Here comes the Medieval fun!!
I've been designing a year 8 unit on the Middle Ages, so you will see a number of resources posted relating to this topic over the following weeks. This particular resource provides an overview of the barbarian invasions and the fall of Rome, and encourages students to reflect on the impact this had on the lives of the people living in the area at the time, as well as just how this time became known as the 'dark ages.'
When I was compiling all the activities and information I wanted my students to engage with during this unit, I realised I really had to start with an overview of the fall of Rome rather than jumping straight into everyday life in the Middle Ages (as some lesson packages and sample units suggested). So I decided to open with an overview of the fall of Rome and the influence barbarian invasions had on this collapse of the Western Roman Empire (as I'm sure many teachers out there would automatically think to do, regardless of the available sample units etc.). This will give students the opportunity to learn a range of new historical terms, and it will also introduce them to aspects of the topic that we won't necessarily be able to cover in great detail in class, but which they will be encouraged to research at home.
The resource on offer is a 6 page resource that includes a list of key terms and a guided (or independent) reading activity about the barbarian invasions and the fall of Rome. It looks at the reasons for the invasions briefly and the impact the fall of the Western Roman Empire had on everyday life in the Middle Ages. There are a mixture of questions, including a higher order question that requires students to explain their views on whether this time period should be considered a 'dark' age. There is also a map activity and a variety of questions to help students to develop and demonstrate student understanding. This could easily be used for independent learners or to support small groups or for use as a whole class activity.
This resource would be good for an early lesson on the Middle Ages, particularly when paired with extracts from the History Channel documentary on the Dark Ages (available on YouTube). This would also be good for homeschooled children. It can be taken as a single lesson, or it could be spread over two lessons with added materials (such as the documentary, or PowerPoint presentation combined with teacher direction and research/presentation components).
**This resource is provided in .docx format so as to allow for easy adaption by the buyer for their own teaching/learning purposes.**
PLEASE NOTE: This resource is for use by the individual teacher, tutor or parent/caregiver and their specific groups of students only. Permission is given for the customer to use this with their students in any of their classes, but not to resell or to pass your copy on to colleagues. Thank you.
Our primary contributor is Elissa, who is a qualified high school teacher and Irlen Screener.