Here's a challenge for older children this Bonfire Night! Can they use our gunpowder acrostic poem printable to retell the story of the Gunpowder plot?
Lots NEW! Learn a little about Guy Fawkes and enjoy our colouring pages, worksheets, writing paper and other activities. Children can even learn to draw Guy Fawkes, and try making their own "Guy" for the bonfire!
Why do we learn about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot?
In England, in 1605 during the reign of James I, an act of treason was planned that could have changed the course of our history. At the last moment, the Gunpowder Plot was foiled, and now we commemorate the traitors - and in particular, the scapegoat Guy Fawkes - every year with Bonfire Night!
Who was Guy Fawkes?
Guy Fawkes (1570 to 1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, was one of a group of Catholic plotters who planned, but failed, to blow up Parliament - now known as the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
What was the Gunpowder Plot?
At the time, King James I was on the throne. England had broken away from the Catholic faith and the Church of Rome in Henry VIII's reign (by 1536), but there were still many Catholics in the country. Guy Fawkes joined up with a group of thirteen Catholic plotters, led by Robert Catesby, who planned to overthrow the King and put a Catholic monarch back on the throne.
The plotters rented space in the cellars of the House of Lords and filled it with gunpowder. Guy Fawkes was put in charge. They planned to set of the gunpowder during the opening of Parliament, on 5th November 1605. One or more of the plotters, however, were worried that some of their fellow Catholics and friends would be at the opening and get caught in the explosion, and must have written to warn them not to be there that day. We know that a certain Lord Monteagle received a letter warning him to go to the country because Paliament would "receive a terrible blow". Lord Monteagle showed the letter to the King, and the cellars were thoroughly searched and Guy Fawkes caught.
After several days of horrible torture, Guy Fawkes gave up the names of his fellow plotters and eight of them went to trial in January 1606. All were found guilty and executed in the terrible fashion of the times.
On 5th November 1605 Londoners were encouraged to celebrate the King's escape from assassination by lighting bonfires, provided that "this testemonye of joy be carefull done without any danger or disorder" - and indeed an Act of Parliament soon followed, declaring 5th November as a day of thanksgiving throughout the country for "the joyful day of deliverance".
When we celebrate Bonfire Night now, it seems very far removed from the events of four hundred years ago! For centuries since then, communities have come together to build a big bonfire and make an effigy - a model - of Guy Fawkes using old clothes stuffed with newspaper, to burn on the bonfire (see Penny for the Guy).
Fun fact: When you use the word "guy" in your sentences, have you thought where it comes from? The "guy" tradition of Bonfire Night gradually found it's way into our language, and by the 19th century the word "guy" was used to refer to a strangely dressed man. From there it was adopted into American English to refer to any man, and is of course still commonly used today!
How many smaller words can the kids make out of the letters in The Gunpowder Plot? Printable puzzling fun for Bonfire Night! Click the link below for the printable.
Can you help Guy Fawkes find his way through the maze to light the gunpowder? Remember in real life he didn't actually manage to do it! Click the link below for the printable.
Use our Guy Fawkes acrostic poem to write a poem inspired by the gunpowder plot, or use as a frame for other writing or drawing activities. We have four versions to chose from.
Here's a fun, simple colouring page of Guy Fawkes, notorious for the Gunpowder Plot of the 17th Century. Click the link below for our printable version.
Join the dots and follow the simple outline on our Guy Fawkes hat dot to dot for a fun Bonfire Night activity. Children can colour the picture afterwards.
Here's a really simple Guy Fawkes hat lacing card for Bonfire Night. Print on to card, cut out and laminate and punch holes around the edge before letting children loose with some brightly coloured yarn to lace through the holes.
Two styles of printable notebooking pages to use in your Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night writing projects. Click one of the links below for our printable versions.
Here's a fun activity for children learning about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot. This Guy Fawkes playdough mat asks children to make a playdough barrel of gunpowder, ready to be lit.
Just for fun, here's a printable poster of Guy Fawkes - great for learning all about the real happenings behind Bonfire Night. Of course Guy Fawkes never actually lit the gunpowder! The poster also makes a great front cover for a project on Guy Fawkes or the Gunpowder Plot.
Perfect for writing what you've learned about Guy Fawkes and Bonfire Night, our story paper is available in two versions, one with lines and one with handwriting lines. Click the links below for our printable versions.
Just for fun, here's a template of Guy Fawkes, wearing the hat and short cape that he is so often depicted as wearing! Cut him out of black paper and display him with our bonfire and fireworks templates for 5th November!
Can you find all the words in this Guy Fawkes word search puzzle - perfect for Bonfire Night in the classroom! Click the link below for the printable.
Kids will need to do a little research to answer the questions on this worksheet about Guy Fawkes. Learn all about the events behind Bonfire Night! Click the links below for our printable versions - choose between colour and black and white.
Perfect for projects on Guy Fawkes, the Gunpowder Plot and Bonfire Night, this writing page comes in colour or black and white versions. Click the links below for our printable versions.
Just for fun, follow along with our step by step tutorial and learn to draw Guy Fawkes for Bonfire Night! Click the link below for our printable version.
Remember, Remember is a folk song or nursery rhyme about 5th November, recalling Guy Fawkes and the other plotters against the King. We have printed the first verse on this copywork worksheet, which comes either with handwriting or standing lines.