Teaching the Battle of Agincourt
This blog post was adapted with grateful thanks to guest writer Gemma Ingason, who publishes resources as TES author Trench_1, and is a volunteer leader with Southampton Young Archaeologists’ Club.
Commemorating 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt
This Sunday 25 October marks the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. Won for the English by the use of the longbow, this battle represented a real turning point in the Hundred Years’ War and was famously immortalised by Shakespeare in Henry V.
The teaching of Agincourt fits nicely into the curriculum requirements for KS2 and KS3 history, as it gives you the chance to extend pupils’ knowledge of historical events beyond 1066 and about life in Medieval Britain. It’s also a great chance to engage in cross-curricular learning from a literacy, science and DT perspective. So why not use some of these resources to celebrate the anniversary of the battle with your class?
Putting the Middle Ages into chronological context for younger pupils is a doddle with this pictorial timeline. They can also find out a bit more about what life was like in Medieval Britain at the time of the battle by playing this board game with corresponding challenge sheet.
The background information offered by these detailed domino cards is a perfect introduction for older students, as well as these musical French history lessons, which include a song that neatly outlines the key aspects of the battle itself.
Shakespeare famously brought the Battle of Agincourt to life in Henry V. Part of this play includes one of his most iconic speeches – King Henry’s rousing battle cry. Explore this speech and get your students to use parts of the original to write their own in this innovative presentation.
The bard was also the master of a pithy put-down. As historical sources suggest that the French and English hurled insults as they clashed in battle, why not get your pupils to create some appropriate insults to shout at their Agincourt enemies with this surly starter activity?
The English often put their unexpected victory down to their use of the longbow. This comprehensive lesson plan details everything you need to enable your students to make their own miniature versions, whilst this Teachers TV video describes how to fire them. Learners can practise their aim by firing at the French and English solider templates from this Agincourt teaching pack, which also contains a huge variety of other teaching ideas.
But, of course, not everyone would have left the battlefield unscathed. Those unlucky infantrymen that fell foul to the French attack would have been subjected to the murky world of medieval medicine. Find out more about all the gory details in this fascinating PowerPoint presentation.
Calling all history teachers!
Have you heard about the Huge History Lesson competition? Visit the website to find out more about how to get your students involved in this object-led historical enquiry challenge, and read our blog post for ideas on how to incorporate the competition into your teaching.