LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES

Background
Task
Procedure
Resources
Evaluation
 

 

Background


The Middle Ages occured after the Classical Age of ancient Greece and Rome and before the Renaissance. This time is also known as the Medieval Period (coming from the Latin medium aevum which means "the middle ages." Life in the Middle Ages was very different from life today.  The Middle Ages was a time of chivalry, quests, feudalism, and often war.  The Middle Ages found some people living very prosperous lives while others only survived from day to day.
The Task

You will be assigned the role of a person living during the Middle Ages.  You will research what life was like for you during this time period and then relate information about your life through pictures, narratives and/or diary entries such as Birdy did in the exerpts we have read from Catherine, Called Birdy during our studies. There are different requirements which much be fulfilled for each role as can be seen below.


 

Procedure
You will select a card from a series of regular playing cards.  The card chosen represents the person you will research and report on during this activity.  These cards/persons are below along with the assignment for that card. Your final product may consist of drawings, written, reports, essays, photos or other means of meeting the requirements. Diary entries should reflect the language and the life of that person. Use the book Catherine, Called Birdy that we have discussed in class as your example.  You are encouraged to use multimedia presentation software such as PowerPoint or Hyperstudio for your final product.
 
 
Card
Role
Assignment
King/Queen
Lord/Lady of the Manor
Describe or provide a drawing of your manor/castle, a map of your lands, your family coat of arms, and write two diary entries.
Jack
Knight
Describe your weapons and armor, your shield, the process you went through to become a knight, and write one diary entry.
10
Steward
Describe your role in the manor, describe one of the court cases you have overseen, write two diary entries.
Bailiff
Describe your role in the manor, draw or describe your clothing, write three diary entries.
8
Monk
Describe life in the monastary, your role in writing, and as a scholar, describe the process of putting together a book.
7
Merchant
Describe life in the town, describe your trade and the apprentices working for you, write two diary entries
5
Peasant Farmer
Describe your life as a farmer, your clothing, your crops, and your dwelling, describe the hardships you must endure
Joker 
Court Musician
Describe the instruments you play, your role at court, describe some of the events you have witnessed, describe the music you perform

Resources
You may access the following websites:
The American College of Heraldry
Chivalry and the Crusades
Journey Through the Middle Ages
The Medieval Castle Page
The Middle Ages: Feudal Life
 
 

OR
The following print sources are also on reserve for you to use:

Kenyon, Sherrilyn.  The Writer's Guide to Everyday Life in the Middle Ages: The British Isles From 500 to 1500.  Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 1995.

Langley, Andrew.  Medieval Life.  New York, Knopf, 1996.

Macaulay, David.  Castle.Boston: Houghton Mifflein, 1977.

Macdonald, Fiona.  How Would You Survive in the Middle Ages?  New York: Knopf, 1996,.

Oakes, Catherine.  Exploring the Past:  The Middle Ages.  San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989.

Platt, Colin.  The Atlas of Medieval Man.  New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980.

The Middle Ages: An Encyclopedia for Students.  New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1996.

Evaluation:
 
Distinguished
95-100
  • Creatively presented
  • Student exhibits high depth of knowledge and insight
  • Goes beyond minimum requirements
  • Presents a colorful look at life in the Middle Ages
Proficient
85-94
  • Project is well presented
  • Demonstrates a  good grasp of the material
  • All requirements are fully met
  • Accurately depicts life in the Middle Ages
Apprentice
75-84
  • There are lapses in organization of the project 
  • Attempts to show understanding of material
  • Attempts to meet all requirements 
  • Some information is incorrect, but does not interfere with overall picture
Novice
74 and below
  • Lack of organization
  • Does not demonstrate understanding or material is plagiarized
  • Does not meet all requirements
  • Information is missing or incorrect

 

Comments? Questions?  Contact Melissa Gardner.
Page Last Updated: 10/14/99