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Feudalism Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Have you always wanted to be the lord of the land? Study.com makes it happen in your instruction on feudalism with the help of an engaging classroom activity and an informative text lesson.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • outline the economic and political practices of feudalism
  • analyze the pros and cons of feudalism

Length

1 hour

Materials

  • Construction paper
  • Markers

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7

Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Key Vocabulary

  • Feudalism
  • Lord
  • Vassal

Instructions

  • Begin by passing out a sheet of construction paper to each student.
  • Explain to the students that this sheet represents their land. Tell them that they can put whatever they want on the land, but that they must live on the land and produce something on the land. In short, their livelihood depends on this land.
  • Now give students some time to design the layout of their land using the markers.
  • When all students have finished designing their plot of land, have them present their designs to the class.
  • Now watch the introduction, What Was Feudalism? and How Did Feudalism Work? sections of the Study.com video lesson What is Medieval Feudalism? - Definition, Structure & History.
  • Discuss and define key vocabulary, as necessary.
  • Explain to the students that the land you gave them and that they designed will be governed under the principles of feudalism. Therefore, you are their lord and they are vassals. This means that everything that they drew on their land belongs to you. Furthermore, everything that they produce on their land belongs to you. In return, you will let them live and work the land while offering them protection. How do the students feel about this? Discuss briefly as a class.
  • Next, have students work in small groups to list some potential pros and cons of feudalism. Have them share their lists with the class for discussion, writing the pros and cons on the board.
  • Watch the remainder of the lesson.
  • Revisit the list of pros and cons. Did the students' ideas regarding the pros and cons match up with the information provided in the lesson? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions?

  • How is feudalism different from capitalism?
  • How different would our lives be if we lived in a system of feudalism?

Extensions

  • Assign students to small groups. Each group must find a popular franchise with which to affiliate. The group should then document the responsibilities and obligations they have as franchisees. How does this compare to feudalism?
  • Have students research companies that allow consumers to rent-to-own products. How does this practice compare to feudalism?

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