Western Reserve Public Media

The Middle Ages — Overview

Western Reserve Public Media presents The Middle Ages, a multimedia package that is keyed to grade 7 social studies and language arts standards. The package includes a teacher guide and a Web site. The Web site contains video segments, the teacher guide and games and activities. The goal of the program is to help students understand the basic concepts of this historical period, including the barbarian invasions, feudalism, the Crusades, the devastation of the plague, the causes of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Reformation. This is accomplished through hands-on and project-based activities.

The video clips for this multimedia kit are available online only at www.WesternReservePublicMedia.org/middleages. The clips give an overview of the time of the Middle Ages plus segments about blacksmiths, jousting, the Goths, the Vikings, knights’ clothing, weaponry and more.

Teacher Guide
The teacher guide includes the following lessons:

The Big Picture
The Eras of History
In the activity Tabla Lusoria, students play a board game that was invented by the ancient Romans. To advance their token on the board, they must correctly answer questions about whether an event happened in ancient, medieval or modern history.

The Invasions
Students look at the barbarian invasions through a series of maps. Then they learn about items that the barbarians brought with them that made life easier for the feudal people. Finally, students create an advertising brochure that promotes one of these innovations.

Learning About Islam
Students learn about the birth of Islam and its relation to the Crusades. For enrichment, students can write a paper comparing and contrasting Islam and Christianity.


The Research
Students conduct research on the different people that made up the feudal society. They study the clothing, food, culture, housing and other cultural facts about the various classes of people.

The Play
Students create a play about medieval life. They develop the characters, setting, conflict and resolution. They also may produce the play.

Roman World vs. Feudal World
Students fill in a Venn diagram that compares the Roman and the feudal worlds. They look at the people, the government, the family, education, medicine and entertainment in both worlds.


The Crusades
The students read about the many crusades and discuss how these holy wars between Christianity and Islam helped to
bring about the changes that led to the Renaissance. They will write a rhyme that explains specific events and/or people of
the Crusades.


The End of Feudalism and the Middle Ages
The Bubonic Plague
Students learn how the bubonic plague led to the end of one era and the beginning of another. They do a simulation activity that helps them to understand the devastating effects of the plague.

Medieval Art
Students look at the beginning of the Renaissance period. They create an illuminated manuscript similar to those made during medieval times.


The Renaissance and the Reformation
Students compare and contrast current events with the Reformation period.


Project Coordinator
Maria Mastromatteo, Western Reserve Public Media

Cathy Page Adler, Ravenna City School District

Content Expert
Michael J. Monaco, Librarian, Cleveland Public Library

Mohammed Ismail, P.E. Executive Director, Islamic Community of Akron and Kent

Teacher Guide Layout and Design
Paula Kritz, Western Reserve Public Media

Produced by Western Reserve Public Media (WNEO/WEAO, Youngstown/Akron, Ohio)

Executive Producer
Maria Mastromatteo, Western Reserve Public Media

Amanda Sackett, Western Reserve Public Media

Matt McPike, Western Reserve Public Media

Amanda Sackett, Western Reserve Public Media

Matt McPike, Western Reserve Public Media

Cathy Page Adler, Ravenna City School District

Layout and Design
Paula Kritz, Western Reserve Public Media

Special Thanks
Great Lakes Medieval Faire
1-888-633-4382 (1-888-MEDIEVA)


Copyright©2008, Northeastern Educational Television of Ohio, Inc. All rights reserved.