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Hello there.

Welcome to History here at Oak National Academy.

I'm Ms. Barnett and thank you for joining me for today.

Please use this moment to get yourself a pen or pencil and some paper to write on for today's lesson.

And we are going to begin our first lesson into an enquiry about Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Now, and our title for today then is Eleanor's Early Life.

So please write this down onto your piece of paper.

And this is going to be lesson one of an enquiry into what's the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

It can tell us about who held power in the Middle Ages.

So pause the video here to get your title down, or to get your pen and paper, if you need it.

And then once you're ready to start today's lesson un-pause the video, and we will begin.

Okay, now we're going to start off with this idea of power, and we're going to be thinking about what made people powerful in the Middle Ages so that we can understand why Eleanor of Aquitaine may challenge that idea.

To start off with then, I am going to set you a task and that is to spend one minute creating a list of powerful people from history.

Now, before we do that, we've got to think about what made people powerful and what does that mean.

Now, people are powerful perhaps because they have lots of money, because money can make people powerful.

People can also be powerful if they're in charge of a country or several countries.

They might also be powerful because their actions can help influence other ideas or other people's actions and beliefs as well.

So kind of start the task today then is to come up with a list of powerful people from history.

This doesn't need to be neat.

This can just be one really quick list.

And you're going to spend one minute on this.

Okay, now I'm going to start my, my timer here, and I'm going to do this along with you as well.

So if my head kind of, I'm going to pop my head out of shot so you're not distracted by me writing down.

So if we are ready to go, our one minute on our list starts now.

You're just over halfway through, you've got 30 seconds left.

So you use this time to get any other names down that you can remember.

Okay, that's our one minute, everyone.

That goes really quickly, doesn't it? We always forget how quickly a minute goes when you're being timed.

So I started mine on my Post It note here.

Hopefully you've got your list in front of you, too.

We are going to do some grouping together then, see what themes have come up in our lists.

Okay, so the first thing I would like you to look for in your lists is can you group together people who were in charge of a country? So I want you to pause the video here, just go through your list and put a star next to anyone who was in charge of a country.

Okay, how many did you get? Oh, okay.

So second common theme.

Again, you're going to pause the video and maybe in a different colour you're going to put a star next to those people on your list who inspired others with their ideas or actions.

So pause and add some stars.

Okay, welcome back.

How many have you got now? Okay, final thing we're going to look for then.

I want you to divide your list into men and women.

Okay, so I want you to see how many men are on your list and how many women are on your list.

So pause your video now and give yourself time to kind of just add them up quickly.

So how many men are on your list and how many women are on your list, and un-pause when you're done.

Okay, welcome back everyone.

So how many did you have on either side? I'm going to bet that most of you had more men than you had women.

And that's partly because I've also got more men than women on my list too.

But how many did you guys have? Now, I want you to have a think about why do you think most people have more men on their list of powerful people from history than women.

Have a quick think about that.

Okay, now generally it's because if you look back through history and how history has been reported, men tended to be the people who had power, who tended to kind of dominate society, and the way that kind of countries were governed.

If you think about this country, if you think about Britain in particular, we've had far more Kings than we've had Queens.

And so generally, if we think about powerful people from history, it tends to be men.

Now what we're going to be doing with this enquiry is, we're gonnao be challenging that idea a little bit.

And we're going to be looking at one woman in particular, and we're going to be looking at her life.

Are we going to be thinking about what we can from her life and how that challenged power at or during the time of the Middle Ages.

So let's get stuck in to looking at that in a bit more detail.

Now this woman is called Eleanor of Aquitaine, and she was born around 1124.

We've put a C in front of her birth date, 'cause we don't definitely know, but it's the most likely guess.

And she died in 1204.

Now one historian has called her an incomparable woman.

And what does that mean? If someone is incomparable, it means that nothing compares to them.

You can't say that she is like someone else because she is so different, she's so unique on her own that she stands out in her own right.

So already we're starting to get a bit of an idea about just how unique and stand out Eleanor of Aquitaine was.

Now our enquiry question then for the next, for the rest of this lesson, and for these four lessons is to examine her life and work out what it tells us about who held power in the Middle Ages.

So before we can do that, we've got to have a think about when were the Middle Ages, where does she fit into our kind of knowledge of history overall? So, here's our big timeline so far.

There are a couple of events on here that you might recognise hopefully today.

And, but also the other ones too.

And here is where Eleanor fits in.

So we spoke about on the previous slide that we think she's born in 1124 from our evidence that we have of her life.

This seems to be when it was most likely that she was born.

And this means that she was born in the Middle Ages, she's around in the Middle Ages.

And so hence our enquiry question, what does her life tell us about who held power in the Middle Ages? So before we move on, we're going to do a really quick check for knowledge so far.

Don't need your pens for this task because you're going to be saying the answers out loud.

Okay, now on this activity, we have got an either/or statement.

So you're going to tell me if the answer is either the Middle Ages or the Modern period, okay? So once I said the question, you're going to say the answer out loud, and then we're going to see if you've got it right.

So question number one is, I'm just going to make this bigger so everyone can see it.

Question number one.

Was Eleanor around in the Middle Ages or the Modern period? Say the answer out loud.

Okay, let's have a look.

The Middle Ages, well done everyone.

Our second question then.

Was Eleanor from Normandy or from Aquitaine? Say the answer out loud.

She was from Aquitaine.

Okay, great job everyone.

Did we all get two out of two? Good work.

Okay, so let's build on this idea even further.

Eleanor of where? She was Eleanor of Aquitaine.

I want you on the screens in front of you to point to, or put your finger on where Aquitaine is.

Okay, here it is.

So Eleanor was from this region.

This region is part of France.

We can see here on our maps that we've got a map of France, south of France in particular.

We can just see the south coast of England at the top of our maps, too.

And we've got an arrow pointing to Aquitaine here just to show us where about it is.

So Aquitaine was in France.

Now this was the most powerful province in Southern France.

What do we mean by province? It's kind of a name for an area.

And it was amongst all of the Southern provinces in France.

It was considered to be the most powerful.

So we already know that Eleanor is from Aquitaine, which is in France, and it was the most powerful province in Southern France.

Now let's work out why she becomes known as Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Now she inherits Aquitaine in 1137.

Aged 13.

What does inherit mean? Inherit means when you take possession or ownership of something when another person dies and it gets passed down to you.

In this case, it was her father who was the Duke of Aquitaine, and he died.

And when he died, she was his eldest child.

And as his eldest child, she inherited, took possession of his lands.

So aged 13, she became the Duchess of Aquitaine.

And it's an interesting scenario because it means that she is a very young female leader of the most powerful province in Southern France.

Okay, someone very, very young.

You have siblings who are 13.

Imagine them being in charge of a big geographical area that was the most powerful area in Southern France at this time.

Okay, now, before we move on then, we're going to do another checking of our key knowledge because there are four key pieces of information we need to make sure we know before we move on.

Now whereas the last activity was an either/or activity, this time there are four potential answers.

So you've got to pick the right answer from these four.

So again, I'm going to read the question and then you're going to say the answer out loud.

I'm going to see if we've got it right together.

So question number one.

Eleanor lived during which time period? Answers out loud.

The Middle Ages.

Well done everyone.

Okay, question number two.

Where was Elenanor from? What province was she from? Answers out loud.


Well done everyone, great job.

Next question.

Which country was Aquitaine in? Answers out loud.

France, everyone.

Excellent job.

Final question.

How old was Eleanor when she became Duchess of Aquitaine? Answers out loud.

13, great job.

Four out of four.

Really well done everyone.

Okay, so.

Let's track then to see what happens in her early life.

This is the whole focus of today's lesson, to find out what happens in her early life.

Now on this map, she is, you have to imagine and visualise slightly.

She is the blue dot.

Okay, so we're going to have a quick narrative of her early life before I set you some reading to do, which is going to flesh out this story in more detail.

So here she is, blue dot, in 1137, where she's just become Duchess of Aquitaine.

She has inherited it from her father.

Now we're going to move on slightly.

We're still in 1137, but now she has moved to Paris.

The reason for her move to Paris is because she's got married, and she's become married to a young man called Louis.

And that young man called Louis ends up becoming the King of France.

So he becomes King Louis VII of France.

Now that means that Eleanor has become Queen of France.

So alongside being the Duchess of Aquitaine, she's also now the Queen of France.

So very quick transformation all in one year.

Okay, so big, big life developments for Eleanor.

Now let's see where she's going next.

Oh, she's over here now.

So she's in Constantinople.

Now the reason she's in Constantinople and so far away from France in 1147 is because her and her husband King Louis VII go on crusade.

The second crusade to be specific.

And a crusade is a journey that was made by people in Europe who were travelling to the Holy Land to recover it from it's captured by Muslim armies.

And so Louis as King of France, he decides to go on crusade and to help the Christian armies recapture some of the key cities in the Holy Land, and the Holy Land down here, if my mouse will work, Holy Land down here is this blue section over here.

Now what's really interesting is that we see Eleanor here, too.

Eleanor decides to accompany her husband on crusade.

This was quite unusual for a Queen to do this.

It wasn't unusual for women necessarily, but it would have been quite unusual for a Queen to go.

And teaches us a bit about kind of Eleanor's attitude towards things.

She wanted to go on this long, quite dangerous journey with her husband.

So here she is in Constantinople.

The following year, when we track carefully the sources, she's now in the Holy Land with Louis.

So they've managed to make it there.

Now, unfortunately, this trip on the crusade was to prove quite disastrous for Eleanor and Louis' marriage, which we're going to be looking at in a bit more detail through our reading.

And we get a bit of a hint of this, where when we jump pond in 1152, we see that she's back in France.

But interestingly, she's back in Aquitaine, she's not back in Paris where she lived with King Louis.

So we can obviously see that there has been some kind of development here that means that she's not with him.

Now, this narrative then, we are going to spend some time fleshing out with some reading.

And you are going to in a second, pause the video and you are going to read through the worksheet that accompanies this lesson.

And you're going to answer these five questions.

These five questions should be answered in full sentences.

What do we mean by a full sentence? Full sentence is where you use the words from the question in your answer.

So for example, with question one, which is, when did Eleanor take control of Aquitaine? A really fantastic answer would start, Eleanor took control of Aquitaine in, and then the answer.

So try and make sure that your answers include the words from the question in it.

For question two, I want to know why many men wanted to marry Eleanor.

For three, why was Eleanor's marriage to Louis seen as a good one? For four, I want to know what problems the royal couple had whilst they were on crusade.

And then finally, why did Louie and Eleanor's marriage come to an end in 1152? So you are going to pause the video here, read the worksheet, answer those five questions, which are also on the worksheet, using full sentences, and then when you're done un-pause this video, and we're going to go through some answers.

Okay, everyone, welcome back.

So let's have a look through some of the answers to those five questions you've just been working really hard on.

Now, what's really important at this stage is that you know that my answers might be worded differently to your answers.

Okay, because we are different people.

We're not going to word everything exactly the same.

So what's really important is you just check you've got the key details rather than them be worded exactly the same, okay? On my slides as well I've also done what's called an acceptable answer, which is where it's just the answer, and a good answer, which is where you can use a full sentence.

Okay, and we're all aiming for the good answers.

So for question one, when did Eleanor take control of Aquitaine? The good answer is Eleanor took control of Aquitaine in 1137.

For a bit more detail, she became the Duchess of Aquitaine.

Pause here if you need a bit longer just to check your answer.

If you've got a big tick here, we're going to move on and look at question two.

Okay, question two.

Why did many men want to marry Eleanor? So let's go straight to our good answer, 'cause I am very positive we've all got good answers.

Many men wanted to marry Eleanor for two main reasons.

Firstly, as Duchess of Aquitaine she was in charge of the largest and richest kingdom or province in France.

Secondly, she was good looking and intelligent.

This made her a desirable bride in Europe in the Middle Ages, and a desirable bride is someone that everyone wants to marry.

So pause the video here if you need to just check your answers or add anything to them.

If you're happy with your answer, we're going to go on to question three.

Okay, question three.

Why was Eleanor's marriage to Louis seen as a good one? Straight into our good answers then, which we're checking for our full sentences.

The marriage to Louis was seen as a good one because he would protect her rights to Aquitaine, whilst he also gained some control over a rich area of France.

Also as the couple were young, there was the potential for lots of heirs to their combined lands.

So just to explain this in a bit more detail in case there's any confusion, it was seen as a positive marriage because they both got something out to it.

So Eleanor was able to keep control of her lands in Aquitaine whilst at the same time being married to someone who's very powerful, and Louis was able to gain control over the most powerful province in Southern France, while still say marrying someone who was good looking and very intelligent.

So everyone was happy.

Okay, so you are going to pause the video here if you need a bit longer to go through these answers.

Following that, we're going to look at question four together.

For question four, what problems did the royal couple have whilst on crusade? So straight to the good answer.

The royal couple had a few problems whilst on crusade.

They didn't see each other much, and their differences grew.

Eleanor also disagreed with Louis a lot, and this was seen publicly with the argument over travelling to Jerusalem.

So again, pause here if you need to add anything to your answers.

If you're happy with your answer, if you've given yourself a big tick, you can go look at the last question.

Question number five.

Why did Louis and Eleanor's marriage come to an end in 1152? So good answer here is their marriage came to an end because they both wanted it to.

Louis needed a son and Eleanor was very unhappy, and the Pope agreed to the annulment in 1152.

So their marriage then ends in 1152.

The Pope is the only person who can grant the annulment, and he does.

And so from this point forth, Louis and Eleanor are no longer married, which is why when we were looking at our maps earlier in the lesson where we saw Eleanor with the blue dot, in 1152 she's back in Aquitaine.

She's no longer at the royal court with Louis.

Okay, so I'm guessing we've gone through answers.

We've got five really big ticks and we've definitely gone through and checked.

We've got all of the detail, and to make sure that we have got all of the detail, we went to a very quick knowledge check.

Okay, so.

Let's look and see how much we can remember.

So you've got six questions now.

It's getting more and more difficult each time.

Again, though, we're going to be saying these out loud.

You don't need to write anything down.

Question number one.

Eleanor lived during which time period? Answer out loud.

The Middle Ages.

Well done everyone.

The second question.

Which province did she inherit? Answers out loud.


Excellent job.

Okay, third question.

Where was Aquitaine? Answers out loud.

France, well done.

I think we're all on a 100% so far, everyone.

Three out of three.

So you got three more to go.

Next question.

How old was she when she inherited Aquitaine? Answers out loud.

13, good job everyone.

Right, two new questions.

And who was Eleanor's first husband? Answers out loud.

Louis, great work.

Final question.

What happened to Eleanor's marriage to Louis? Last answer out loud.

It was a annulled.

Indeed it was.

Okay then.

So let's pull this information back to our enquiry.

So our enquiry is about what can Eleanor's life tell us about who held power in the Middle Ages? And at the beginning of our lesson, we were looking at how power and powerful men in history are the ones who kind of dominate it.

We tend to associate power with men.

And our purpose of our enquiry is to think about how we can challenge that by looking at Eleanor's life.

And we've already started that by looking at her early life and by looking at how she wasn't a conventional Queen with her first marriage to Louis, and how she did perhaps do things that other queens wouldn't have done.

And she starts to challenge some of the power of her husband.

So what we're going to do is we are going to use this information in our writing activity to finish off today's lesson.

So we're going to need that pen and paper back in front of us.

So what we're going to do is we are going to answer the question that's in bold at the top.

What does Eleanor's early life tell us about who held power in the Middle Ages? And I've given you two sentences to start us off.

So in the Middle Ages, power was traditionally held by men.

And however, Eleanor of Aquitaine's early life shows she was prepared to challenge this idea.

So I've given you your two kind of first sentences.

So what I would like you to do is pause the video here and copy these two sentences onto your pieces of paper.

Un-pause when you're finished.

Okay, so now we've got those in.

What we're going to do is we're going to add some examples to prove the statement we've just said.

We've just said Eleanor's early life shows she was prepared to challenge power.

So you will see that we've now got three sentences that I haven't quite finished, and that's because you are going to finish them for me.

So for the first sentence where it says "For example," you're going to add in an example.

So you're going to put at the end of that sentence an example of where Eleanor challenged the idea that power was held by men.

And then for the next sentence where it says "She also," you're going to add in another example.

Okay, so for now we're just doing those first two sentences.

So in a second, pause the video, you're going to copy out "For example," and you're going to add an example of how Eleanor challenged power, and once you've done that, you're going to write out "She also," and you're going to add in another example.

Okay, so pause the video here and get those two sentences done, and un-pause when you're finished.

Okay, welcome back everyone.

So we're going to wrap it all up with this final sentence, which is where we're going to kind of link it back.

Okay, this is possibly one of the most tricky bits to do.

So we're going to write out, "This shows she challenged the idea of power being held just by men in the Middle Ages because." So I want you to think about from the two examples that you've just chosen, why does that show you that she was challenging the idea of power just being held by men? Okay, so this sentence is really, really tricky.

So what I would like you to is just pause and have a go at that sentence.

If you are really stuck in a second, we're going to pop up some potential answers you could have so that we're not kind of struggling and sitting there feeling a bit confused about things.

Okay, so you pause to have a go, but if you're a bit stuck, we are going to go on and have a look at some potential answers.

Okay, so here's mine.

Again, I want you to think about how my wording will be different from your wording.

Okay, so for my first example, I went with, she insisted she went on crusade with her husband.

You remember that wasn't very common.

For the second example, I put that how she publicly disagreed with her first husband.

So these are two examples that I think shows Eleanor challenging the idea of men being in control, of men having all the power.

And then for my final sentence, the most tricky sentence, I'm sure we all had to go out.

I've said why I think that challenged him.

So I've said this shows she challenged the idea of power being held just by men in the Middle Ages because she openly challenged powerful leaders and was prepared to get the things she wanted.

Okay, so I've tried to link it back.

I've tried to explain why these examples show that she was able to challenge power.

That last sentence is really tricky.

So really, really well done everyone if you have had a go at that final sentence.

Please pause here if you want to kind of go over anything or add or amend anything to your answer, but if we are all done, then we are at the end of today's lesson, everyone.

I'm just going to leave this slide here for a second.

Okay, so really well done on your first lesson in this enquiry.

There's lots of new concepts.

Hopefully you now like Eleanor as much as I do.

I think she's a great woman to study in history.

I think she's fantastic for challenging this idea of men being in control.

And we're only at the beginning part of her life.

Where we're leaving her here in 1152, she's only 28.

So we've still got loads of notes to look at.

Hence why we've still got three more lessons, which we're going to come back and do.

If you would like to share your work with us so that I can have a look at it, then please pause here.

If you'd like to, please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak so I can have a look at it.

But excellent work everyone.

And I look forward to seeing you back here again soon for lesson two of our enquiry.