Guy Fawkes Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

In this lesson plan, students learn about the Gunpowder Plot and Guy Fawkes. They will then join in a classroom-appropriate celebration of the traditional English holiday, Guy Fawkes Night.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the history of Guy Fawkes Day and the significance of Guy Fawkes.
  • Contextualize Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot in larger issues present in English history.


50 minutes


  • Prints of representations of Guy Fawkes & Guy Fawkes' effigies
  • Colored paper
  • Colored pencils, markers, and other arts & crafts supplies
  • Pennies

Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • Gunpowder Plot
  • Guy Fawkes
  • Recusancy

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.


  • Before class begins, print a few pictures of artists' representations of Guy Fawkes as well as several pictures of modern era Guy Fawkes' effigies.
  • Tape or otherwise affix these pictures on to the board or classroom walls.
  • Have students read the lesson Who was Guy Fawkes? - History the Gunpowder Plot & Concept
  • Stop students when they reach 'The Gunpowder Plot' heading.
  • Hold a short class discussion on the material thus far. Some example discussion questions include:
    • Why were recusancy fines put into practice?
    • What other major events from European history may have had an effect on English attitudes toward Catholics?
  • Have students read the rest of the lesson.
  • Hold a short class discussion on the second half of the material. Some example discussion questions include:
    • What were Guy Fawkes and the leaders of the Gunpowder Plot hoping to accomplish?
    • Why do the English continue to celebrate the discovery of the Plot? How do they celebrate?
  • Have students take the quiz.

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