Guy Fawkes Art Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

Guy Fawkes was an organizing member of the failed Gunpowder Plot. Help your students learn about this historical figure through a variety of art activities.

Learning About Guy Fawkes

As you plan a unit on the Gunpowder Plot and its effects on the Catholic Church in England, you will likely teach your students about Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was one of the organizers of the Gunpowder Plot and has an interesting story of his own beyond just his involvement in the plan. Having your students create art related to Guy Fawkes can be an excellent way of engaging your students in the subject. Use the following art activities as you teach your students about Guy Fawkes.

Art Activities


Have your students look at portraits that were painted in the 1500s. With your students, discuss the different defining features of the portraits. They will probably notice that the portraits are close-ups of faces or full body paintings. There are frequently valuable objects painted with the people, and the portraits are typically of nobility. Have your students search for portraits of Guy Fawkes and then create their own portraits. They might think about some valuable objects that Guy Fawkes might have had at the time and consider including them in the portrait.

Illustrated Timeline

In a small group, students create an illustrated timeline of either Guy Fawkes' life or his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. You may consider offering both as options or choosing just one for your students. They should decide on important events to include in the timeline and then write a short caption along with an illustration for each important event. You might consider extending this activity by having students display their work for a gallery walk and then discussing how students chose each event to include.

Children's Book

In small groups, have your students plan and develop a book about Guy Fawkes' life. As a group, they should write the story together and then illustrate each page. They should decide on the most important aspects to include as well as how to phrase the story for younger students.

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