Category Archives: European Middle Ages

The Black Death: 1/19-20

DQ: None

In Class:

Watch The History Channel: The Plague; keep notes on causes, explanations and impacts of the Plague

Related Links:

History’s Turning Points: The Black Death 1347

Discusses climate changes during the same period as the Plaque:

Discusses the plague today:


12/20 & 21 The Crusades and Islam

DQ: On what grounds if any, is it OK to convert others to your own way of thinking?

In Class:

2. Watch Islam: Empire of Faith


Study for the test tomorrow.

Related resources:

1. Frontline: Muslims

12/14 Farming improvements & the revival of trade

DQ: What options exist for growing food? What changes are possible?

In Class:

1. Complete visuals for “Fringe Suburbs” article.

2. Discuss notes from chapter 10.1, specifically around the ideas of “new ways of farming” and “rise of the middle class.” We’ll be generating questions from the readings. How can we start connecting these to current day? What are basic comprehension questions we could ask? What are those that are provocative and intriguing?

3. Student-led discussions of the 4 sections of textbook. Student groups should plan for a slide of content and 2 discussion questions.

  • New ways of farming increased food
  • Towns grew larger and richer
  • Fairs were centers of trade
  • Guilds controlled crafts and trade


1. Read/notes on Heath 10.2 “Religious leaders wielded great power” and Speilvogel pp. 265-274.

12/12-13 The Rise of Towns

DQ: How are the places we live designed? Who designs them? Why? What are their guiding principles?

In Class:

1. As we start Chapter 10 on the Rise of Towns, we’ll take a step forward and look at how issues or urban and regional planning persist today.

2. The role of a historian: What are the similarities between the past and the present. Coming Full-Circle: Where were we in between?

The Death of the Fringe Suburb

Urban Farmers’ Crops Go From Vacant Lot to Market

3. Generate a flow chart that looks at what living spaces looked at during feudalism, where they look now, and what has happened in between. We’re going to look at how we got from there to here. (We did this in class on Tuesday.)


1. From Monday: Complete reading on Urban farming above, including circled, underlined, and numbered passages. Also include one discussion question at the bottom of each page.

2. From Tuesday: Create a flow chart as a visual companion to this article on the Fringe Suburb. What would you need to include in the visual to accurately and effectively summarize the ideas presented?

3. Read/Notes on Chapter 10.1. Notes for ALL of chapter 10 will be checked in the day of the test and will count towards your homework grade for the unit. (Speilvogel: pp. 228-242)

12/7 & 8 Feudalism

DQ: What options are available for living on land?

In Class:

1. Review notes on Feudalism and Manoralism.

2. Create visuals with partners on what the model of feudalism and manoralism looks like.


Read/notes on section 9.4.

Review for exam on Friday.

12/5 Charlemagne revives the idea of empire

DQ: Are there alternatives to dictators?

In Class:

1. Spend the entire class period catching up on reading and notes. Read/Notes 9.2:  Charlemagne revived the idea of empire.

2. Speilvogel: The World of Carolingians, pp. 199-210


Catch up on notes. Exam on 8.1 and chapter 9 is this Friday.

12/6 Vikings pose a problem

DQ: None

In Class:

1. Review notes from Charlegmagne.

2. Watch clips 1 & 3  from “The Vikings”


1. Heath: read/notes on 9.3: Vikings Terrorized Europe. Speilvogel read through 218 for your exam. (That includes the feudalism section and the discussion of the Vikings.)

2. For the exam: Speilvogel: pp. 174-192 covers the Byzantine and Rise of Church Power (Pope Gregory) and pp. 199-218 covering Feudalism, Charlemagne, and the Vikings.