Wednesday, September 25, 2013

History Fun

We're learning about the Middle Ages in 4/5 History. We've been focusing on the Feudal System and spending time learning about daily life for the different classes (serfs, knights, lords, and kings). The day we were talking about kings, I thought it would be fun for the students to learn a bit about the lives of different kings and queens from that time. Since we only had about 20 minutes for this part of class, I just found brief (paragraph long) biographies about different royals. Each student chose one, and wrote a couple of sentences as if they were that person telling about his or her life. If they had time, they also illustrated their stories. (Since most of them didn't finish those, I'm not including them.)  Here are some of the paragraphs they came up with:

Frederick Barbarossa 

I was born in Germany in 1122. I died in the River Saleph on June 10, 1190. I was crowned Roman Emperor in 1155. I started the third crusade. I organized an army of 100,000, including 20,000 knights. I was impatient to cross the Saleph River and rode a horse into it and drowned.

Robert de Bruce

I was born to King Robert and I am Robert de Bruce. I was the greatest king and greatest warrior of my time. I led the war against the English, and I was Scottish.

Eleanor of  Aquitaine

My name is Eleanor of Aquitaine. I was married twice and ruled France and England. In the twelfth century, I was one of the most powerful women on earth.
Eleanor, Queen of Castile

I am Eleanor and Eleanor of Aquitaine was my mom. I lived from 1162-1204. That means I was 46 when I died. I also was a queen of France.

William the Conqueror

II wanted to rule England, so I set out with my fleet and defeated England. I am William the Conqueror, and I ruled for 21 years.  

Considering they left knowing more about the lives of royalty in the Middle Ages, as well as considering themselves experts on various kings and queens, I would say the lesson was quite the success. (We also discovered that Eleanor of Aquitaine was mother or mother-in-law to quite a few of our kings and queens.)

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