An Introductory Unit for Year Seven. Focussing on Continuity, Change and Chronological Awareness this 4 lesson long unit bridges KS2 and 3 content. By referencing back to 1000AD it draws on prior learning or provides some context from which pupils can develop an understanding of the events of 1066.

This pack contains:

  • A PowerPoint providing an overview of the unit and interactivities
  • Knowledge Organiser: Before and After the Norman Conquest
  • Sequencing Tasks and a Heads and Tails exercise on Continuity and Change
  • Literacy in History Task


An Introductory Unit for Year Seven. Focussing on Continuity, Change and Chronological Awareness this 4 lessons long unit bridge from KS2 to KS3 content. By referencing back to 1000AD it draws on prior learning or provides some context from which pupils can develop an understanding of the events of 1066. See the overview of the lessons below.

1066: The Norman Conquest. What evidence is there of Continuity and Change?

Lesson One:

TASK: Think back to your study of the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. What can you remember? Brainstorm it and make a list in pairs.

Use the PowerPoint within the resource pack to introduce the Eleventh Century. Slide 2 provides a simple introduction to the period. Ask pupils to make predictions as to what changes might occur because of these types of event.

TASK: Sequencing activity. Use the sequencing cards resource to place events from the Eleventh Century into Chronological order. These events are built into Slide 3 of the PowerPoint as images so if the slide is viewed in edit mode, they can be moved around quite easily by either the teacher or chosen pupils.

Slides 4-11 provide a focus for discussion. They are simple true or false questions in which the class can make judgements based on either prior learning, the sequencing activity, or as a prediction. The answers and feedback screens begin to build in use of terminology such as continuity and change.

Slide 12 acts as a recap of the chronology. This can be the focal point for a short verbal plenary, or pupils could be asked to note things that they have learnt in the lesson or identify a change and a continuity in the Eleventh Century.

For other ideas on teaching Chronology see: Chronology: Making it stick

For Source Material see: The Saxons Primary Sources or, The Vikings Primary Sources.

Lesson Two:

Lesson Two builds on the concept of change. It recaps the main issues covered in Lesson One in the introductory slide (13). This can be used as the basis of a Q&A starter activity.

TASK: Use the Matching Exercise from the Resource Pack and/ or Slide 14 from the PowerPoint.

The Matching exercise is relatively straightforward. 5 of the cards provide brief statements about an issue in the year 1000AD and again for the same issue in 1100AD. Example:

  • In 1000AD the English paid Danegeld. This was a tribute payment to Vikings to stop them raiding.
  • In 1100AD the Anglo-Normans did not need to pay any tributes to Vikings.

There are five further cards that explain the continuities or changes in each area. For example, for the Danegeld example:

  • Tribute payments stopped during the 11th This is an example of change.
  • They stopped because the Normans were able to limit the damage done by Viking raiders. As a result, the number of raids fell, though they did not end.

Pupils match the explanations to the issues. This can be done as a card sort or via the edit mode of the presentation in which the explanations can be dragged.


Slide 15 provides a graphical example of how the scale of changes can be represented. It uses a bar chart to make suggestions as to how big a change there was in 4 key areas. Pupils can be asked to make a judgement before each part of the chart appears (on click). They can also be asked if they agree or disagree with the judgement of the chart, giving reasons why.

Lesson Three


Lesson Three builds on pupils understanding of the key terminology. The main section of the lesson is based on checking their comprehension of historical literacy and the chronology of the period. This is done using the Normanisation resource from the pack. (See Slide 16 of the PowerPoint).


The following activity checks understanding and can be used as a whole class plenary or individual task. It is a ripple flow chart. It starts with an example of Laws changing and the way in which this is different (changed) at several levels. Pupils use the Normanisation resource and prior learning to complete the rest of the ripple flow chart. (See Slide 17 of the PowerPoint). If possible save any annotations as the same Slide is referred to in Lesson Four.

Lesson Four

Starting on Slide 18 Lesson Four makes use of the Before and After the Norman Conquest Knowledge Organiser from the resource pack.

Discuss with the class what ‘immediate’ and ‘gradual’ mean. Ask the pupils if they can think of any modern-day examples of immediate and gradual changes. For example, Covid19 Lockdown was an immediate change.


Read the Knowledge Organiser. This can be done section by section with questioning to check pupils understanding.

Use the information from the Knowledge Organiser on Before and After the Norman Conquest to revisit the ripple flow chart used at the end of the last lesson (it is reproduced as Slide 19 but a saved version would be useful).


Focus Questions. These could be set as written tasks or used as a group discussion. They are on Slide 20 of the PowerPoint and are designed to get the class thinking about the scale of changes along with identifying which groups of society would be affected the most by these changes. This is important as it makes them realise that different groups of society are affected by political, economic and military issues in different ways. That is a good basis for future learning about the development of medieval society, feudalism and the reasons why Kings and Lords went to war.


Slide 21 is a three-way Venn diagram. It uses Anglo-Saxon, Danish and Norman as the starting points. There are cross over opportunities for any combination of only one, any given two or all three. The slide provides a number of things that pupils can allocate to the correct part of the diagram. From their learning in this unit they ought to be able to add several more.


What do the outcomes of the diagram tell us about continuity and change during the Eleventh Century?

Further Resources

Using Evidence and Working Like a Multidisciplinary Historical Team: An Introduction for Year Seven