World Cup Football – lesson plan & other ideas

With the World Cup and upon us, I thought it may be a good time to promote an excellent activity designed by Ian Dawson. 

Kings of Football is a research task that is quite adaptable. In Ian’s example, here, it covers medieval monarchs from from Harold II through to Edward VI.


The activity is quite straight forward. The Kings have been arranged into two football teams. Tasks can be based on ‘Football Type’ questions that relate to the history of the ‘players’ or teams – plenty of examples of which are given in Ian’s write up of the activity.

It’s a great way of providing an overview of a period or theme – in this case KS3, Medieval Monarchs, and could be a fun and engaging way of summing up or revising a topic. Ian also suggests a history based all time England XI: which is an area that could be debated a bit,

Ian’s activity can be found here.

World Cup adaptations?

Of course! There is scope to roll out the National XI idea to other nations. The host nation of the World Cup is a great country to start with – strong on the Left wing, unlike those in Ian’s example. A thematic approach could demonstrate the impact of world wide issues and trends. Colonialism can be identified through the make up of numerous squads (France, for example). The lasting impact of Slavery is quite evident in the composition of some teams (Brazil, for example). Migration in general can be seen in some squads (Australia).

This type of research and overview activity lends itself to use of mobile technologies and appropriate apps for learning about history. Differentiation can be done through task as well as outcome.

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