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The funkiest way to teach: Medieval Monarchs


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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 10:54 PM

Lively entertaining lessons are always the best. With this in mind, can you suggest the funkiest ways to teach Unit 2: How did medieval monarchs keep control?

Do you use a brilliant technique or something that you feel others just deserve to hear about?

The QCA unit covers a whole range of topics - and doesn't always suggest the most interesting of activities.

1. How did William of Normandy grasp control of England?
2. How did William the Conqueror secure control of England?
3. How successful were Anglo-Norman monarchs at extending their boundaries?
4. How did monarchs use law and order as instruments of control?
5. Church or state: who was in control?
6. What happened when monarchs lost control?
7. Controlling the succession: could women rule?
8. What challenges did medieval monarchs face? What qualities did they need to be successful?

What have you found to be the funkiest ways of teaching these lessons?


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#2 Lesley Ann

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 11:12 PM

STARTER: How could William secure control of England?
PAIRs/GROUPs: Give pupils cards with all the problems he faced. Pupils sort problems into ones he should deal with immediately. Order/Prioritise. Discussion. Can you think of solution to William's problems?


ROLE-PLAY: How did the feudal system work? Divide the class into Knights, Bishops, Barons, and Villeins. Teacher plays the King. Give the group’s role cards with information on. Pupils must role-play. What does each get? What must they give and to whom? Can use props….to show the handing over of money, food etc….
Culminate in each bowing to the other, showing deference/obedience to KING. The pupils all bow to King.

PUPIL ACTIVITY: Pupils draw a diagram to show how the feudal system worked.


PLENARY: What other problems does William have? How could they be solved? (to pick up next lesson…)

HOMEWORK: You are an adviser to William. Looking at the problems he faced what would you advise him to do?


What a 'funky' idea! I have been waiting for a thread like this to come along.

I can't wait to read everyone's ideas....
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#3 Andrew Field

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Posted 13 March 2004 - 11:30 PM

What a 'funky' idea! I have been waiting for a thread like this to come along. 

I can't wait to read everyone's ideas....

Well, it was your idea! B)

It will be great to get different people's funkiest lessons for this unit though. There are some really inventive and imaginative people out here.... please post your ideas! :D

One of my favourite lessons has to be the 'Je Suis Le Roi' lesson from Teaching History magazine. Here you - or a suitably recruited sixth former - takes the role of William the Conqueror shouting instructions in Norman-French. Combined with a dead-pan Year 7 translator you and the students can have brilliant fun. With the desks arranged as something resembling England, the students arrive to be given the different roles. It ends up with a depiction of the Harrying of the North were a few tables get turned over.

It really helps students comprehend how William used loyalty and land to try and control England. Richard Drew posted some excellent follow up questions to this lesson (see the actual thread) - quoted here:

after the 20-25 minute role play these debrief questions cover the rest of the lesson and really pick out and hammer home the key points:


“Je Suis le Roi” questions

Stage 1 – recap key events of role-play:

  • Whose land was given to Norman soldiers at the start of the role-play?
  • William said he had been generous in letting the English keep their land – what did he expect in return?
  • Where was the 1st rebellion against William?
  • Did William take away lands from all the Lords in the Midlands?
  • What did the ‘rebels’ have to do now?
  • How did William punish the Lords in the South West after their rebellion?
  • What was built at Exeter to help keep control?
  • Who joined the rebellion in the North in 1069?
  • How did William punish the Lords in the North after this rebellion?
  • How did William respond to the rebellion in East Anglia?
  • Look around the room. How is the Land in England now owned?

Stage 2 – thinking it through:
  • Did William plan to give all the land in England to his followers from the start?
  • Did William change his mind after the rebellions in the Midlands and the South west?
  • When and why did William change his mind?
  • Why were the rebellions not successful?
  • What could the English have done to make their rebellion successful?
  • Why did building castles help the new Lords? (for future reference)

Stage 3 - Digging Deeper:

To the English:
  • Could you understand William’s statements?
  • How did that make you feel?
  • How did your feelings towards William change as the role-play progressed?
  • How did you feel when your lands were taken away?
  • Did you feel: ruled or occupied? Punished or massacred? Like rebels or freedom fighters?

To the Normans:
  • How did you feel when William said the English could keep their lands?
  • Did you feel like rulers or occupiers? Were the English being massacred or punished? Were the English being rebels or freedom fighters?

Stage 4 - any questions:
Anything you want to ask?

(In stage 4, can pupils answer each others’ questions, if not then teacher answers)


There's lots more too.... :woo: :woo:


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#4 Lesley Ann

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 12:26 AM

I created this lesson for the LEA for a Thinking Skills group publication. It was published a few years ago:

Castles – How to Defend a Castle

STARTER: Odd One Out: on methods of attacking and defending castles.

PUPIL ACTIVITY
1. Pair work. Distribute envelopes containing sorting cards. Pupils must sort cards in pairs choosing own categories. (5 mins).
2. Teacher: Proactive approach
3. Stop class: ask how they sorted cards.
4. Ask pairs to find anachronisms and sort list. (3 mins) CHECK
5. Pupils told: ‘you are under attack sort a list of tactics to defend. (5 mins) must agree CHECK
6. Pupils told to make a list of good and bad defence. Discuss & Justify in pairs (5 mins) must agree CHECK
7. Pupils told: ‘if you are building a Norman castle from scratch choose 10 cards you would include – think about defence. (6 mins) Proactive. CHECK
8. Stop. Each pair feed back to teacher who draws castle on board. Then groups must comment and make suggestions on improvements. (25 mins)

PLENARY: - Pupils reflect on own learning process:
How did you sort and organise your information?
What would do differently next time?
What have you learned about defending castles?
How do we defend our homes today? (10 mins)


RESOURCES: Sorting cards in envelopes, pens, paper

Cards...

Build a moat filled with water
Wooden Motte and Bailey Castle
Stone Keep
Battlements
Well
Storerooms filled with food
Tall narrow windows
Build on the coast with nice views
Thick stone walls
Outer wall with battlements
Wall walk
Tower
Spiral, stone staircase
Build on a high hill or motte
Gatehouse with towers, drawbridge and portcullis
Plant flowers and bushes against castle walls
Machine guns on the battlements
Wooden fence
Double-glazed windows
Dropping stones from battlements
Pouring oil from the battlements
Thick stone corner buttresses
Make sure the castle is warm
Build a Chapel to pray
An armoury, stables, workshops in Bailey
Soldiers with arrows and spears
High stone walls
Barbed wire fences

HOMEWORK Design an ideal Norman Castle with the best defence. Label diagram with key terms


'Thinking Through Humanities Project' Sunderland EAZ
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#5 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 12:27 AM

b]HOMEWORK:  [/b]You are an adviser to William.  Looking at the problems he faced what would you advise him to do?

A similar idea can be found in the Year 7 Resources page - William's Problem Page

Another similar 'funky' homework idea that works pretty well is to write a multiple choice magazine-type quiz in which each of William's problems has alternative choices.

The choices that have been made then have to be explained orally in class next lesson.

#6 Andrew Field

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 12:31 AM

When I was on PGCE I had to come up with a lesson idea. I tried to come up with something really fun and active. I'm not sure it was entirely successful, but with some thought it could be developed.

It is related to Lesley-Anne's topic above. Yet in this activity, students play an extended history version of "Rock, Paper Scissors" in groups.

I got a whole load of different cards with sources about how to attack a castle. Student would have a pile of defensive techniques, and then a pile of attacking techniques. These were all taken from materials that we had studied in previous lessons.

The game was simple - one student chose from the attacking techniques pile, the other from the defensive.

They then had to go "1-2-3" and show the cards. They then had to decide which technique would be most successful and why. This was repeated again and again...

It's probably more suitable as an extended starter - but could be developed in any number of ways. My aim with the simple game was to get students to explore the many different possibilies....


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#7 Lesley Ann

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 12:40 AM

...students play an extended history version of "Rock, Paper Scissors" in groups.

This is great - a more effective starter to how to defend a castle... :flowers:
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#8 Rachel Jones

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 12:56 AM

Here's something that could be done to get them going:

Match the crime to the punishment.

It's a great gory subject - describing punishments in Middle Ages ·

Divide them into groups representing alderman, judging certain criminals. Provide the groups with lists of criminals & crimes. Also give the groups lists of possible medieval punishments. The groups must choose a punishment to fit the crime and be ready to justify their decision. ·

Each group member should then produce an illustrated account explaining the crimes they tried, the punishments they gave and why they made their decisions.

:sick: :woo:

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#9 Paul Wright

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 08:37 PM

This could be used as a starter or a whole lesson depending on your time and/or what you want the kids to learn:

I do this as the very first lesson with Year 7. They like the beer!

You'll need some props. The idea is to get pupils to think about medieval monarchy and the value of evidence.

Handout props/pictures of the following:

beer (or cider)
a pillow
some peaches
a bow and arrow
a cross bow
a battle
a red hot poker (preferably not red hot in the lesson; could be a health and safety issue)
some lampreys (or, at least, some eels)
a burning piece of wood

Ask pupils what they think props might have in common. They could work in groups to ask max. of two questions each. After all questions have been asked, groups should come up with a definitive answer. Some/most will have worked out by now that they're all manners of death, though not many will work out that they're all manners of death of monarchs between 1066 and 1485.

At this point, give out more information regarding each prop:

beer (or cider) - King John, England, 1216
a pillow - Edward V, England, 1483 (and yes, it was Richard III 'wot did it')
some peaches - King John, again
a bow and arrow - William II, England, 1100
a cross bow - Richard I, France, 1199
a battle - Richard III, England, 1485 (hurrah!)
a red hot poker (preferably not red hot in the lesson; could be a health and safety issue) - Edward II, England, 1327
some lampreys (or, at least, some eels) - Henry II, France, 1189
a burning piece of wood - William I, France, 1087

Now conduct a discussion regarding what this set of evidence suggests about Medieval Monarchy. This can be done at many levels, both comprehension and inference:

monarchs seem to be men; France seems to be important, job of king seems to be quite dangerous, job of king seems to be quite desirable if there are battles/murders over it

Could use the evidence as an early opportunity to introduce source skills: how valuable are these sources as evidence in terms of the job of medieval monarchs?

e.g.: doesn't tell you why murdered/killed; doesn't tell us about all monarchs; does suggest that job could be dangerous etc etc

As a first lesson it works quite well, offers gory stories as introduction and doesn't really involve much writing at this stage.

#10 Andrew Field

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 08:58 PM

Superb - this is exactly the kind of idea that this thread was created for. Thanks very much! B)


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#11 Lesley Ann

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 11:15 AM

This is the thread that is mentioned in Russel Tarr's article in the TES The Teacher today.

TES: The Teacher: Subject Focus History
Page 28 & 29.

:D
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#12 DAJ Belshaw

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 10:38 AM

When I was on PGCE I had to come up with a lesson idea.  I tried to come up with something really fun and active.  I'm not sure it was entirely successful, but with some thought it could be developed.

It is related to Lesley-Anne's topic above.  Yet in this activity, students play an extended history version of "Rock, Paper Scissors" in groups.

I got a whole load of different cards with sources about how to attack a castle.  Student would have a pile of defensive techniques, and then a pile of attacking techniques.  These were all taken from materials that we had studied in previous lessons.

The game was simple - one student chose from the attacking techniques pile, the other from the defensive.

They then had to go "1-2-3" and show the cards.  They then had to decide which technique would be most successful and why.  This was repeated again and again...

It's probably more suitable as an extended starter - but could be developed in any number of ways.  My aim with the simple game was to get students to explore the many different possibilies....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Andrew, I forgot to register my thanks for an excellent idea. I tried this with my Year 7s a few weeks ago and it worked really well!

I've added the resource along with instructions to my shareforum here. :D

Doug :hehe:

#13 Lucy Harris

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Posted 07 March 2005 - 10:12 PM

Like all of these - thanks!
Have seen Je suis le roi - not completely convinced by need for plastic animals but like the use of nice 'pomp,pom,pom,pomp,pomp' music to create medieval atmos

After 'being' the 3 claimants to the throne & the kids interviewing/hotseating them I then got them to get into groups based on who they supported as the next king

They then had to come up with a chant/poem etc to use in support of their candidate - cue 30 kids rapping about 'William the Norman, he's the best' and others chanting 'Hard Harald, Hard Harald'

Great fun - & it really p'd off the teachers around me!!

#14 JulieN

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 06:14 PM

When I was on PGCE I had to come up with a lesson idea.  I tried to come up with something really fun and active.  I'm not sure it was entirely successful, but with some thought it could be developed.

It is related to Lesley-Anne's topic above.  Yet in this activity, students play an extended history version of "Rock, Paper Scissors" in groups.

I got a whole load of different cards with sources about how to attack a castle.  Student would have a pile of defensive techniques, and then a pile of attacking techniques.  These were all taken from materials that we had studied in previous lessons.

The game was simple - one student chose from the attacking techniques pile, the other from the defensive.

They then had to go "1-2-3" and show the cards.  They then had to decide which technique would be most successful and why.  This was repeated again and again...

It's probably more suitable as an extended starter - but could be developed in any number of ways.  My aim with the simple game was to get students to explore the many different possibilies....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Andrew, I forgot to register my thanks for an excellent idea. I tried this with my Year 7s a few weeks ago and it worked really well!

I've added the resource along with instructions to my shareforum here. :D

Doug :hehe:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



#15 JulieN

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 06:16 PM

Hi
I've tried downloading this resource from your site and can't. keep getting a message about file not being found. Any ideas please - would like to use this asap. Thanks

Julie

When I was on PGCE I had to come up with a lesson idea.  I tried to come up with something really fun and active.  I'm not sure it was entirely successful, but with some thought it could be developed.

It is related to Lesley-Anne's topic above.  Yet in this activity, students play an extended history version of "Rock, Paper Scissors" in groups.

I got a whole load of different cards with sources about how to attack a castle.  Student would have a pile of defensive techniques, and then a pile of attacking techniques.  These were all taken from materials that we had studied in previous lessons.

The game was simple - one student chose from the attacking techniques pile, the other from the defensive.

They then had to go "1-2-3" and show the cards.  They then had to decide which technique would be most successful and why.  This was repeated again and again...

It's probably more suitable as an extended starter - but could be developed in any number of ways.  My aim with the simple game was to get students to explore the many different possibilies....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Andrew, I forgot to register my thanks for an excellent idea. I tried this with my Year 7s a few weeks ago and it worked really well!

I've added the resource along with instructions to my shareforum here. :D

Doug :hehe:






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