Bayeux Tapestry Homeschool Lesson

Bayeux Tapestry Homeschool Lesson

This Bayeux Tapestry homeschool lesson contains recommended resources, hands on activities and an excellent online tapestry generator. Enjoy!

We studied the Battle of 1066 using the Bayeux Tapestry as our starting point.  I knew the children had a good grasp of the battle as we had been to see a re enactment on the hill the original battle was fought on.  This meant, I didn’t feel much teaching was required. 

Battle reenactment

And they were absolutely ready for anything I brought their way 😂

My three soldiers

What is the Bayeux Tapestry?

The tapestry is a long ( 70meters) and narrow (50cm) cloth. It retells the events prior to the Battle of Hastings in 1066 using embroidery. This tapestry, which dates to around the 11th century, tells the story from the perspective of the Normans. Consisting of 58 scenes, it is more embroidered that tapestry irregardless of its name!

a sample of the tapestry

The Bayeux as Primary Evidence

As part of this Bayeux Tapestry homeschool lesson, I wanted to remind the children what primary and secondary evidence was. They were immediately able to tell me that the tapestry was primary evidence. We discussed that though it was primary evidence it was also bias. They knew the Normans themselves had created it to celebrate their victory over the English. It therefore contained the conquest from the Normans’ perspective. However, it is important to note that Harold is shown in a good light and his soldiers are never belittled.

The Story of a Conquest

We had a fabulous book, The Story of a Conquest, as a starting point. This book is perfect and so interesting for young children. I highly recommend it:

The Bayeux tapestry

This book is in the form of a cartoon strip. It is a retelling of the Bayeux Tapestry from the point of view of one of William’s servants. And it is perfect for a Bayeux Tapestry homeschool lesson.

Hands-on Activities for Learning About the Bayeux Tapestry

We made full use of this website which is incredible! Seriously. Go over right now! You’re welcome.

First, the children worked their way through each of the pages on the contents page of the website above, after which they visited the activities page.   They played the Bayeux Tapestry Board game:

Bayeux Tapestry Homeschool Lesson

I also downloaded and printed this exercise in matching the scenes with a precise description of the scene, which they then had to put into the correct order:

Bayeux Tapestry
Girl doing an activity
Bayeux Tapestry Homeschool Lesson

And the finished product:

Completed Bayeux tapestry

Further Resources

This website is a great fun option to recreate the Bayeux Tapestry and also add a bit of humour by adding your own captions:

Make your own tapestry

I had a couple of DVD’s which covered 1066 and the Bayeux Tapestry which they watched and narrated to me afterwards:

DSC_1193

Last week (when we did this study) my baby was crying almost constantly. This meant that the children didn’t complete all the activities. For example I had asked the children to choose a simple picture to replicate from the tapestry and I had our embroidery rings, material and thread all ready.  It was not to be.  I am thankful that we will be revisiting at some point and embroidery is a great thing to do during a fun revisiting week!

10 comments

  1. So jealous you got to see a reenactment. I’m discovering as I go through 20th century, that while I enjoy this period of history, there is so much of it that effects current times that they are not old enough to discuss yet. I’m lookign forward to going back to ancients.

    1. I wouldn’t be too jealous – it was pouring with rain and the whole site was basically a mud bath. That said, you know you’re watching something worthwhile when your children, wet, tired and very cold, are totally spellbound and watch the entire thing without complaint. Well okay, I s’pose you can be jealous!!!

  2. Awesome! We had a lot of fun learning about the Bayeux Tapestry last year. The Reading Museum has a full size replicate Victorian copy of it, if you’re near the area. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the wonderful resources that you use with your children. I love reading about how learning takes place in your home!

  3. We haven’t gotten into this time period of history. I really like the way you coordinated this lesson by centering it around the tapestry.

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