Medieval Times

Medieval Times

Medieval Legends- Blue Room

This month we will be introducing students to the amazing world of novels, first through a graphic novel and second through traditional chapter novels. Students will learn the excitement of anticipation while waiting to hear what happens next in these intriguing stories about bravery and romance.

Week 1: Beowulf

Week 1 in the Blue Room is focused on the story of Beowulf. Beowulf was originally a poem written in Old English between the year 750 and 1000 AD. The story takes place in 6th century Scandinavia and is about the struggle between the hero, Beowulf, and a monster called Grendel. The hero defeats Grendel not realizing that Grendel’s mother would soon be avenging her son’s death. Beowulf also defeats Grendel’s mother and becomes king. He rules for many years until one day a dragon starts causing trouble in his lands. Beowulf challenges the dragon and although he defeats the dragon, the battle leads to Beowulf’s death.

During week 1 students will be introduced to the story of Beowulf through the graphic novel, Beowulf Monster Slayer by Paul D. Storrie and Ron Randall. A graphic novel offers students the chance to experience the hero, Beowulf, in a much different manner than a novel would allow. A graphic novel is full of pictures that show each and every action that the hero, Beowulf, takes. This allows for a much greater understanding and comprehension of what is being read.

Week 1 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Understand what a graphic novel is and what differentiates it from a book.

  2. Know the story of Beowulf including the time period in which it took place.

  3. Be able to make predictions about the story using the pictures from the text.

  4. Begin to experience Expressive Reading.

Week 2: King Arthur

Week 2 in the Blue Room will be focused on the story of King Arthur. No one knows exactly when the story of King Arthur was originally conceived. Many believe that the story was orally passed down for years until the 12th century when the story was finally written down. Many also believe that the story of King Arthur was based on an actual individual who lived during the 6th century. The prospect that the story may have components of truth makes it all the more intriguing!

The story of King Arthur is one of bravery and romance. It begins with Arthur as a young boy who pulls a sword out of a stone. From that day on he is King of Britain. The story focuses on his reign as king including talks with Merlin the Magician, magical swords and mighty battles. The story ends with Arthur disappearing with the Lady of the Lake, never to be heard from again.

During week 2 students will be introduced to the story of King Arthur through the short picture novel, The Adventures of King Arthur retold by Angela Wilkes and illustrated by Peter Dennis. Students will not only learn about the magnificent bravery of King Arthur, but will come away from the week with an understanding of what a novel is and why reading them is one of the world’s favorite pastimes.

Week 2 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Begin to understand what a novel is (i.e. contains chapters, tells a story over a period of time, has many pages, etc.).

  1. Know the story of King Arthur including the time period in which it took place.

  2. Start to recognize some sight words in the text of King Arthur (i.e. the, to, in, etc.).

  3. Continue to experience Expressive Reading.

Week 3: Robin Hood

Week 3 in the Blue Room will be taught in a similar manner to that of week 2. However, week 3 will be focused on a different story; the famous tale of Robin Hood. Like with the story of King Arthur, much mystery surrounds the tale of Robin Hood. No one is sure when the story first came into being, although many believe that that it was first written during the 15th century.  References to the tale of Robin Hood date back to the late 13th century in the form of poems and plays. It is also unknown whether the story of Robin Hood is based on an actual person.

The story of Robin Hood is well known. Robin Hood was a man who stole from the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham and gave the money he stole to the poor village people. Nottingham finds out what Robin Hood has been doing, burns down the village and hires the Six Swordsmen to fight Robin Hood. A great battle ensues and Nottingham is defeated just as the King returns home. During week 3 students will be introduced to the story of Robin Hood through the short picture novel, Robin Hood retold by Rob Lloyd Jones and illustrated by Alan Marks.

Week 3 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Know what a novel is (i.e. contains chapters, tells a story over a period of time, has many pages, etc.).

  2. Know the story of Robin Hood including the time period in which it took place.

  3. Start to recognize some sight words in the text of Robin Hood.

  4. Continue to experience Expressive Reading.

Week 4: The Three Musketeers

The last week of the month will again follow the same format as week 2. However, week 4 will be focused on yet another legendary story of the middle ages; the tale of the Three Musketeers. The Three Musketeers was written in 1844 by the famous Alexandre Dumas. The story takes place in 17th century France. Dumas based many of his characters on actual people that existed in history. These historical references are part of what makes The Three Musketeers such an intriguing and beloved novel.

The story of The Three Musketeers starts with main character, D’Artagnan (dart-an-yan), traveling to Paris to become one of the King’s Musketeers. It is in Paris that he befriends Porthos, Athos and Aramis, three of the King’s Musketeers. What ensues is a story of romance, swashbuckling action and adventure.

During week 4 students will be introduced to the story of The Three Musketeers through the short picture novel, The Three Musketeers retold by Rebecca Levene and illustrated by Victor Tavares. Students will not only learn about D’Artagnan’s adventures in The Three Musketeers, but will come away from the week with a knowledge of who Alexandre Dumas was and why the novel he wrote has become one of the world’s most beloved books.

Week 4 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Know who Alexandre Dumas was and why The Three Musketeers is considered to be one of the greatest books ever written.

  2. Know the story of The Three Musketeers including the time period in which it took place.

  3. Be able to recognize some sight words in the text of The Three Musketeers.

  4. Continue to experience Expressive Reading.

Learning Goals

Reading:

1.2 Follow words from left to right and from top to bottom on the printed page.

3.1 Distinguish fantasy from realistic text.

Reading Comprehension:

2.2 Respond to who, what, where, when and how questions.

Listening and Speaking

1.1 Listen attentively.

Green Room - Medieval Life

This month we will be leading students on a journey back in time to the days of knights, noblemen and castles. Students will be transported back to a day when bobbing for apples and dancing around a maypole were some of the most popular ways children entertained themselves. You will even explore castles and medieval cuisine!

Week 1: Growing Up in Medieval Times

Week 1 in the Green Room will be focused on what it was like to grow up during Medieval Times. The life of a child during medieval times depended greatly on who your parents were. Children were either born of nobility or of peasants. However no matter to whom you were born, the games you would have played as a child would have been the same. Noble and peasant children were allowed to play together until the age of seven. Some of the games they would have played were “Hunt the Slipper,” bobbing for apples, “Ring Around the Rosy” and “Blind Man’s Bluff.” The life children experienced after the age of seven, because of their birthright, ranged from strict and scholarly to free and unschooled. Growing up in Medieval Times also meant that you learned how to use instruments to tell time (i.e. hourglass) as well as how to purchase services and goods. In the Green Room this week students will have the opportunity to explore all of these facets of medieval life and more!

Week 1 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Become familiar with aspects of life during medieval times (i.e. houses, living conditions, games played, etc) and what it would be like to be a child growing up during this period.

  2. Become familiar with at least one game played by children during medieval times.

  3. Know how time was kept and be familiar with tools used to keep time (i.e. hourglass) during medieval times.

  4. Be starting to understand the concept of money and how it is used today as well as how it was used in medieval times. (Continue working toward this objective throughout the month until students have grasped the concept.)

Week 2: Peasants, Knights and Noblemen

Week 2 in the Green Room will be focused on learning about and experiencing the life of a peasant, a knight and a nobleman as they lived during Medieval Times. Each of these groups of people held a distinct position in society. Peasants were poor and often did not own anything themselves, but were rather like slaves who were obligated to work for their lord. Knights, on the other hand, worked just as hard as the peasants yet they were free and well-respected throughout their kingdoms. Knights were commissioned to keep the King and his lands safe from harm. Noblemen led lives of grandeur. Some noblemen became great Barons; so great that they were known to employ knights of their own for protection. In the Green Room this week students will have the opportunity to experience the people from each level in medieval society including where they lived, how they dressed and how they spent their time.

Week 2 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the differences between a peasant, a knight and a nobleman/noblewoman during medieval times (i.e. where they lived, how they dressed, what their jobs were, etc.)

  2. Be familiar with at least one king or queen who reigned during medieval times (i.e. Richard the Lionheart, King Henry II, King Edward III, William the Conqueror, Queen Matilda, Good Queen Maude, etc.)

Week 3: Medieval Cuisine

Week 3 in the Green Room will be focused on medieval cuisine; for what a person ate was directly correlated to their means. Noblemen and merchants ate a variety of expensive foods such as dried fruits and almonds while peasants ate bread, vegetables and meat. There was also a difference in who was responsible for the cooking in each household. In a peasant’s household, the wife prepared the meals while in a castle or manor there was always a male head cook with droves of “kitchen boys” to wash the dishes (DK, 2004).

While people ate a variety of things during this time in history, it was the potato who made its’ mark during Medieval Times. When the potato first came to Europe it was not received well. People believed them to be ugly and misshapen and therefore unfit to eat. Upper classes were the first to realize the potential in potatoes and the trend eventually caught on with the more superstitious lower classes. The history of the potato during Medieval Times is one that we now hear and chuckle; however are there not foods to which we turn up our noses simply because of the way they look? What an interesting piece of trivia for eager and inquisitive minds!

Week 3 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the types of food eaten during medieval times.

  2. Know how potatoes became a staple in the medieval diet.

  3. Be familiar with table manners and utensils used during Medieval Times.

  4. Plan and participate in a Medieval Feast.

Week 4: Castles

Week 4 in the Green Room will turn its’ focus to the magnificent and majestic castles of the Middle Ages. Castles were built by lords (i.e. Kings and Barons) as fortified private residences (DK, 2008). The castle was not only a home for its’ inhabitants but a structure that could “withstand continuous assault or siege by an enemy’’ (DK, 2008). Castles were awe inspiring and frequently extremely large and lavish. Castles had chapels, prisons, great halls, and kitchens all inhabited by lords, men, women, children and entertainers. Castles had their own small community within their walls. Siege equipment also played a very important role in the life of a castle. It allowed castles to be weakened and in many cases overthrown. Commonly used siege equipment included giant crossbows and catapults.

Week 4 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the reason castles were built and who lived in them (i.e. kings, queens, noblemen, servants, etc.).

  2. Be familiar with the ways in which a castle might defend itself during medieval times (i.e. siege equipment, archers, moats, etc.)

Learning Goals

A Child’s Place in Time and Space:

1.4.3  Recognize similarities and differences of earlier generations in such areas as work (inside and outside of the home), dress, manners, stories, games and festivals drawing from biographies, oral histories and folklore.

1.6.1  Understand the concept of exchange and the use of money to purchase goods and services.

Money  Sense:

1.1 Begin to recognize and name the different forms of currency (i.e. dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, penny) and also begin to understand the idea of banking and checks.

Medieval Faire & Folklore - Red Room

This month the Red Room will become the destination for medieval make-believe! Students will be given the opportunity to dress-up and pretend to be peasants, knights, noblemen and kings. With a little bit of magic students will pretend to be dragons and wizards as well!

Week 1: Clothing, Jewelry and Accessories

Week 1 in the Red Room will be focused on the clothing, jewelry and accessories worn by people during Medieval Times. How one dressed during this time in history depended greatly on what place one held in society. A mere glance gave away whether you were a peasant, knight, nobleman or King. Accessories ranged from looking glasses (mirrors) to tiaras and crowns while jewelry could be simple or extremely extravagant.

Week 1 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the different types of clothing and accessories worn during the medieval times.

  2. Have created at least one piece of clothing, jewelry or an accessory that would have been worn during medieval times.

  3. Have participated in the role playing of different members of medieval society (i.e. peasant, knight, queen, king, wizard, etc.)

Week 2: Tournaments and Heraldry

During week 2 students will be introduced to the world of tournaments and heraldry. Tournaments were like games. Knights would compete to win prizes such as horses, swords, or even the hand of the lady they loved.  Knights would come from miles away to compete in tournaments which could last up to several days. Like our football teams, knights also had uniforms so that they could be identified. Their “uniforms” usually included their coat-of-arms on their armor as well as their banner which they would carry throughout the tournament.

Week 2 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the terms tournament and heraldry.

  2. Have created items necessary for a successful tournament (i.e. armor, swords, lances, flags, etc.).

  3. Be familiar with the job of an armorer and the types of engraving they did.

  4. Plan and participate in a Fusion Tournament.

Week 3: Dragons

Week 3 will be focused on some of the greatest legends that existed during Medieval Times: dragons! There are many stories throughout history that involve dragons. In these stories dragons are described as fierce, fire-breathing and enormous! During week 3 students will have the opportunity to participate in the creation of a dragon play. Through teacher guidance, students will come up with the words to be spoken by the actors, the design of the set, costumes and props. Students will volunteer to either be an actor or a part of the audience and will learn the roles of each.

Week 3 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the myths of dragons during medieval times.

  2. Participate in the creation of a dragon costume.

  3. Participate in a short play about a dragon where props, costumes and masks are needed.

Week 4: Wizards and Magic

During week 4 students will be lured into the medieval realm of wizards and magic. They will be given the opportunity to experience magic and learn about one of the most famous legends in medieval history: Merlin. Merlin was believed to have been a beloved advisor to King Arthur. It has been said that Merlin could speak to animals and possessed knowledge of the secrets of the ancients! He has been called by many names including Merlin the Magician, Merlin the Sorcerer and Merlin the Wizard.

Week 4 Sub Theme Objectives

  1. Be familiar with the idea of a wizard and the magic it is believed he could do.

  2. Be familiar with the wizard Merlin.

  3. Have learned at least one simple magic trick to take home and perform for family.

Learning Goals

Music:

5.1  Use music together with dance, theatre and visual arts for storytelling

History of Theater:

3.1 Identify theatrical conventions such as props, costumes, masks and sets.

3.2 Describe the roles and responsibilities of audience and actor.

Art: Armorers (engraving)

Armorers although known for making the armor that protected brave knights are also viewed as incredible medieval artists. Many suits of armor were covered in intricate designs engraved into the metal. Students will learn about and experience this great art throughout the month, with a particular emphasis placed on armorers and engraving during week 2.

Music: Medieval & Renaissance