Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by: Leeds Museums and Galleries.

This resource was adapted from Celebrating Leeds by Kate Vigurs and Jayne Ambrose, History’s Maid and with support from West Yorkshire Archive Service.


A Global View:

During this period, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain and 'discovered' America (1492), paving the way for a 'Great Exchange' of animals, plants and disease between both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the fall of the Aztec and Incan Empires (1521 and 1533). These were replaced by nearly three centuries of European rule in America, which in turn helped bring about the slave trade: the brutal capture and transportation of millions of Africans to the Americas, where they undertook gruelling forced labour.


Curriculum Links

  • KS2 and KS3 History
  • KS2 English
  • KS2 Citizenship
  • KS2 and KS3 Design technology

Activity Ideas

  • What is a ‘Mortise and Tenon joint’? Can you draw one or find some images of buildings with mortise and tenon joints?
  • Try Being A Town Crier:
    Before Leeds’ first newspaper in 1718, people learnt about news and events through the Town Crier. You can find our more about Town Criers here: Some towns still have them!
  • Imagine you were the town crier living in Leeds at the time John Harrison died. Compose your announcement to the Town, telling people about John’s death and asking them to remember his good deeds.
  • You could start with 'oyez, oyez, oyez...' (which sounds like 'oh yea, oh yea, oh yea...')
  • Use the information in the Inventory of John Pawson (see Resources) to help discover about his lifestyle.
    - How did he earn a living?
    - Where did he work?
    - Where did he eat?
    - Where did he sleep?
    - How did he heat his house?
    - What animals did he keep and why?
    - How did he travel from town to town?
    - What did he own that was valuable?
    - How was his life similar to the life of Henry VIII?
    - What might the biggest differences be between the lives of Henry VIII and John Pawson?
  • Use the inventory to compare the difference between life in the 16th century and now.
    - Try making your own inventory of a room in your house using the Inventory Sheet: Present Day
    - What do you consider to be valuable from your own inventory? What are the different meanings of ‘valuable’?
  • Have a go at the Investigating Language Change activity sheet (see Resources) to find out more about how the English language has changed over time.
  • Have a look at the original and reproduced first maps of Leeds (see Resources). Find the following mills:
    - The Queens Mill
    - Falkingham's Mill
    - Mr Bailes' Mill
    - Scott Mill
    What’s important about where all of these mills are found on the map?
    Where are most of the houses found? Why is this?
    Make a copy of the map and colour in green all of the fields or land that has not been built on. What do you notice about the map now?
    What differences do you expect to find between this map and a modern map of Leeds?
    Test your predictions! Compare this map with a modern map of Leeds and see how much has changed. What has changed?

Discussion Ideas

  • Why is looking at baptisms, weddings and burials a good way to follow how a population grows?
  • Why did people who made more money by selling goods have to pay more tax?
  • What does the increase in tax paid between 1543 and 1583 tell us about how much money people were making?
  • Why do you think John Harrison wanted to become Mayor of Leeds?
  • Were the Tudors really that terrible?