Magna Carta Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

Educate your students about the famous Magna Carta with this helpful lesson plan. They will study a text lesson about the document, take a related quiz, and be a part of a hands-on activity that will reinforce new concepts.

Learning Objectives

After studying this lesson about the Magna Carta, your students will be able to:

  • Describe some of the freedoms detailed in the Magna Carta
  • Explain how the Magna Carta came into being
  • Recap the influence of the document on future governments


1 - 1.5 Hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Documents
  • English barons
  • Governments
  • King John
  • London
  • Negotiating
  • Restrictions
  • United States Constitution

Curriculum Standards


Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.


Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.


  • Let your students know they will be studying the famous document known as the Magna Carta.
  • Ask your students if anyone is familiar with the Magna Carta.
  • Display a copy of the legendary document.
  • Review the eight key vocabulary terms.
  • Pass out copies of the text lesson The Magna Carta Lesson for Kids: Definition, Facts, Summary & History.
  • Read the introduction and the first section, 'Write It All Down.'
    • How long ago was the Magna Carta written?
    • Did it give rights from governments to individuals?
    • What famous American document did it influence?
    • What are two freedoms Americans enjoy?
    • What is a document?
    • In which country was the Magna Carta signed?
  • Next, read the section 'King John's Problems.'
    • What famous folk legend stole from King John?
    • What were two reasons King John was so unpopular?
    • Who decided to protest King John?
    • What did these protesters do to the city of London?
  • Now, read the section 'Writing the Magna Carta.'
    • What does 'negotiating' mean?
    • Why did King John have to negotiate with the barons?
    • What are restrictions?
    • What did the Magna Carta do to King John's power?
    • What happened one year after King John signed the document?
    • What rights did the Magna Carta offer the people?
    • How many original copies were written? How many are known to have survived?
  • Lastly, read the 'Lesson Summary' section.
  • Recap the complete lesson, have your students take the lesson quiz to demonstrate understanding, and answer any final questions.

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