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Ch 9: Medieval Europe: Middle School World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Medieval Europe chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the students in your classroom about the definitions, timelines and significance of major events in medieval Europe. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Medieval Europe chapter into two 5-day school weeks. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Europe and Eurasia: Geography of the Land Mass;
Spread of Christianity in Medieval Europe;
Heirs of Rome: The Church and the Byzantines
The waterways and mountains of Europe;
A look at how Christianity went from secrecy to the religion of many around the world;
The societies and influences of Constantinople
Tuesday Order from Chaos: Establishing Stability Through Feudal Ties and Manors;
Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire;
Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Divine Right to Rule
An exploration of feudalism and sustainment;
An explanation of feudalism and its origins;
The military conquests of Charlemagne
Wednesday Vikings: From Lawbreakers to Lawmakers;
Power Struggles of the Holy Roman Empire;
The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monarchies
The Vikings and their transition;
The struggles between Germany, Italy and the papacy;
A look at how education became available to the masses and the development of the first universities
Thursday The Magna Carta and the Constitution of Clarendon: Definition and Significance;
Charter of the Forest and the Provisions of Oxford: Definition and Significance;
Medieval England's Impact on Modern Democratic Thought
King Henry II's creation of the Constitutions of Clarendon;
The Charter of the Forest and how it gave ordinary men access to royal lands of the forest;
The courts and democracies of England
Friday The First Crusade: Causes and Effects;
The Great Crusades: History and Timeline;
The Little Ice Age and the Black Death
The organization and results of the People's Crusade;
The attempts of subsequent crusaders to make it to the Holy Land;
The cooling temperatures, famines and plagues of 14th century Europe
Monday Monasticism from St. Benedict to Cluny;
The Roman Catholic Clergy;
The Investiture Conflict: Rulers vs. the Centralized Church;
The 4 Lateran Councils: The Rules and Decisions;
A look at the history of monasticism and Cluniac reform;
The hierarchy of power within the Medieval Church;
An explanation of the conflict between the Holy Roman Emperor and the pope;
A look at the laws of each of the councils
Tuesday Heresies and Inquisitions in the High Middle Ages;
Mendicants: St. Francis and Church Reforms;
The Spread of Ancient Knowledge and Its Impact on the Church
The power of the Church throughout the 11th century;
The mission and works of the early mendicants;
The creation of parchment and paper, which spread knowledge around Western Europe
Wednesday How Thomas Aquinas Saved the Faith From Reason;
Babylonian Captivity of the Church and the Decline of Papal Authority;
The Western Schism and the Tale of 3 Popes
Thomas Aquinas and his defense of the Church;
The events of the Babylonian Captivity and the Avignon Papacy;
The election of three popes and the division that resulted
Thursday The Role of the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe;
Decline of Muslim Rule in the Iberia Peninsula
A look at how the Church maintained control throughout the Middle Ages;
The conquest of Spain by Christians
Friday What is a Coat of Arms?;
Coat of Arms: Symbols and Meaning
The origins and purpose of coats of arms;
Symbolism on a coat of arms

28 Lessons in Chapter 9: Medieval Europe: Middle School World History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Europe & Eurasia: Geography of the Land Mass

1. Europe & Eurasia: Geography of the Land Mass

The settlements of Europe, from snowy Norway to sunny Sicily, have all been affected by the geography of their local surroundings. In this lesson, we discuss the influence of geography on Europe as a whole.

Spread of Christianity in Medieval Europe

2. Spread of Christianity in Medieval Europe

Christianity may have began as a small religious tradition in the Middle East, but it soon spread throughout much of the known world. This lesson takes a look at how Christianity spread throughout Europe in the early Middle Ages.

Heirs of Rome: The Church and the Byzantines

3. Heirs of Rome: The Church and the Byzantines

The Roman Empire covered a vast area, and when it fell, its people were in danger of losing their civilization. This lesson explores some of the things that remained as the Empire fell, as well as how they affected Roman citizens.

Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

4. Order From Chaos: Establishing Stability through Feudal Ties and Manors

This lesson will explore the impact of feudalism on European society. While explaining the system of feudalism, it will highlight how it offered protection and stability to Europe, specifically after the 5th century fall of Rome.

Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire

5. Feudalism: Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire

This lesson explains the rule of Charlemagne and his control over the Holy Roman Empire. It highlights his many military conquests and his divine rights as king, while also focusing on the role feudalism played before, during, and after his reign.

Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Divine Right to Rule

6. Charlemagne's Holy Roman Empire and the Divine Right to Rule

This lesson will explore the rule of Charlemagne and his exercise of the divine right of kings. It will highlight his reign as Holy Roman Emperor, focusing on his military conquests and his cultural reforms.

Power Struggles of the Holy Roman Empire: Popes vs. Emperors

7. Power Struggles of the Holy Roman Empire: Popes vs. Emperors

The High Middle Ages was characterized by constant struggles for power. This lesson explores fighting between the papacy, Germany, and Italy for authority over the Holy Roman Empire.

The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries

8. The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries

Before the Middle Ages, education was the responsibility of the Church. As the need for education spread to those who were not clergy, monasteries could no longer meet the needs of education. This lesson explores the decline of monastic education and the rise of the university.

The Magna Carta & The Constitutions of Clarendon: Definition & Significance

9. The Magna Carta & The Constitutions of Clarendon: Definition & Significance

In the High Middle Ages, rulers fought for supreme power. This lesson explores two of the earliest documents to limit power of an authority figure, whether it was the pope or a king.

Charter of the Forest and the Provisions of Oxford: Definition & Significance

10. Charter of the Forest and the Provisions of Oxford: Definition & Significance

In the High Middle Ages several charters were created that limited the authority of ruling powers. This lesson explores two of these charters, both of which limited the authority of the king of England.

Medieval England's Impact on Modern Democratic Thought

11. Medieval England's Impact on Modern Democratic Thought

Going back almost a thousand years, the English have had an enormous impact on the democratic ideals we value today. Learn how the English were among the first to use trial by jury and many other democratic practices.

The First Crusade: Causes and Effects

12. The First Crusade: Causes and Effects

This lesson covers the motivations of Pope Urban II in calling for the crusade at Clermont and at the religious and secular motivations of European laymen. We will also look at the startling success of the first crusade.

The Great Crusades: History and Timeline

13. The Great Crusades: History and Timeline

This lesson examines the utter failure of the later crusades. We look at some of the factors that led to this failure. We then have a glimpse at each of the major crusades abroad, as well as the political and heretical crusades in Europe.

The Little Ice Age and the Black Death

14. The Little Ice Age and the Black Death

Fourteenth century Europe experienced a devastating population decline due to a climate cooling, famine, and the plague. This lesson explores how these factors occurred and their impact on Europe.

Monasticism from St. Benedict to Cluny

15. Monasticism from St. Benedict to Cluny

This lesson will trace the history of Western monasticism from Benedict to Cluny. It will focus on the Benedictine rule while also highlight monastic contributions to society.

The Roman Catholic Clergy

16. The Roman Catholic Clergy

This lesson will list and describe the different members of the Medieval clergy. Beginning at the lower levels and ending with the Pope, it will outline the duties of each office.

The Investiture Conflict: Rulers vs. the Centralized Church

17. The Investiture Conflict: Rulers vs. the Centralized Church

This lesson will explore the Investiture Conflict of the 11th and 12th centuries. In doing so, it will highlight the roles of Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV. It will also explain the Concordat of Worms.

The 4 Lateran Councils: The Rules and Decisions

18. The 4 Lateran Councils: The Rules and Decisions

This lesson will discuss the Four Lateran Councils held between the years 1123 and 1215 CE. In doing so, it will explore and highlight the main themes and decisions of each.

Heresies and Inquisitions in the High Middle Ages

19. Heresies and Inquisitions in the High Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages the term heresy referred to religious beliefs that were in disagreement with an established Christian doctrine. This lesson explores the often violent results of the growing popularity of heretical beliefs in the High Middle Ages.

Mendicants: St. Francis and Church Reforms

20. Mendicants: St. Francis and Church Reforms

Catholicism spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. In response to growing power and separation from urban middle-class citizens, mendicants lived in poverty and reached out to the poor. This lesson explores the orders formed by the mendicants.

The Spread of Ancient Knowledge and Its Impact on the Church

21. The Spread of Ancient Knowledge and Its Impact on the Church

Classical knowledge comes from ancient cultures like the Greeks and Romans. When Christians fought in the Crusades, they discovered some of these texts. This lesson explores the impact of classical learning on the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages.

Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church

22. Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church

St. Thomas Aquinas was perhaps the most important figure of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages. This lesson examines what he did to help protect the Church against a rebirth of critical thinking by using critical thinking to defend the Church.

Babylonian Captivity of the Church and the Decline of Papal Authority

23. Babylonian Captivity of the Church and the Decline of Papal Authority

In the Middle Ages, the power of the papacy began to decline. A French pope chose to move his court to France. This lesson explores this event, its background, and its impact on Catholicism.

The Western Schism and the Tale of 3 Popes

24. The Western Schism and the Tale of 3 Popes

In the Middle Ages, the Catholic church ended up with three elected popes, creating a division in loyalty. This lesson explores how this incident occurred and how it was finally resolved.

The Role of the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe

25. The Role of the Catholic Church in Medieval Europe

More than any other force, the medieval Church held Europe together. This lesson details some of the ways that the Church was able to not only maintain control but also to expand its finances and its artistic endeavors.

Decline of Muslim Rule in the Iberian Peninsula

26. Decline of Muslim Rule in the Iberian Peninsula

Spain used to be one of the richest and most intellectually progressive places in the Islamic world. This lesson explains how Spain went from being a thoroughly Islamic region to being completely re-conquered by Christians.

What Is a Coat of Arms?

27. What Is a Coat of Arms?

Does your family have a special symbol that helps identify its members to other people? In this lesson you will learn about the history of the coat of arms, beginning in Medieval Europe.

Coat of Arms: Symbols & Meanings

28. Coat of Arms: Symbols & Meanings

If you were to draw a picture of all of the things that represent you as a person, what would that picture include? This lesson explains the various symbols and meanings of Medieval European coats of arms.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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