understand the development of feudalism, its role in the medieval European
economy and political order, and how it was influenced by physical geography.
Students will identify the different social classes in the feudal hierarchy and
their functions. In addition, they will analyze the geography of Western Europe
and the social, political, and economic situation of the time and examine how
these factors caused feudalism to arise or how they were affected the feudal
California State Content Standards
7.6.3 Understand the development of feudalism, its role in the medieval European economy, the way in which it was influenced by physical geography (the role of the manor and the growth of towns), and how feudal relationships provided the foundation of political order.
Common Core Literacy Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Driving Historical Question
Why did the system of feudalism develop and what were its effects on medieval society?
In order to successfully learn about the feudal system, students need to have prior knowledge of Europe's history, up until the Middle Ages. They need to be aware of the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Germanic invasions into the old Roman territory that took place which caused Europe to fall into the Dark Ages. They also need to know how Charlemagne united the Germanic Kingdoms and how the pope started to gain power. To see that students have this prior knowledge, the teacher will have students fill out a K-W-L chart about Medieval Europe and Feudalism. The teacher will first have students create and fill out a "Know" column of the chart, individually. They will then pair-share their chart with a partner, and then the teacher will choose some student volunteers to share out their prior knowledge to the rest of the class. Then the teacher will have students formulate questions they have about Medieval Europe and Feudalism; they will then pair-share and share with the whole class.
Vocabulary will be addressed throughout the lecture, and it will be introduced in chunks. In the lecture, the teacher will provide the words, definitions, and visuals to represent the different words. For example, the Vikings, Magyars, and Muslims will be grouped together, because they represent invasion and the destabilization of Western Europe. Feudalism, lord, fief, vassal, knights, and serfs will be grouped together, because they all represent aspects of the feudal system. The teacher will present these terms in a graphic organizer to show their different rankings. Lastly, manor and tithe will be grouped together to represent serfdom and the harsh life on the manor. Key terms include:
Content Delivery (Lecture)
The teacher will deliver a
lecture presentation on the development and effects of feudalism. The lecture
will discuss the definition of feudalism and the different social rankings in
this system. It will also discuss the role of feudalism in Europe's economy,
politics, and society. The presentation is organized by cause and effect, and
it contains a map, graphic organizer, and several graphics and scenarios.
While the teacher lectures, students will be following along in their guided notes, filling in the blanks with key words, and engaging in analysis of maps and graphic organizers, critical thinking and discussion. The teacher will also have students visualize real-life scenarios and connect them to events that occurred in the past.
To close the lesson, the teacher will have students reflect on what they have learned by having them answer the essential questions that were presented at the beginning of lecture. The teacher also added a question that asks students to synthesize their knowledge by choosing a social class they would prefer to belong to and why. They will also fill out the "Learned" column of their K-W-L chart.
Assessments (Formative & Summative)
The formative assessment will be the students' discussion and responses to the "Questions to ponder" during lecture, their completed notes, and their responses to the "Learned" column of their "KWL" chart. Their summative assessment will be their written responses to the essential questions:
Why did feudalism develop?
How did feudalism affect the political, social, and economic environment of medieval Europe?
Accommodations for English Learners, Striving Readers and Students with Special Needs
The teacher will provide many visuals and graphic organizers (both on their notes and in the lecture presentation) that will help students visualize concepts. Additionally, the teacher will provide several real-life examples that will be applicable to the students' lives. For example, the teacher will explain the conflict between Charlemagne's grandsons as a sibling rivalry. The guided notes will also help students follow along during lecture. The teacher will also allow students to discuss in partners, groups, and as a whole class, so students may scaffold each others' thinking.
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