002 - 1066 and the feudal system

Factual Question

What was England like in the 1060s?
What factors lead to the invasion of England in 1066?

Debatable Question

Did the impact of invasion create a framework for Medieval society in England?

Key Terminology

  • Crown
  • Patriotism
Define the words above by using the useful links below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Notes

The first part of today's lesson is going to be spent investigation what England was actually like in the 1060s. You can use either of the text books that are in the classroom or you can have a quick search online.
      1. By either using the text book 'Contrast and Connections' by the Schools History Projects pages 66 - 67 or the internet describe what England was like in the 1060s. Think about population size, landscape, jobs, who ruled England and religion.
      2. Using page 68 - 69 from the same book as above what evidence do we use to tell us about the past?
      3. What does the Bayeux tapestry show?

The Bayeux Tapestry

 Useful Resource

Contrast and Connections Textbook Pages 66-67
Taken From: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51LajzZFfOL.jpg

Activity Two - Watch

As a group you are now going to watch a youtube clip about the year 1066. There will be a number of names and key dates mentioned throughout the clip.
        • As you watch the clip below make a list of all the names and dates that are mentioned.

William the Conqueror

Activity Three - Description 

1066 was a time when who should be King of England was in question. There was no natural successor to the throne as Edward the Confessor died without producing a male heir. But who should have been King of England? You are going to be investigating the four key protagonists in this real life historical story.

                • Edward the Confessor
                • Harold Godwineson,
                • Harald Hardraada
                • William Duke of Normandy. 

    • Collect a A3 sheet of paper and fold it in to four equal sections.
    • Put the name of each key character at the top of each section and underline it with a ruler.

Edward the Confessor 

Harold Godwineson
Harald Hardraada

William Duke of Normandy

    • Consider the following points when you are listening to the youtube clip and reading from the book, pages 70-73 (you can write your findings as bullet points):
        • Who were the men?
        • Why did the men have a claim to the English throne?
        • What were the men's characters like?
        • Why did they want the English throne?

Line of Fire

Extension Questions

These can be answered on the back of your A3 paper.
  • What was a shield wall?
  • Write a description of the Battle of Hastings.

Activity Four - Debate

  1. Who should have the crown of England and why? You will be divided into three teams and it is up to your team to convince an audience of your right to the thrown. Think about blood line, nationality, character, achievements etc.
  2. After the debate you will write up your argument.

'Who had the greatest claim to the English throne in 1066?'

      • 500 word limit
      • Size 11 or 12 font
      • Double spaced
      • Paragraphs
      • Bibliography
      • Persuasive argument - so you will need to use the A3 sheets created in the prior lessons.

Potential Structure

Essay Section

 Potential things to include

  • What was happening in 1066? Why was England in turmoil?
  • Who do you think should be king? In a sentence explain your answer

Main Body
  •  Reasons why you have chosen a certain character:
      • Blood links
      • Location/ Nations
      • Strength
      • Character
  • You could say why the others should not have been king.
  • Use evidence to illustrate your thoughts. These could be examples of battles, quotes from articles written about the men, images of them etc.
  •  Summary of your ideas

  •  If you have used on try and use MLA format.
  • Remember if you are using information from other websites you either need to write it in your own words or put the exact sentence in quotations.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed using criteria A - Knowing and Understanding and D - Thinking Critically.

How will I be assessed?

Criterion A: Knowing and Understanding

Achievement level

Level descriptor


The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.


i.   makes a limited use of terminology

ii.  demonstrates basic knowledge and understanding of content and concept through limited descriptions and/or examples.


i.   uses some terminology accurately

ii.  demonstrates satisfactory knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through simple descriptions, explanations and examples.


i.   uses considerable and relevant terminology accurately

ii.  demonstrates substantial knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through descriptions, explanations and examples.


i.   consistently uses a range of terminology accurately

ii.  demonstrates detailed knowledge and understanding of content and concepts through developed and accurate descriptions, explanations and examples.

Criterion D: Thinking Critically

Achievement level

Level descriptor


The student does not reach a standard described by any of the descriptors below.


ii.  begins to identify connections between information to make simple arguments


ii.  summarizes information to make some adequate arguments


ii.  summarizes information to make usually valid arguments


ii.  summarizes information to make consistent, well-supported arguments

Activity Five - The Feudal System

The feudal system was devised by William the Conqueror to control England effectively, but what is it? Answer the following questions by watching the youtube clip below:

  1. Describe what the feudal system was?
  2. Why was it an important form of control for William the Conqueror?
  3. Draw a pyramid in your book and divide it in to four horizontally. As you watch the clip below fill in each section.

System of Feudalism

    4. Using the text book 'Discovering the past year 7. Contrast and Connections' by the Schools History Project pages 80 and         81 answer the questions in the yellow boxes.