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. Write the definitions on lined paper in full sentences.

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 use the resources in the 'Useful Resources' box.

      1. By either using the text book 'Contrast and Connections' by the Schools History Projects pages 66 - 67 or the slideshare, 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 can we use to tell us about the past?

      3. What does the Bayeux tapestry show?

Useful Resources

Contrast and Connections - Pages 66-67

England 1066

BBC - The Bayeux Tapestry

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.

Useful Resource

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.

  1. Collect an A3 sheet of paper and fold it into four equal sections.

  2. Put the name of each key character (below) at the top of each section and underline it with a ruler.

  3. You are now going to be divided into three teams and you will watch a specific video clip.

  4. Consider the following points when you are listening to your youtube clip.

                • 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?

  1. Choose an expert on your table. The rest of your team will learn what happened in the other videos from the 'experts' on the other tables. Write bullet-pointed notes on your A3 piece of paper.

  2. Once you have spoken to all of the 'experts' rejoin your team and feedback to them on the new information.

  3. Now collect the blue 'Contrast and Connections' textbook and read, pages 70-73 (you can write your findings as bullet points). Add to your notes information about the four men we are studying.

Edward the Confessor

Harald Hardraada

Harold Godwineson

William Duke of Normandy

Useful Resources

Episode One

1066 - A year to conquer England - Dan Snow

Episode Two

1066 - A year to conquer England - Dan Snow

Episode Three

1066 - A year to conquer England - Dan Snow

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

Now you know the story of what happened in England in 1066 we are going to debate on who actually deserved to be King of England. 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 bloodline, nationality, character, achievements, etc. After the debate, you will write up your arguments.

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


  • Why was the year 1066 so unstable for the monarchy in England?

  • Who do you think should have been crowned King of England in 1066?

  • Explain your answer by considering:

        • Blood links

        • Location

        • Nationality

        • Strength

        • Character

  • Consider why the other men should not have been king - this could further strengthen you argument on why you have made your choice.

  • Remember to use evidence - battles, quotes from articles, images etc.


  • Write a five paragraph essay.

  • The main body paragraphs need to use the PEEL structure:

      • Point - your argument.

      • Explain - the why.

      • Exemplify - any evidence?

      • Link - link back to the question.

  • Use Google Docs to write your essay.

      • Create a header within your document and write your name - year - unit name within it.

  • 750 word limit.

  • Size 12 font.

  • Bibliography (MLA format) remember you can use Easybib.


Describe the situation in England in 1066, especially why there wasn't a clear heir to the throne. Consider why the invaders would want to control England.

Useful Sentence Starters:

  • The year 1066 was a dramatic year for England because...

  • Kings needed to produce an heir ...

  • European powers wanted to control England because...

Main Body

Try and have three paragraphs for the main body of the essay. Two of the paragraphs should explain why your chosen man should have been made King of England. The final paragraph could contrast why the other men should not have been given the throne. Possible reasons why you have chosen a certain character could include:

  • Blood links

  • Location

  • Nationality

  • Strength

  • Character

  • Finances

Remember to include evidence.

Useful Sentence Starters:

  • .... should have been King of England in 1066 because...

  • It is clear that .... characteristics...

  • The impact of being wealthy ...


Summarise your ideas of who should have been made King of England and why.

Useful Sentence Starters:

  • It is clear from the evidence give that ...

  • While ..... was (something about his character) it is clear that ....

Useful Resource

Who should have been King of England in 1066?

How will I be assessed?

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

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.

      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.

Useful Resources