understand how the fall of the Western Roman Empire led to changes in Europe
that marked the beginning of the Medieval Era. Students will also understand
how Christianity spread throughout Western Europe during this time due to the
role of the early church and monasteries and the emerging cooperation between
the Papacy and European monarchs. Students will read the chapter,
"Charlemagne Unites Germanic Kingdoms" from the World History textbook, Traditions and Encounters: A Global
Perspective on the Past, to explore the emerging power of the Christian
church and secular monarchs and identify the main effects of the fall of the
Roman Empire on Western Europe.
California State Content Standards
the spread of Christianity north of the Alps and the roles played by the early
church and by monasteries in its diffusion after the fall of the western half
of the Roman Empire.
an understanding of the conflict and cooperation between the Papacy and
European monarchs (e.g., Charlemagne, Gregory VII, Emperor Henry IV).
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source;
provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or
Driving Historical Questions
How did the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire
How did Christianity spread so thoroughly and swiftly?
What caused the roles and the relationship between the church and the monarchy to change during this time?
Before students read, the teacher will help students identify the purpose of the reading and
select the most important points in the passage by setting up a scenario: The
western half of the Roman Empire has been invaded and destroyed. The most
powerful empire in the western half of the world no longer exists. What do you
think will happen now? The teacher will have students turn to a neighbor and make
predictions about what will happen to Europe now. Then the teacher will guide the
students by telling them that the next period in history is called the Middle
Ages, also known as "Medieval Times" or the "Dark Ages."
Then, students will predict: why is this period called the "Dark
Ages"? They will share their
predictions with a partner.
be addressed throughout the reading lesson, and it will be introduced in
chunks. Students will get the opportunity to organize these terms into topical
categories while reading and filling out their graphic organizer. Key terms
Content Delivery (Reading)
Pre-Reading: The class
will turn to the chapter and pre-read it together by reading aloud headings and
subheadings, words in boldface, captions, and looking at pictures and quotes. They
will also read the "final review" questions at the end of the section
to give students an idea of what questions they should have in mind while
reading. Then students will write and share a final prediction about what
this chapter will be about.
During Reading: Students
will read the chapter, "Charlemagne Unites Germanic Kingdoms" from
the World History textbook, Traditions
and Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past. A link to the text is
included below. While students read, they will create a timeline of the most
important 8 events described in the chapter.
After students read, the teacher will give them several options to integrate their new
knowledge with existing understandings. In groups of 3-4, they can either
create a comic strip or short story that illustrates, narrates, and summarizes
a main topic and its main surrounding details from the chapter. Their choices
for topics include: the effects of the invasions on Western Europe, Clovis and
the Franks, the spread of Christianity, Pope Gregory I, The Holy Roman Empire,
or the Carolingian Empire.
will help students identify the important events that took place following the
fall of the Western Roman Empire and throughout the rise of the early Church
and secular monarchs in sequential and chronological order. This graphic organizer will help students
differentiate important and not-as-important information from the text, and it
will help them also see cause and effect relationships between events.
Students will complete
an Exit Ticket in which they will reflect on the predictions they made at the
beginning of the lesson. They will then write revised answers to these
questions, based on what they have learned from their reading and activities: The most powerful
empire in the western half of the world no longer exists. What do you think
will happen now? Why is medieval Europe called the Dark Ages? Summarize: What
was this chapter about?
Assessments (Formative & Summative)
This lesson will
take over a span of 2 days. On the first day, formative assessments will
include student's graphic organizers and discussion as they work in groups on
their post-reading comic strips/stories. The teacher will walk around and scaffold
reading and discussion. Summative
assessments will include the Exit Ticket and the students' final comic strip or
short story about a main topic in the chapter.
Accommodations for English Learners, Striving Readers and Students with Special Needs
The teacher will assist
students with special needs and ELs by providing them guiding questions to keep
in mind before reading, scaffolding the pre-reading process by going over
headings and subheadings, and helping them organize their thoughts and the main
ideas of the reading through a timeline. The timeline will also help students visualize
the sequence of events and connections between main ideas. The teacher will also give
students the choice of doing a comic strip or short story, whichever format
they are more comfortable with.
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