English Reformation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan gives you several ideas regarding discussion topics and questions, as well as a quiz and an activity to help students learn about the English Reformation.

Learning Objectives

After completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • name the important figures of the English Reformation
  • discuss how each figure impacted the country's religious institutions and life
  • explain the importance of various acts and books that played a part in the English Reformation


60-90 minutes


  • Handout (as described in the instructions)
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • A fake crown

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

Key Vocabulary

  • Reformation
  • Henry VIII
  • Edward VI
  • Book of Common Prayer
  • Mary I
  • Elizabeth I
  • Elizabethan Settlement


To start the lesson off ask:

  • Have you ever heard of King Henry VIII? What was he famous for?
  • Who was Mary I?
  • Who was Elizabeth I?
  • In a sentence or two, what was the English Reformation all about?

Instructions & Discussion Questions

  • Now play the video The English Reformation: History and Timeline.
  • Pause the video at 2:29.
    • Why was Henry VIII so dissatisfied with Catherine of Aragon? Discuss with students what Henry VIII thought and what we now know in terms of how a child's sex is determined.
    • Prepare a handout for each student showing Henry VIII's many wives, any children he had with each wife, and the fate each wife suffered and why. Discuss.
  • Pause the video at 3:35.
    • How did Edward VI transform religious life in England?
    • What was the Book of Common Prayer?
  • Pause the video at 4:28.
    • Who was Queen Mary I? What were her religious beliefs?
    • Whom did Mary marry and how was this important?
    • Where did the term 'Bloody Mary' come from?
  • Pause the video at 6:10.
    • Who was Queen Elizabeth I? What religion did she practice?
    • Discuss the Elizabethan Settlement's importance.
  • Once you have discussed these questions and topics with the students, have them complete the lesson quiz. Go over the questions and answers for added information.


Hand out a piece of paper to each student. Each student should:

1. Choose an English monarch mentioned in the lesson.

2. Based on that monarch's general religious views, write out some basic laws they believe they would need in order to enforce similar (but not identical) religious viewpoints.

3. The laws the students create should address, at the very least:

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