Greetings from the Middle Ages!
We recently finished a project on the Middle Ages (or the Dark Ages, or the Medieval Times, or whatever you want to call them). The theme of this project was Continuity and Change, so we looked at similarities and differences between the Middle Ages and now.
Predictably, there was a driving question behind this project:
What was life like in the Middle Ages? How does it compare to today?
Well, to answer the question simply, life sucked in the Middle Ages. Most people were serfs and had to do whatever they’re lords told them to, they blindly followed the church, and everyone’s life expectancy was very short. But the point of this blog post is not to answer the question simply, so I guess I should probably continue.
This project focused mainly on the idea of Continuity and Change, so our final product at the end of the unit was to create a Keynote presentation with a partner about 2 aspects of the Middle Ages, and how they were similar/differed from today.
One of the ways we learned about the Middle Ages was to read a book called The Book of the Lion. It was about a young apprentice named Edmund who became a squire and went off to fight in the Crusades with his master and his loyal horse, Winter Star. It was… well, let’s just say it wasn’t my favourite book. But I’m not writing this blog post to complain, so on with the show!
Every week after reading a section of the book, we would discuss the book in groups. Each person played a different role every week: the Smart Summarizer (who made a summary of the section of the book being discussed), the Creative Connector (who made connections between their life and the book), and the Artful Artist (who created a piece of art representing a scene from the book). My favourite role was the Artful Artist, even though it has the worst name (sorry, Ms. Maxwell!) . I drew a picture of Edmund’s ship during a storm. As it turned out, pretty much every other artist drew the same thing that week, but the sad thing was that my art wasn’t even that good! You can form your own opinion though.
My favourite Milestone by far was Milestone 2: Character Letter. We were assigned a role in the Feudal system (ex. King, Lord, Merchant, Serf). I was assigned the role of a Knight. There was a pretty big range of rank for knights in the Middle Ages; you could be a page (a knightly apprentice aged 7 to 14), a squire (a knightly apprentice aged 14 to 21) or a knight. Since women had no power or rights in the Middle Ages, they weren’t allowed to be knights, so I decided to take on the character of the wife of a knight away fighting in the Crusades. I got a bit carried away creating my character, but in my opinion the letter turned out good in the end.
You can gain insight into Miriel (my character)’s personal life by reading her letter.
I was pretty pretty proud of it, and I feel like a learned a lot about knights and women’s roles in the Middle Ages too. Did you know that the only opportunity women had for education was to become a nun, and that even then they still only learned very limited subjects? Yikes. I’m sure glad I live in the 21st century.
After that educational journey, we stared researching our subjects. My partner, Raymond, and I chose to focus on the Trebuchet (a kind of catapult) and the Spice Trade. We also researched Christianity, clothing, and land travel, but those weren’t part of out presentation.
It was really cool to read about all these interesting subjects! I always especially enjoy history, so this was really fun.
If you wish to view the insane amount of notes that Raymond and I took, here is the link to that document.
Finally, we created our Keynote presentation using the knowledge we had gained after those excessive notes. I was not super experienced with Keynote, because before I was in an Apple Distinguished Program I used Microsoft programs like PowerPoint. Keynote is basically the Apple version of PowerPoint, if you were wondering.
Off task again, Evelyn. You need to learn not to go off on long irrelevant tangents like you are doing now.
Here is our Keynote presentation:
This video doesn’t include the actual talking part of our presentation. Luckily, Ms. Maxwell took a video of Raymond and me presenting!
Here is an iCloud link.
In case you’re wondering, the reason the video cuts off just as I’m starting to present is that the storage on Ms. Maxwell’s phone ran out as we were talking, so most of my part is not there. Honestly, I don’t really mind, because I’d rather not think about having to talk in front of 25 people.
So, I think that’s it for this project! If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you might have noticed that my last 2 entries have broken the general theme of my blog: late posts! I am rather proud of my organized-ness (is that a word?), but I’m sure I will continue with my theme of tardiness soon (sigh).
There I go on another tangent.
Irrelevant rants aside, I feel like I’ve learned a lot from this project. The Middle Ages are very interesting, but I’m glad I am a modern girl. Next we’re moving on to the Renaissance! How exciting.
That’s all, folks!