Learning Festival
by Cindy Lane and Mary Blanchard
5th Grade Teachers
Sedgefield Intermediate School
Berkeley County, Summerville, SC
Grade Level: 5th Grade
Subject: Medieval History

The Learning Festival is a intergrated unit using medieval history as its basis.

Students at this age are very interested in the adventures of knighthood and life in the past, so the unit will serve as a basis for teaching skills while maintaining high interest.

During reading students will use such books as:

Robin Hood by Ann McGovern
Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Grey
Proud Taste of Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Koningsburg
The Seventh Crystal by Gary Paulsen
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

These novels would be the basis for teaching such skills as: compare and contrast, cinquains and poetry, letter writing, main idea, sequencing, and following directions.

Students will be required to keep a journal of their thoughts on the reading, write letters to characters, create plays interpreting a chapter from a story, and write a ballad of some adventure that may have happened to them.

During Math students will use their skills in measuring, problem solving, geometry, scale, proportion, fractions, and decimals to create art work from the time period. Some examples of those activities would be making rose windows, diagrams of castles, models of castles and feudal villages, coat of arms, cooking food common to the time period, and building small tents and booths for a final project a medieval banquet.

Science will have students looking into its own history, as students will required to find information on the medicine and diseases of the time. Matter and chemical reactions will be another topic covered as alchemy is discussed. Weather will also be touched on when discussing superstitions and folklore of the time period.

Social Studies will be the binding element of this unit, and here is where students will have most access to the Internet. The plan is to have students develop their research and communication skills. They will have to do this as they are going to be the teachers of the history and facts of the era. Students are going to be placed in groups of threes. These groups will be responsible for researching, presenting, and teaching the information surrounding a certain aspect of medieval life.

The areas of research are castles, feudalism, guilds, churches and crusades, chivalry; manors and traditions, entertainment; troubadors, minstrels, and acting; weaponry and knighthood, kings and queens, guilds, medicine, and peasant life. Students will jigsaw these areas to learn what they can, decide what activities they will use to present their information and then come together as group to teach the rest of the class what they learned.

As a culminating experience the students will recreate a medieval festival or banquet in which they will share there information and work with their parents and other students of the school. The Internet, videos, ITV, and CDís will be used to create atmosphere and provide information for the students research. Below is a starter list of materials I have found and enjoyed.

Some resources to be used for this unit are:

Student Resources
Books: Those listed above as well as:

Knights and Castles Madeline Jones

Medieval Castle Fiona McDonald

Kings and Queens Osbourne Press

Castle, Abby, and Town Irma Simonton

Medieval Days and Ways Getrude Hartman

Medieval Castles Conard Cairns

Technology Resources

Ianís Land of Castles

Society for Creative Anachronism

Medieval Price List

Research Engines

Yahooligins, and Excite

Teacher Resources Technology
David McCaulay Castle movie

Ivanhoe movie MGM

When People Lived In Castles Multi Media

Celtic Harp From a Distant Time music

River Dance and Lord of the Dance video

Music Books
The Middle Ages Good Apple Medieval Times Teacher Created Materials Literature Unit: Adam of the Road

Teacher Created Material Shakespeare in the Classroom

Fearson Future Urls and lesson plans developed from the teaching of this unit will be added to this resource list.

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