History sample unit: Life Skills The Black Death



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History sample unit: Life Skills

The Black Death

Stage 4



















Scope and sequence summary

(specific subject requirements to appear on scope and sequence)

Duration: 10 weeks







The Ancient to the Modern World: Expanding Contacts

Topic: The Black Death in Asia, Europe and Africa

The following historical concepts are explored through this unit:



  • Continuity and change – how everyday life has changed from medieval times to today

  • Cause and effect – causes of the Black Death and the effect on society

  • Perspectives – experiences of everyday life for rich and poor people in medieval times; different people’s experiences of and reactions to the Black Death

  • Empathetic understanding – understanding how people would have felt during the Black Death.

The following historical skills can be integrated throughout this unit:

  • Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts

  • Analysis and use of sources

  • Research

  • Explanation and communication.

The Black Death in Asia, Europe and Africa centres on the fourteenth century plague. However, teachers may like to examine the further outbreak in London during the 1660s, known as the Great Plague.

When undertaking this unit, it is important to take into account the individual communication strategies used by students. Students’ responses may be communicated through:



  • gestures and/or facial expressions

  • the use of visual aids or symbols, such as a communication board

  • assistive or augmentative technology

  • varying degrees of verbal or written expression.

The activities presented may need to be adapted to allow students to respond using their individual communication strategies.
















Unit overview

Resources

In this unit, students will develop an understanding of life in medieval times. They will explore the features of medieval society and identify aspects of everyday life, such as occupations, housing, clothing and food. Using a variety of sources, students will investigate the spread of the Black Death, as well as symptoms for and treatments of the disease. Students will recognise the impact of the Black Death on life in medieval times.

Activities from the resource Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials can be used to support student learning in this unit. When referring to these activities, it is useful to use the ‘detailed teacher’s notes’ and ‘black and white outlines of Picture Pack sources’ that are included.

Online resources that provide useful information and activities for students about medieval times include:



  • Medieval Times: The Middle Ages for Kids

  • Medieval-life.net

  • History on the Net.com: Medieval Life



Outcomes

Assessment overview

HLTS-2 demonstrates an understanding of time and chronology

HLTS-3 investigates how people lived in various societies from the past

HLTS-4 explores the features of a particular society or time

HLTS-5 recognises the significance of people and events in the past

HTLS-6 explores the significance of changes and developments in the past

HLTS-7 recognises a variety of historical sources

HLTS-8 uses sources to understand the past

HLTS-9 recognises different perspectives of people, events and issues

HLTS-10 uses a variety of strategies to locate and select information for an historical investigation

HLTS-11 uses historical terms to describe the past

HLTS-12 investigates the past using historical skills

HLTS-13 selects and uses a variety of strategies to organise and communicate information about the past



Evidence of student learning could be gathered through:

  • observation of students matching, classifying and identifying features of medieval times

  • charts/graphic organisers created by students outlining similarities and differences between life in medieval times and life today

  • observation of students identifying primary and secondary sources

  • observation and/or work samples of sequencing events/constructing timelines

  • student-constructed work samples demonstrating features of medieval life, such as:

clothing designs for a medieval character

the menu for a medieval feast or medieval school canteen/café

a poem or song about life in a medieval town

a letter from a person living in a medieval town

an advertisement or tour brochure for people visiting a medieval town


  • student-constructed work samples demonstrating investigation of the significance of the Black Death, such as:

an interview with a doctor or victim

a poster informing people how they can avoid the plague

a poster made from the point of view of a plague doctor advertising how to help plague victims

a list of village rules for people to follow to avoid spreading the plague

a multimedia presentation warning people about the plague

the front page of a newspaper reporting on the Black Death in a particular town

diary entries as a person living in a medieval town during the time of the Black Death


  • observation of engagement in interactive activities, such as:

role-play

webquest.





Content

Teaching, learning and assessment­

Resources

How people lived in the ancient to modern world

  • recognise some features of a particular society/empire, eg housing, food, clothing, writing tools, recreation, celebrations, education, work, transportation

Introduction

A film may be used to introduce students to medieval times. Students can recognise elements of the film that indicate that it is set in the past and/or medieval times.



Films:

  • A Knight’s Tale

  • Robin Hood

  • Tangled

  • Ladyhawke

TV shows:

  • Horrible Histories (BBC)

  • Merlin

How we understand the passage of time

  • explore the language of time, eg past, present, future, ancient, modern

How our families have changed or stayed the same over time

  • demonstrate understanding of the concept of generations and identify the generations in their own family history

The features of the ancient to modern world and how it is the same as or different to today

  • use the language of time to describe the ancient to modern world, eg ‘a long time ago’, BC/AD, BCE/CE




The past

  • Reinforce students’ understanding of ‘past’ and ‘present’. This can be done through:

using language to describe ‘past’ and ‘present’, eg yesterday, before, a long time ago, BC/AD, BCE/CE, now

completing a timeline or chart describing one thing that they are doing or did:



  • now

  • yesterday

  • last week

  • last month or term

  • last year

  • five years ago.

  • Review students’ understanding of ‘generations’. Students complete a family tree going back as many generations as they are able to.

  • Explain to students that the period of time they will be exploring is a very long time ago. Provide examples relevant to students to illustrate the passage of time, eg before their grandparents and great-grandparents were alive, before the school was built, before Sydney was a city, before Australia was discovered.




The features of the ancient to modern world and how it is the same as or different to today

  • recognise objects from the ancient to modern world, eg coins, clothing, tools

  • compare the similarities and differences between the present day and the ancient to modern world, using ICT and other sources as appropriate




Medieval times

  • Show students a set of images, such as a knight, castle, king, village, peasant and farming. Provide contrasting images of life today. Student activities could include:

identifying images of medieval life

categorising images as ‘medieval life’ or ‘life today’

matching images to specific features (eg castle, knight, village, peasant, farm)

creating a wordbank of features of medieval life

completing a Venn diagram or comparison chart to identify some similarities and differences between life in medieval times and life today.


  • What did people do in medieval times? Introduce students to some jobs that people who lived in a medieval village did. This can be done through:

providing a set of images and job titles/descriptions for students to match

providing a set of images of people working in medieval times for students to identify the job.



  • What are some common jobs today? Students make a list of common jobs.

  • Students create a double bubble map to show similarities and differences between jobs today and jobs from medieval times.

  • Explain to students that many surnames were originally used to describe the job people did, eg ‘Paul the baker’ became Paul Baker, ‘John the farmer’ became John Farmer. What do the students’ surnames mean? Students use the internet to find meanings of their own surnames.

  • What are some other common surnames that would have come from people’s jobs? (Examples include Smith, Brewer, Carpenter, Cook, Gardener, Herald, Hunter, Knight, Mason, Miller, Page, Painter, Potter, Shepherd, Weaver.) Students may need to be provided with images for them to identify the job and the surname.

  • Students create new surnames to fit modern occupations, eg John Computerperson, Sally Accountant.

Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials (Activities 5, 6 and 7 from Section 1: Introduction)

Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials (Activity 31 from Section 5: Living and Working in a Medieval Village)

Double bubble maps can be created through mindmapping software or using online or print templates. Google Docs has an online double bubble map template.



Behind the Name: The Etymology and History of Surnames

About.com Genealogy: Common Australian Surnames and their Meanings

How we use sources to investigate the past

  • engage with a range of historical evidence using primary and secondary sources and ICT as appropriate, eg photographs, diaries, letters




Sources

  • How do we find out about the past? Use the example described in Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials to explore different sources.

  • Explain to students that they will be exploring more about life in medieval times. How might we do this? What are some sources we could use? As a class, brainstorm different sources, eg interviewing people, looking at pictures/images, reading articles/websites, reading people’s letters or diary entries.

  • Show students a variety of sources. For each source, identify if it came from the past (primary source), or was made more recently about the past (secondary source).

Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials (Activity 4 of Section 1: Introduction)

Mindmap software, such as Inspiration and bubbl.us



History on the net: online activity for primary and secondary sources

How people lived in the ancient to modern world

  • recognise some features of a particular society/empire, eg housing, food, clothing, writing tools, recreation, celebrations, education, work, transportation

  • recognise some aspects of everyday life in a particular society/empire using one or more sources, eg stories, images, multimedia

  • investigate one or more aspects of everyday life in a particular society/empire, using ICT and other sources as appropriate

Everyday life in a medieval town/village

  • Where did people live in medieval times? Students explore the villages/towns of medieval times through:

viewing films/TV shows set in medieval times

using a medieval town builder or other interactive webgame to explore a typical medieval town/village.



  • What were everyday homes like in medieval villages? Provide images of a peasant’s home and/or a castle. Ask students to identify if the images are primary or secondary sources. Students draw the layout of their own home and compare a room, eg kitchen, lounge, with the same room in the peasant’s home and/or the castle. They identify similarities and differences.

  • What did people wear? Students compare clothing from medieval times with clothing today. This can be done through:

viewing medieval clothing

recognising clothes from medieval times and clothes from today

dressing up in traditional medieval clothing (students could also discuss how it feels to wear the clothes, eg heavy/light, cool/hot)

creating a character from medieval times and designing outfits that would be worn for different occasions, eg work, going to church, going to the market.



  • What did people eat? View some video clips of medieval feasts and compare similarities and differences between food from medieval times (fresh vegetables, little meat, legumes and nuts, no processed food) and today. This can be done through a Venn diagram, comparison chart or double bubble map. Activities could include:

identifying foods of the past

eating some common medieval foods

creating a menu for a medieval feast

creating a poster advertising the menu for a medieval school canteen or café and including pictures to illustrate

creating and role-playing a medieval feast (students can create props for the feast and cook/provide some foods that would have been eaten).


  • Additional student activities could include:

writing a poem or song about life in a medieval town

writing a letter from someone living in a medieval town to a family member in another town



designing an advertisement or tour brochure for people visiting the medieval town.

City Creator

The Middle Ages for Kids: Interactive Activities and Games

Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials (Pictures of medieval buildings from Activity 29 of Section 4: Reconstructing Medieval Villages; Activities 30, 33 and 34 of Section 5: Living and Working in a Medieval Village)

Horrible Histories Historical Fashion Fix

Horrible Histories Medieval Come Dine With Me

Heston’s Medieval Feast

The role of one or more significant people or events in a particular society

  • identify significant people and/or events of a particular society, empire and/or development, eg Erik the Red, the Battle of Hastings, the spread of the Black Death, Joan of Arc, Suleiman the Magnificent, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei, Genghis Khan

  • investigate one or more significant people and/or events of a particular society, empire and/or development, using ICT and other sources as appropriate

  • recognise different perspectives of an event for a particular society, empire and/or development

  • use skills of inquiry to investigate one or more mysteries or controversies in history, eg the extent of the voyages of the Vikings, using ICT and other sources as appropriate

The location and geographical features of a particular society, empire and/or historical development

  • identify the location of a particular society, empire and/or development

  • use a map to identify significant locations of a society, empire and/or development, eg cities, trade routes, invasions, explorations



The Black Death – spread, symptoms and treatments

  • What sorts of things keep us healthy? Make this the topic of a class discussion and mindmap. Encourage students to consider things such as food, medical treatment, exercise and hygiene. Discuss whether these things were the same or different in medieval times.

  • Explore some of the living conditions in medieval times that would have led to disease, eg water, sanitation, food.

  • What is the Black Death (also known as the Bubonic Plague/Great Plague)? Define the term ‘plague’ and introduce students to the disease. Students use a map to show the spread of the disease. Alternatively, they can use an interactive map to observe or describe how the disease spread.

  • When did the Black Death occur? Students explore the timeline of the spread of the Black Death presented in Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials. They use a timeline to show how long ago the Black Death occurred. This can be done through:

providing students with a timeline of the centuries (AD or CE only, or BCE and CE) for them to indicate in which century the Black Death occurred

providing students with century cards to sequence and indicate in which century the Black Death occurred.



  • How did the disease spread? What were the symptoms and treatments? Students use ICT and other sources to investigate how the disease was carried, the symptoms of the disease, and treatments used for plague victims, such as applying a dead frog to the pustule, or wearing a nosegay of sweet-smelling herbs. Student activities could include:

interviewing doctors and victims about the plague

creating a poster informing people how they can avoid the plague

identifying symptoms and treatments through the nursery rhyme ‘Ring a Ring o Rosies’

creating a poster as a plague doctor advertising how you can help plague victims

designing a list of village rules for people to follow to avoid spreading the plague

creating a multimedia presentation warning people in medieval times about the plague

designing a front page of a newspaper reporting on the Black Death in your town

writing one or more diary entries as a person living in a medieval town during the time of the Black Death (examples of diary entries written by students can be found on the internet)

role-playing the outbreak of the plague in a medieval village

undertaking a WebQuest about the plague and its effects.



(Note: Reinforce students’ understanding of primary and secondary sources by providing them with examples of each to use in their research and having students identify which of the sources are primary and which are secondary.)

Mindmap software, such as Inspiration and bubbl.us

What were medieval towns like? How clean were medieval towns? (from SchoolHistory.co.uk)

Horrible Histories – Shouty Man – Pee-Sil and medieval toilets (note: the contents of this video may be too graphic for some students)

Flowchart showing how the disease is spread (from SchoolHistory.co.uk)

Symptoms of the Plague (from SchoolHistory.co.uk)

Medieval Realms Special Needs Support Materials (Activities 36 and 38 of Section 6: The Black Death)

The Stuarts – Great Plague 1665 (from History on the net.com)

Horrible Histories Medieval Treatments for Bubonic Plague

Nursery Rhymes – Lyrics, Origins and History!

Diary entries:



  • The Black Death: A Journal of One Who Died

  • My Diary of the Black Plague: Seen Through the Eyes of a Fourteen Year-Old Girl

Black Death WebQuest (This WebQuest provides a good basis for researching some features of the Black Death. More accessible information and further scaffolding could be used to facilitate student research.)

The role of one or more significant people or events in a particular society

  • explore the legacy of an individual, society, empire or event, eg ideas and inventions, using ICT and other sources as appropriate, eg the invention of gunpowder in China




Impact of the Black Death on medieval society

  • Encourage students to remember the jobs they explored that people did in medieval times. What would have happened if the people who did some of those jobs died (eg baker, tailor, blacksmith)?

  • Introduce students to the story of Eyam village, which was affected by the plague in the London outbreak of 1665. As a class, students can read and/or perform a play about the village.

The Plague at Eyam

Time Team: Series 16, Episode 2 – The Hollow Way: Ulnaby, County Durham








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