Richard III Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan will give you numerous questions and topics to discuss with students about Richard III. An activity and a quiz are also provided to help engage students and check their understanding.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students should be able to:

  • discuss how Richard III may have come to power
  • identify the key figures that surrounded his ascension to the throne and fall from power
  • explain the competing theories about Richard III's life


60 minutes

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.RI.9-10.7

Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Key Vocabulary

  • Richard III
  • House of York
  • Plantagenet dynasty
  • Edward IV
  • War of the Roses
  • House of Lancaster
  • The Hundred Years' War
  • Henry Tudor
  • Battle of Bosworth Field

Instructions & Discussion Questions

  • Assign students the lesson on King Richard III: History, Family Tree & Death as a reading assignment to be completed at home. Once they come in ready to discuss the lesson, read it again as a class. This time around, however, focus on the following discussion questions and topics to improve understanding of the lesson.
  • Pause after the 'Background and Family' section:
    • When was Richard III born?
    • What was the House of York at the time?
    • Who was Richard III's elder brother?
  • Pause after the 'Richard III Seizes Power' section:
    • Where did Richard III place his nephew and why?


  • Is Richard's supposedly devious scheme to seize the throne historical fact? What happened to Richard III's nephews? Did he actually kill them? Split the class into two halves. One half should find evidence that supports the 'evil' Richard view and the other half should find evidence that supports that he is inappropriately maligned. Engage the two groups in a debate as to the truth so students understand there's usually more than one side to the story.

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