In Search of the Real King Arthur

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11661

We are swamped with information on a daily, nay hourly, basis. How do we know what's true? Do we just accept what we hear? Track down King Arthur and learn how to think critically and analyze sources!



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You may have heard the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, Queen Guinevere and Lancelot, Merlin the Magician, Mordred, Excalibur, and the Lady of the Lake. If not, you've certainly read stories or seen movies that were influenced by the King Arthur stories.

  • How many of those legends are true?
  • How much can we believe what the books of the ages tell us?

The Arthurian Legends — the famous stories about King Arthur and his many adventures — are incredibly famous and influential.

There have been countless books and movies made about Arthur and his times, and many countless more were influenced by the Arthur stories. The Lord of the Rings series and Harry Potter are both famous modern examples. The stories of Arthur took a long time to develop, however, and, in fact, Arthur may have not even been a king — or even a real person — at all!

You may have never heard the story of King Arthur, or perhaps it's been a long time. Let's take a look at a video to learn more about the story of this great legendary leader. As you watch, write down information to answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper:

  • Who was Arthur?
  • When did Arthur live?
  • Who were at least four of the people around him?
  • What is Arthur most known for?
  • What questions do scholars have about Arthur?

Now, watch the video, The Search for King Arthur – National Geographic (below). Then, share your findings with your parent or teacher and discuss the following questions:

  • What makes the King Arthur story so fascinating to so many people?
  • What reasons do scholars have to question this great story?
  • How can we solve the mystery and find out if King Arthur was real or not?

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You have examined the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. In the Got It? section, you will take on some of the serious historical work needed to solve this mystery and get to the truth: Was there an Arthur or not?

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