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Map Assessment
Glossary of Terms and Definitions

The Birth of the Early Middle Ages

(Early Medieval Period)


What does loyalty mean to you? To whom do you owe loyalty?

Your family and friends? Your School? A religious group?


The citizens of ancient Rome were expected to be loyal to the emperor.

When the Roman Empire collapsed, however, new loyalties arose.

During this WebQuest, you will discover how different groups during the Middle Ages were bound together by different sets of loyalties. You will be asked to create maps and answer eight questions that demonstrate your understanding and knowledge of this era.


The Situation

During the Middle Ages (500-1500), the development of the feudal system of government resulted in war, famine, serfdom, and the strengthening role of the Papacy or Church in the lives of everyday citizens. Many were called upon to serve their local nobles, the Pope, or protect their community from attacks by marauding Vikings or hostile lords seeking to expand their kingdoms. Some of the most important people in this era were knights, farmers, priests, and traveling merchants.

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Your Quest

You will discover how and why the Early Middle Ages were such a pivotal era in man's history. Your task is to demonstrate your knowledge of this era by a series of tasks (written essays, maps, and oral presentations) that will show your knowledge of this era and its historical importance.

Your mission is to become a "Knowledge Knight" and successfully learn how changes during the Early Medieval Ages became the foundation for our concepts of democracy, capitalism, and individual rights.

Quest Number One

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Why did the fall of Rome create disorder in Europe?

Fall of Rome

Rome Falls Gradually

Leading to the Middle Ages

Quest Number Two

How did Frankish rulers such as Charlemagne gain control of Western Europe?


King of the Franks

Quest Number Three

How did Charlemagne create an empire that blended several different traditions?

How did the Germanic traditions differ from the Roman traditions?

The Franks

History of the Franks

The Frankish Tribes

Germanic Traditions

Quest Number Four

Why was medieval life organized around feudalism and the manorial system?

What were the roles of different members of society such as; knights, vassals, lords, serfs, and merchants?

Feudal Life


The Feudal System

The Manorial System

Quest Number Five

Why was the Magna Carta a very significant document?

How did it advance individual liberties?

The Magna Carta

The Magna Carta Translated

Quest Number Six

What was the role of the Church and Papacy during the Early Middle Ages?

How has it changed over the years?

The Church during the Middle Ages

The Life of Monks

Quest Number Seven

Draw a map showing how Europe looked before Charlemagne, at the end of his reign, and at the time of William the Conqueror in 1066 AD.

Charlemagne's Europe

Maps of Europe

Barbarians on the Move

Quest Number Eight

What effect did the Viking raids have on Europe during the Middle Ages?

Viking Raids

Vikings in England

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Glossary of Terms and Definitions

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Your mission as a "Knowledge Knight" is to learn everything you can about the Early Middle Ages and how it lead to a transitional period between the Roman Empire and the Germanic kingdoms of the Late Middle Ages. You will be expected to navigate through a series of eight quests, each with a series of guiding questions that you must be able to answer in written mini-reports.

Start with Quest Number One and move your way through all eight quests looking carefully for information that answers the questions for each quest. Additionally, you will be asked to hand draw or trace maps showing Europe's changing political landscape during three different time frames. You may be asked to share what you have learned with your classmates. Do not stray from your quest for any reason.

Learning Advice

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Map Assessment

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Each Map must be in colour with all relevant details

and clearly show the political realities of that time frame.

Exceeds the Standard
Meets the Standard
Nearly Meets the Standard
Not Meeting the Standard
  • Outstanding colour maps that clearly show all three selected time periods.
  • Labeled all major ethnic groups, cities, rivers, and other topographical features.
  • Shows accurate depiction of countries at the selected time periods.
  • Clearly titled time frames.
  • Very neat.
  • Colour maps that show all three selected time periods.
  • Labeled most major ethnic groups, cities, rivers, and other topographical features.
  • Shows mostly accurate depiction of countries at the selected time periods.
  • Titled time frames.
  • Neat.
  • Black and White maps that show all three time periods.
  • Labeled most features, but may have missed some minor features or ethnic groups.
  • Minor inaccuracies of countries borders or topographical features.
  • Titled time frames.
  • Mostly neat.
  • Black and White maps of only two time periods.
  • Missed many ethnic groups, countries, or topographical features.
  • Many inaccuracies.
  • Not titled with time frame.
  • Not very neat.
  • One black and white map.
  • Insufficient information for map to be useful.
  • Inaccurate.
  • Messy work.


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To whom do you owe loyalty?

During the Middle ages every man, women, and child owed loyalty to someone. Women and children owed loyalty to the head of the household-the father. Fathers owed loyalty to the local lords. Knights owed loyalty to their lords. Lords owed loyalty to their king. All of these people owed loyalty to their local church leaders who ultimately owed loyalty to the Pope.

It was this hierarchy of loyalty, coupled with the feudal political systems and the manorial economic systems, that characterized the Middle Ages.

It was this feudal system that maintained relative stability and safety during this period. This system of loyalty was needed during the "Dark Ages" because Viking marauders and constant warfare threatened the very fabric of society.

As kings and nobles abused their power, they were forced to recognize the rights of citizens. The Magna Carta was one prime example of how individual rights became more important than the rights of the king. Democracy was a new idea practiced only by "freemen" in councils of nobles or a few Nordic tribes. However, the idea of constitutional democracy began when people challenged the decisions of nobles and the Church. The seeds for capitalism were sown by guildsmen and merchants expanding trading routes and developing the trade centres that were later to become the basis for regional trade regimes as later seen in the Hanseatic League.

In short, the seeds for today's world were sown long ago during a time we call-





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Standard 1.8 Research Report

Write an accurate and supported report that addresses questions posed.


Information Technology:

Standard 1.18 Research

Using computers and technology to find and learn about the Middle Ages.



Standard 1.3 Reading Comprehension

Are you able to read and remember?



Standard 6.5 Traditional and Social Histories

Learn about the Middle Ages and how it affected the world we now live in.