Medieval activities like ship building or printing teach about dark age leadership. Decorous objects surface as sacred articles of personal ornament. Such treasures denote triumphant dynasty and lucidate a conqueror's cultural mien. “Shape-shifter” guides a look at relics within a context of obscure symbolism. What compelled change in medieval customs? Style, status, political milieu, and goal lead an interpersonal study of Dark Ages personal décor.

     We offer three integrated units pulled from the medieval context. Units highlight adventures of barbarian medieval clans. These include Scandinavian Vikings, Gauls, King Arthur, and Charlemagne. Students will analyze personalities to learn about links between sacred objects and owners. Study reflects political and social values. Here's a sample of our multi-lesson primary level unit, Viking Voyages!

     The main approach is visual, with emphasis on description, attribute, names, and labels. Instructors can shape focus to suit a preschool level, as with a fairytale or pirate theme. It's never too early to teach stereotypes about ancient peoples are not applicable to second millennium society.

      Strategy targets the thought patterns necessary to scientific problem solving. Clear expression of ideas is another. The unit consists of six lesson plans and follow up tasks that encompass all core subjects. We preview the first and last here.

     Here's a sample of our multi-lesson primary level unit, Viking Voyages!


Scrapbooking, Historical Timeline, Plotting Cities On A World Map, Fairy Tale Analysis, Classical Civilizations, Ancient Mythology

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: By the end of the unit the student will:

1. Identify place and understand the diverse ways in which land influenced lifestyle, culture, and community in history

2. Comprehend why Vikings were nomadic explorers and how they influenced exploration on indigenous cultures

3. Realize that spirituality was a powerful motivating force throughout history 4. Learn that ferocious self-décor did not indicate an immoral character 5. Identify and compare the various members of a Viking community with those of an urban cosmopolitan setting.

Suggested Resources:

Geoffrey of Monmouth. The History of the Kings of Britain. Penguin Classics, 1977; Burgess, Glyn S. The Lais of Marie de France. Penguin Classics, 1999;

Burgess, Glyn S. The Song of Roland, Penguin Classics, 1990; Giles, J. A. History of the Britons. Penguin Classics, 2007;

Ellis, Peter Berresford. Celtic Myths and Legends. Running Press, 2003;

Davidson, H. R. Ellis. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. Penguin Books, 1965; Sturluson, Snorri. The Prose Edda: Tales from Norse Mythology. Penguin Classics, 2006;

Larrington, Carolyne. The Poetic Edda, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 2014;

Byock, Jesse L. The Saga of the Volsungs. Penguin Classics, 2000;

Lindow, John. Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. Oxford University Press, 2002;

Smiley, Jane, Kellogg, Robert, eds. The Sagas of Icelanders: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition. Penguin Classics, 2001;

Gantz, Jeffrey, trans. Early Irish Myths and Sagas. Penguin Classics, 1982;

Ellis, Peter Berresford. Celtic Myths and Legends. Running Press, 2003


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