History KS3: To what extent was life changing in Elizabethan England?

Ian Mortimer's journey starts at the heart of the country in Stratford upon Avon, where the arrival of the humble chimney and mass produced bricks revolutionised house building.

It also made comfortable townhouses affordable for the Elizabethan middle classes.

This was just as well because the country’s population was increasing rapidly.

Ian discovers that revolutionary change is not confined to house building; printing led to a big increase in literacy levels, while the invention of gunpowder and the compass enabled the Elizabethans to embark on great voyages of exploration.

The most famous adventurers included Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh, who brought back untold riches and new plants and animals, which had a profound effect on everyday life in sixteenth century.

This short film is from the BBC series, Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could consider the extent to which each change described in the film is revolutionary; judging each one against a set of given criteria, or against their own criteria.

Pupils could also explore the life of Sir Francis Drake and weigh up whether he was a hero or villain.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at Key Stage 3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and at Level 3 in Scotland.

More from Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England:

What was life like in the court of Elizabeth I?
What was life like for the rural poor in Elizabethan England?
What was life like for the poor in the towns of Elizabethan England?
Who were the rich in Elizabethan England?
Why was London the centre of the Elizabethan world?