Let’s Meet … Henry VIII. This is the first in a set of reading texts based on famous characters – past and present – available separately and (in time) as a collection of scripts.
The list will include monarchs, adventurers, poets, inventors, politicians, space explorers – all taken from the current primary school curriculum, with two objectives:
- To Bring History Alive (as with my plays)
- To make reading a more lively, interactive experience – for both child and teacher
The format I have used is that of an interview – between two people, interviewer and interviewee. These two roles can be read either by an adult and child or two children; and they are of course interchangeable – though in the case of teacher and child it is suggested that the teacher be the one asking the questions as that will allow the child to take on the interviewee’s character and thus make for a livelier, potentially more rewarding session.
The activity could, of course, be extended by adding additional questions, as deemed appropriate to the child’s individual development and learning.
I have written two scripts:
- Henry VIII and His Six Wives
- Henry VIII and the Reformation
I have two reasons for this – (i) I felt both topics – Henry as a husband and Henry as head of the newly established Church of England – should be covered and (ii) I have written to two levels of reading – one a little more advanced than the other, so these two scripts would be suitable for both ends of Key Stage II – i.e. Script 1 for Years 3 & 4; Script 2 for Years 5 & 6; or of course, higher/lower abilities of both.
I am just starting out on this writing project so any suggestions from teachers reading this would be greatly appreciated.
Also available from www.plays-r-ussell.com :
Guided Reading Plays for Henry and his wives. These come as a set of 5:
- Wives 1 & 2
- Wives 2 & 3
- Wives 4 & 5
- Last Wife
- All the Wives
These have 6 speakers each, and come with a set of quizzes. I wrote them as a supplementary classroom resource to the Assembly (i.e. different information covered)
Guided Reading Scripts:
- Country Life
- Town Life
- Life at Court
- The Theatre
- Tudor Explorers Assembly
Guided Reading Scripts:
- Who were they?
- Drake’s Round the World Voyage
- (1) Raleigh’s Roanoke Settlement (2) The Plight of Native Americans
- Anglo-Spanish Hostilities – Introduction to Slavery
- The Slave Trade – Discussion on Racism
These two scripts are around 5 minutes reading time each; and each has a quiz of 20 questions.
Interviewer: (Hesitantly) So, you’re now … fifty two?
Interviewer: And enjoying life with your (pauses) sixth wife?
Henry: So? Who’s counting?
Interviewer: Well, that’s quite a lot of wives!
Henry: Hmm. More trouble than they were worth, most of them!
Interviewer: Can you remember all of them?
Henry: Well, now – let’s see. First there was Catherine
Interviewer: Catherine of Aragon
Henry: From Spain. And a lovely lady she was, my wife for twenty years.
Interviewer: So, what went wrong?
Henry: Well, there was Anne
Interviewer: Anne Boleyn, Catherine’s lady in waiting
Henry: Whom I married
Interviewer: And then beheaded!
Interviewer: So. Two down, four to go! What was wrong with Catherine and Anne?