"An excellent, exciting workshop that fitted the objectives of the 2014 curriculum topic of  ‘Roman Britain’ perfectly. "

y4 teacher, Liverpool


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Roman britain 2014 national curriculum

scheme of work: lesson 3 - Invasion!

Resources for this lesson (click to download): 

Note that if you choose the letter task this task is repeated in a later lesson on Hadrian's wall.

Relevance to Roman section of 2014 National Curriculum for History:

Julius Caesar’s attempted invasion in 55-54 BC / the Roman Empire by AD 42 and the power of its army

Also extends to cover the tribes of Britain at the start of the invasion

Pupils will learn ..

About the different tribes that populated Britain before the invasion

About Julius Caesar’s failed invasion of 52-53BC

About Claudius’ successful invasion of 43AD

Lesson notes:

This Roman Britain lesson  plan could easily be extended into two lessons as there are two activities.  

Main lesson activity:

sequencing the invasion

Read through the ‘sequence of invasion events.pdf’ as a class and discuss the events as an intro to one of the following suggested activities:

Drama task:  split pupils into groups and assign an event or two to each group to act out.  Let them act it out, ending with a ‘freeze frame’ that sums up the event.

Writing task: Ask pupils to plan and write a diary entry from the perspective of one of the men involved (a British tribe leader is a good choice for this).


Perform dramas or read out writing.

Possible extensions and other activities:

This Roman Britain lesson plan could be easily supplemented by pupils conducting more research on the invasion events.

Lesson introduction: Britain at the time of the invasion and/or Tribes map jigsaw

Display the coloured map on the whiteboard from the British tribes map.pdf and discuss the lack of one ruler and how each tribe had their own King or tribal chief.


(OPTIONAL JIGSAW ACTIVITY AS FOLLOWS) Blow up the black and white version of the british tribes pdf.  Ask pupils to carefully cut it up to make a jigsaw then put it back together again.

Move on to answering the following questions as a group:

1) Which single tribe controlled the largest area of the country? (Brigantes)

2) Which tribe was the closest to the later site of Hadrian’s wall? (Carvetti)

3) Which two tribes bordered the river Thames where it entered the sea? (Trinovantes, Canti)

4) Which tribe held the smallest area of the country? (Deceangli)

5) It is thought by some historians that King Verica of the Atrabates went to ask Rome for help to fight the neighbouring tribes, which led to Claudius’ invasion in 43AD.  Look at the location of his territory and answer why you think he might have wanted help? (i.e. he was surrounded on all sides).


Follow up by asking pupils to ask their own questions for other groups.

British tribes map sequence of invasion events roman soldier letter planner