Teachers' resources

Teachers' resources

Factsheet showing Tudor family tree

Materials to support lessons and your students' learning.

Fact sheets, visit-planning information, virtual tours and resources for self-directed visits to the palace. 

Resources to use in the classroom

Resources to use at the Tower


Resources to use in the classroom

Fact sheets

Colourful, quick-reference guides related to the Tower of London.  

Henry VIII and his six wives (PDF 346KB)
A colourful fact sheet about the king, his six wives and their relationships.

The Tudor Dynasty (PDF 86KB)
A family tree of the royal Tudors.

The Late Stuart Family Tree (PDF 172KB)
Tracing the lineage from James I to William III in a handy fact sheet.

The Hanoverian Family Tree (PDF 143KB)
A family tree of the royal Hanovers.

Claimants to the English Throne in 1562 (PDF 151KB)
From Henry VII to Edward Seymour in one handy guide.

Timeline: Tower of London (PDF 154KB)
Significant moments and events in the fortress's history from 1066-1554.

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Guide

History at the Tower (PDF)
Your short guide to the history of the Tower of London including what to see when you visit and frequently asked questions. 

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Videos

The Story of Sir Thomas More >
Chancellor for Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More was imprisoned for refusing to accept the king as Head of the Church.

The Story of Lady Margaret Pole >
She was the oldest woman to be imprisoned at the Tower.

The Story of The Earl of Essex >
The Earl of Essex was the Queen's 'Favourite' until he became the last person to be executed inside the Tower.

The Story of a King and a Rebel >
King John of Balliol and William Wallace were both imprisoned at the Tower.

The Story of Alice Tankerville >
In 1534, Alice Tankerville was imprisoned at the Tower. But then she escaped!

Watch more of our videos about the Tower of London > 

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Podcasts

Fernando Buschmann >
Colonel Thomas Blood >
Sir Francis Burdett >
Josef Jacobs >
Sir Charles Brandon >

Listen to more of our podcasts on iTunes >

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Activities

Storytelling Tutorial
The animated tutorial and teacher's notes demonstrates and takes you through the process of combining information, both factual and imagined, to create a story.

Helmet

It took craftsmen many hours to make royal helmets, but with our help you can make an amazing helmet in much less time!

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Coins and kings

The presentations below all relate to our Coins and kings exhibition which explores the history of the Mint from 1279–1812.

The topics cover a range of curriculum areas including history, art and design and English, and can be used before or after a visit to the site. Each PowerPoint presentation is accompanied by a set of teachers' notes which also include activity sheets.

The resources were developed in partnership with the Royal Mint Museum, the independent charity and museum which looks after the collection and archives of the Royal Mint.

Presentations

KS2 – Minted! Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (ZIP 4.2MB)
KS2 – Faking it! (art and design) (ZIP 6.5MB)
KS2 – Life in the Tudor Mint (ZIP 9.2MB)
KS2 – Stories from the Mint (ZIP 9.2MB)
KS2 – Story Builder (ZIP 6.7MB)

KS3 – Monarchs and the Mint: Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (ZIP 6.1MB)
KS3 – Edward I and the Mint (ZIP 3.6MB)
KS3 – Elizabeth I and the Mint (ZIP 2.5MB)
KS3 – Kings on Coins (ZIP 9MB)

Teachers' notes

KS2 – Minted! Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (PDF 1.2MB)
KS2 – Faking it! (art and design) (PDF 1.5MB)
KS2 – Life in the Tudor Mint (PDF 1.4MB)
KS2 – Stories from the Mint (PDF 1.8MB)

KS3 – Monarchs and the Mint: Making the nation’s coins: pre-visit (PDF 1.4MB)
KS3 – Edward I and the Mint (PDF 486KB)
KS3 – Elizabeth I and the Mint (PDF 511KB)
KS3 – Kings on Coins (PDF 1.1MB)
KS3 – Civil Wars (2.4MB)


Other resources

Espionage! WWI and the Tower: chronology (PDF, 55.4KB)
For KS3 teachers, a timeline of the Tower during the First World War.

Espionage! WWI and the Tower: characters (PDF, 569KB)
For KS3 teachers, key characters at the Tower during the First World War.

Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: chronology (PDF, 32.6KB)
For KS3 teachers, a timeline of the journey of the Koh-i-Nûr diamond’s journey from India to the Tower of London. 

Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: characters (PDF, 651KB)
For KS3 teachers, key characters who have owned or been involved in the Koh-i-Nûr diamond’s journey from India to the Tower of London

Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: activities for the classroom (PDF, 1.16MB)
For KS3 teachers, some discussion points and activities related to the Koh-i-Nûr diamond.

Jewel in the Crown: Empire and India: sources (PDF, 1.72MB)
For KS3 teachers, a book of primary sources relating to the Koh-i-Nûr diamond and it’s journey from Mughal India to the Tower of London via the British Empire. 

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Resources to use at the Tower of London

Trails - Key Stage 2

TimA_TOL

These trails are intended for the use of teachers and accompanying adults working with small groups of Key Stage 2 pupils. They include directions, suggestions for things for pupils to look for, think about and imagine, as well as some additional information to help answer some questions pupils may have.  The trails are worded so that they can be read aloud directly to pupils. Each trail follows a different route within the Tower of London and explores different buildings.

To print out the trail in booklet form, select double-sided and set the pages to flip up.

Guidelines for teachers (DOC, 43KB)

Henry VIII at the Tower (PDF, 1.91 MB)
The Tower of London was already 400 years old when Henry VIII was born. He made various changes including repairing the walls and towers of the castle, and modernising and refurbishing the medieval palace. The Tower is closely linked with the fate of two of his queens, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard.

The King's Castle (PDF, 899KB)
William the Conqueror began to build the Tower of London over 900 years ago. He intended the stone fortress to be invincible and a symbol of his power. Over the next 400 years, up until the Tudors came to the throne, the Tower was updated and expanded by the medieval kings.

Tudor and Elizabethan prisoners (PDF 1.78MB)
The Tower of London was built as fortress, not a prison. It does not have cells or dungeons. However, because it was so secure it was used to house important prisoners from its earliest years. In Tudor and Elizabethan times it was mainly used for very high status prisoners or those accused of political crimes.

The Tudor Tower (PDF 1.87MB)
Henry VIII stayed in the Royal Palace at the Tower the night before his coronation and before Anne Boleyn’s coronation. He rarely, if ever, stayed here again but, like the Kings of England before him, he used the Tower for lots of other purposes.

 

Quest (PDF 1.03MB)
This activity has been designed to allow small groups of pupils to explore and research particular aspects of the Tower of London’s history, development and present use, and to record their observations using digital cameras.

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Teaching on site - Key Stage 2-3

Pupil and teacher notes for self-guided school visits at Key Stage 2 and 3.

Henry VIII at the Tower of London (PDF 852KB)
A Key Stage 2 resource for teachers integrating a visit to the Tower into Unit 7 'Why did Henry VIII marry six times?'

The Medieval Tower (PDF 1.1MB)
For Key Stage 3 history this resource guides teachers around key sites for studying the medieval Tower of London. 

History of the Royal Mint at the Tower of London (PDF 4.3MB)
For Key Stage 2 and 3 history this resource introduces all of the major events and stories relating to the Mint and the history of the nation's coinage.

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Briefing notes - Key Stage 2

Background information exploring specific subjects at the Tower for Key Stage 2. 
TimA_Prisoner
Imprisonment and Execution (PDF 360KB)
Looks at the Tower as a prison and execution ground under Henry VIII (1509-47).

Tudor Tower: Functions of the Tower of London (PDF 178KB)
Mint, palace, fortress, execution ground, state prison. These notes look at the functions of the Tower under Henry VIII and support Key Stage 2 History Unit 7.

 

Briefing notes - Key Stage 3-4

Key characters and chronologies that support our school sessions at the Tower of London.

Applying history: chronology (PDF, 57.3KB)
KS3, This quick chronology gives the key events in the Tower’s history. 

Applying history: artefacts (PDF, 670KB)
KS3, Detailed information on the Tower of London artefacts handled in the Applying History session. 

Who killed the princes in the Tower: chronology (PDF, 55.9KB)
KS3, This quick chronology gives the key dates in the lead up to the disappearance of the young sons of Edward IV in the Tower.

Who killed the princes in the Tower: characters (PDF, 1.06MB)
KS3, Key characters relating to the young sons of Edward IV in the Tower.

Imprisonment, execution and escape: Elizabethan religious upheaval: chronology (PDF, 29.2KB) 
KS3, detailed information on the chronology of Tudor religion.

Imprisonment, execution and escape: Elizabethan religious upheaval: characters (PDF, 1.33MB)
KS3, the key characters in Tudor religious upheaval.

Imprisonment, execution and escape: Elizabethan religious upheaval: family tree (PDF, 2.95MB)
A useful Tudor family tree for the reign of Elizabeth I.

1066 and all that: chronology (PDF, 53.5KB)
KS3, a timeline of the Norman Tower of London. 

1066 and all that: characters (PDF, 753KB)
KS3, key characters related to the Norman Tower. 

KS3 and KS4, a timeline of the Tower of London from its Norman roots to 20th century history.
 
KS3 and KS4, detailed information on the Tower of London artefacts handled in the Reading the Historic Environment session.
 
KS3 and KS4, the key characters related to the Tower of London from its Norman foundations to the 20th century.
 
A classroom activity and resource to discuss the role of the Tower and its various functions over time.
 

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Share your experience

Please email us your feedback at towerlearning@hrp.org.uk. All feedback is much appreciated and enables us to tailor our programme and resources to better suit the needs of school groups.

We also welcome feedback from your class on their visit to the Tower of London. If you would like to send us a letter, or examples of the children’s work, please write to us at:

Operations Team
Learning & Engagement

Waterloo Block
HM Tower of London
London
EC3N 4AB

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