Jack Cade Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

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

Jack Cade, the leader of a revolt against the English government, was fighting against corruption and abuse of power in the 1400s. Use these activities to help your students learn about this historic figure and the rebellion he spearheaded.

Jack Cade

In 15th-century England, the king and his advisors were accused of abusing their power. Many people were also upset that they had been at war with France for so long, an effort perceived by many to be a futile waste of money. Jack Cade organized a group of rebels to try and overthrow the English king.

The rebels marched into London, intent on dismantling the government. However, once they arrived, many of the rebels began looting. The locals were unhappy with this, turning quickly on the rebels and forcing them out of London in a very violent and bloody battle. Jack Cade initially escaped but was later arrested after a nasty confrontation with law enforcement. Before he could stand trial, he died of his injuries.

The following activities will help your students think more analytically about Jack Cade and one of the biggest uprisings in 15th-century England. Based on the needs of your class, you may consider adjusting these activities as necessary.

Illustrated Biography

Instruct students to research Jack Cade and create an illustrated biography of his involvement with the rebellion. Have your students choose how they'd like to present their work. They might create a poster, picture book, or slide show. Students should explain what specific factors led to Jack Cade forming his group of rebels and the ultimate consequences of their planned revolt.


In small groups, have your students create a timeline of important events in the Jack Cade Rebellion. They should research the rebellion and decide which events are the most significant ones to highlight. Their timelines should include dates and a short description of each event. If desired, they may include small illustrations to go with the timeline. You may consider doing a gallery walk activity with their timelines, having students discuss which events they chose to include and why.

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