Thomas Wintour Activities

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

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

Thomas Wintour was a member of the Gunpowder Plot, which was a conspiracy to assassinate the king of England. The plot failed, but it nonetheless remains an important point in English history. Use the following activities to help your students learn more.

Thomas Wintour

In England during the late 1500s and early 1600s, the tensions between the Catholics and the Protestants (who ran the government) were intense. Catholics were oppressed, which brewed anger and resentment between the two groups. Thomas Wintour was a Catholic who, along with his brother and a few other family members, joined in a small conspiracy group to assassinate the Protestant king of England and instate his Catholic relative instead.

Their plan was thwarted when someone slipped a note to an informant to the king. The group of men tried to escape, but Wintour was captured. He was interrogated and confessed the details of the plot. Most of what is known about the Gunpowder Plot comes from Wintour's confessions.

Use the following activities as your students learn about Thomas Wintour and his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.

Picture Book

Have your students research the life and death of Thomas Wintour, as well as his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. You might consider coordinating with the librarian at your school to help gather books and materials about Wintour.

After your students have researched Wintour, they should turn their information into a picture book about his life. Your students should use their knowledge of plot and storytelling to write about Wintour's life as a non-fiction tale. Provide art materials to allow your students to illustrate key points of his life. Have students work in groups so that each individual is responsible for creating one page for the book.

Thomas Wintour's Social Media

Based on their research of Thomas Wintour, ask your students to imagine what he might be saying about his life and the Gunpowder Plot if he existed today. Have your students create a collection of Thomas Wintour's fictional social media accounts.

Encourage them to think about what kinds of links or videos he might share, what he would say in 140 characters, and what motivational quotes or photos he would post. After your students create their collection, they should write a short explanation for how they developed their social media posts.

To add an element of creativity, provide posterboards and art supplies to have them create large-scale screenshots of what their pages and profiles might look like.

Found Poem

As your students research Thomas Wintour and his life, ask them to jot down phrases or lines from their research that resonate with them. Once they have collected lines from their research, have your students compile and arrange the lines and phrases to make a found poem that tells about Wintour's life or his influence on the Gunpowder Plot.

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