History vs. Henry VIII

This History vs. Henry VIII video also includes:

How does Henry VIII hold up in the court of public opinion? An interesting animation takes Henry to court and lets a prosecutor and a defense attorney have at it. In the course of the lively courtroom drama, learners hear about the key choices and actions for which we remember Henry today.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Ask scholars to nominate any key events of Henry’s reign that they feel should have been included, developing a speech to the judge in which they explain why the court should hear additional evidence
  • In groups, have students re-watch the video, draw up a list of the points that are argued in the case, and for each point, identify which attorney they think argued better and explain why they think as they do
Classroom Considerations

  • Prepare students by explaining any sixteenth-century cultural norms required for understanding Henry’s choices
  • For full understanding, be sure individuals know the names of the key figures who interacted with Henry in important ways

  • Provides a quick review of the key issues of Henry’s reign by doing more than simply listing them
  • Highlights the power of using words to spin interpretation of events

  • None