About this resource


Created: Oct 19, 2018

Updated: Jan 14, 2019

pptx, 840 KB


doc, 47 KB


doc, 47 KB


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