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Enquiry into the Middle Ages

Discussion in 'History' started by roamingteacher, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Hi folks,

    I work in a school (with over 60 nationalities) and would like to diversify our (currently completely England-focused) Grade 7 / Year 8 Medieval unit. (We are not bound by the UK curriculum.)

    My idea is to provide a selection of starting points (from around the world), and have students choose in pairs or small groups an area they'd like to explore.

    -Aztec, Maya, Inca
    -Empire of Islam
    -Africa Empires
    -Medieval China Dynasties
    -Empires of Islam
    -Feudal or Medieval Japan
    -Feudal / Medieval Europe

    I would use one example as an anchor piece (and perhaps have struggling students complete that with more support from me) and focus on teaching transferable skills through an enquiry project, rather than everyone studying the same content. I would provide informational articles, books and digital resources for students to explore (as all students have a laptop). There would be common assessments looking at the application of skills. Part of the project would be for them to find at least 2 links to another team's project, so they start to build up a concept of how developments were interrelated.

    I've done this kind of independent learning before with GREAT success but in my previous role as an English (rather than History) teacher. I learned as much from the students as they did from each other.

    Can you see any major pitfalls or caveats? Any further ideas for topics?

    Suggestions and tips much appreciated!
  2. keet1922

    keet1922 New commenter

    Why don't you use the Silk Road as a starting point? It's slightly narrower than what you have suggested but provides a good anchor and theme for your unit. Peter Frankopan also has a brilliant book aimed at this age group to develop understanding of culture, trade, religion and relationships along the Silk Road, the Middle East through to East Asia.

    See below for link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silk-Roads...ter+frankopan&qid=1556222396&s=gateway&sr=8-3

    Non-illustrated version (aimed at older readers): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silk-Roads...ter+frankopan&qid=1556222437&s=gateway&sr=8-1

    Hope this helps.
  3. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have that book from Audible and did consider it, but one of my colleagues wrote the content for the Middle Ages and it kinda married to it. I'm gently trying to coax in some other content. Appreciate the response.
  4. emc23

    emc23 New commenter

    The Mayans/Incas and other indigenous central american populations are really interesting to study as they're so distinct from traditional western narratives and societies.

    There's an interesting article on bitesize about the Mayans: https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/articles/zqv6msg

    If you wanted to look at it in more detail you could look at the Popul Vuh as an introduction to the Mayan mythology

    There are also lots of youtube videos and other content on the Mayans that should be readily available for a research project.

    Hope this helps!
    roamingteacher likes this.
  5. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    Everything helps. Thanks!
  6. starmandave

    starmandave New commenter

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