Anglo-Saxon Planning

Planning Anglo-Saxons this half-term? Need a hand? Then look no further. Our Anglo-Saxon unit contains 10 lessons to get you started, with all the resources you will need to engage your students. Aimed at Year 5 but suitable across Upper KS2. 

Our resources are designed to slot into your own planning or be used as the basis for your unit of work. Our History unit follows the enquiry-based approach, covering two enquiry questions. Who were the Anglo-Saxons and how do we know about them? How did the Anglo-Saxons love and how did they influence modern-day Britain?

You can sample the two enquiry summary lessons (which includes the whole unit planning) for free here.

So, what does it contain? 

Enquiry Question One: Who were the Anglo-Saxons and how do we know about them?

  • Lesson 1: Who were the Anglo-Saxons? This lesson explores the British timeline and where the Anglo-Saxons fit in relation to other key historical moments. Students will explore extracts from historical texts and use these to gain an understanding of who the Anglo-Saxons were and what they were like; as well as discussing the difficulties these historical texts present.
  • Lesson 2: Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from? This lesson explores the reasons Anglo-Saxons first settled in Britain. Students will then complete a differentiated jigsaw activity showing the different areas the Angles, Saxons and Jutes first settled in.
  • Lesson 3: Enquiry summary. This lesson gives students the opportunity to discuss and recap what they have learnt so far before creating a cartoon strip explaining who the Anglo-Saxons were.

Enquiry Question 2: How did the Anglo-Saxons live and how have they influenced modern day Britain?

  • Lesson 4: Anglo-Saxon Society. Students have the chance to compare and contrast the different classes in Anglo-Saxon society using a detailed text to support them.
  • Lesson 5: How did the Anglo-Saxons punish crimes? This fun lesson gives students the chance to match definitions of words and phrases to Anglo-Saxon crime and punishment terms, explore the crime of Helmstan (a real-life Anglo-Saxon criminal) and the ethics of Anglo-Saxon punishments. We love the discussions this lesson can open up to, how has crime and punishment changed? Was this ever a fair system?
  • Lesson 6: What were the Anglo-Saxon past times? A brilliant carousel lesson including: retelling the story of Beowulf, playing Tafl and solving riddles from the Book of Exeter (as well as having the chance to come up with their own). This lesson could be used over one lesson and even extended as part of an Anglo-Saxon day.
  • Lesson 7: Anglo-Saxon battles. An exploration into five key Anglo-Saxo battles: The Battles of Edington, Ellendum, Stamford Bridge, Brunanburh and the Battle of Hastings. This lesson combines history with reading, as students must summarise the battles to create ‘battle cards’. Allowing them to see what Anglo-Saxons fought for, who they fought and a few interesting facts along the way!
  • Lesson 8: What did the Anglo-Saxons influence? Focussing on language and place names. This lesson covers the influence Anglo-Saxons had on British language, beginning by exploring the words we still speak today. For the main activity students can find place names around the country that were originally Anglo-Saxon. Settlements. This lesson is great if you want children to focus on your local area, simply choose one of the six maps of England for students to focus on.
  • Lesson 9: Anglo-Saxon defences. This lesson explores the different types of defences the Anglo-Saxons used and built. Students are then able to design their own burh (a fortified town) on a grid, making sure it includes the key features of a burh.
  • Lesson 10: Enquiry summary. They will then have the chance to create a ‘wall’ of the knowledge of everything they have learnt. Alternatively, this could be used earlier in the topic with students adding a brick to the wall with something they have learnt to create a working wall.

You can also find our resources on TES. Happy teaching!