Western Reserve Public Media

Lesson Plan: The Invasions

In keeping with the theme of understanding the transition from one type of society to the next as described in the state standards, this lesson shows how the invasions of Germanic tribes during the Middle Ages helped bring about the changes that ended once and for all the ancient times and ushered in the medieval period. Students will accomplish the following:

  • Read and see the movement of the invasions

  • Learn the various improvements in technology brought by the new groups of people

  • Complete a project that illustrates those improvements and explain how Europe changed


Standards Addressed
Grade 7
Social Studies — History, Benchmark C

04. Explain the lasting effects of military conquests during the Middle Ages.



  1. As a class, read and discuss the enclosed handout, Background: The Invasions. More attention should be given to the understanding of the development of feudalism, rather than to the specific invasions.

  2. For additional resources, reference the photos and video clips found at www.WesternReservePublicMedia.org/middleages/resources.htm.

  3. After discussion, begin the creation of a catalog that illustrates the new products brought into Europe by the invaders. These products are discussed in the last three paragraphs of the handout. Be sure that one group or individual advertises the idea of feudalism, since that is a major change brought about by the barbarian invasions. The page “Sample Advertisement” gives an example of this exercise.

  4. Students may work in groups or pairs, or each student can select a product to advertise individually. The advertisement should show an illustration of an advanced technology such as the yoke. It also should include a description of why the advance is important, what it can do for society, its cost and its ordering information.

  5. Finished individual pages can be posted around the room or hallways, or combined into a catalog, to help students understand the many advancements brought about by the invaders.


Rubric for Grading Advertisement

The ad explains changes brought about by the invasions. The change is explained well and is historically correct and informative. The change is explained and is historically correct. The change is present but there are problems with the explanation. The ad doesn’t teach anything regarding the changes brought about by the invasions.
The ad includes an illustration, either original or clip art. The illustration helps teach the concept of what was developed. The illustration is about the Middle Ages. The illustration is correct, but doesn’t show much effort. The illustration is missing or completely inappropriate.
The presentation of the work shows effort and pride. Work is very neat, with good sentences,
good grammar and correct spelling.
Work is neat and has no more than one writing or spelling error. Work is readable but has two or more writing or spelling errors. Work is immature in presentation and shows no pride
or effort.



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