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Ch 13: The High Middle Ages: AP World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The High Middle Ages chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about medieval art and history in your classroom. 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 High Middle Ages chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

DayTopicsKey Terms and Concepts Covered
MondayAncient Knowledge and the Catholic Church during the High Middle Ages Religious heresies and inquisitions in the Catholic Church, the influence of St. Francis on church reforms and the return of classical culture, including its devastating effect on the Catholic Church
TuesdayKey Documents and Academic Developments of the High Middle Ages Constitution of Clarendon, Forest Charters, Magna Carta and Provisions of Oxford; the transition from monastery to university learning and teachings of Thomas Aquinas
WednesdayGothic Architecture and ArtDistinctive features of Gothic architecture, painting, sculpture and stained glass
ThursdayRoyals and Peasants of the High Middle AgesFrederick II and his achievements, royal family tree of England and France and everyday life of English peasants
FridayCultural, Technological and Trade Developments during the High Middle Ages Cultural contributions of the Mongolians, importance of trade guilds and invention of mechanical clocks

15 Lessons in Chapter 13: The High Middle Ages: AP World History Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Heresies and Inquisitions in the High Middle Ages

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

The Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries

4. 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

5. 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.

Gothic Painting: Style & Characteristics

6. Gothic Painting: Style & Characteristics

This lesson follows the development of two trends in Gothic painting: realism and perspective. We explore the origins of these movements in Italian Gothic masters, like Duccio, Giotto and the Lorenzetti Brothers, and their later expression in Northern European illuminations.

Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

7. Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

In this lesson, we cover the development of Gothic architectural decoration, specifically decorative sculpture and stained glass windows. You'll learn about Gothic use of stained glass and the evolution of sculpture from Romanesque decoration to Gothic statues.

Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics & History

8. Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics & History

This lesson covers the three main features of Gothic architecture: the pointed arch, the rib vault and the flying buttress. We then look at a slideshow of examples of the Gothic style around Europe.

Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church

9. 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.

Frederick II: King and Emperor

10. Frederick II: King and Emperor

Frederick II was responsible for gaining control of many lands in Germany and Italy under the Holy Roman Empire. This lesson explores the background of the story and Frederick's accomplishments.

The Invention and Impact of Mechanical Clocks

11. The Invention and Impact of Mechanical Clocks

Timekeeping has been a part of society since Ancient Egypt. This lesson briefly explores the history of clocks and the impact of the mechanical clock on medieval society.

Mongolians and Their Contributions to Western Civilization

12. Mongolians and Their Contributions to Western Civilization

This lesson covers the contributions of the Mongols to Western civilization. We begin by examining the tale of Marco Polo. Next, we look at some common misconceptions about the Mongols. Finally, we enumerate the many technologies brought to Europe by this group.

Guilds in Western Culture and Economies in the High Middle Ages

13. Guilds in Western Culture and Economies in the High Middle Ages

Medieval guilds provided standards for production and protected their members from oppression. This lesson explores why guilds developed in the High Middle Ages.

Middle Age Royals of England and France

14. Middle Age Royals of England and France

The life of a High Middle Ages's king was filled with conflict. This lesson explores some of the major kings of England and France and their relations with each other and their powerful nobles.

The Daily Life of English Peasants

15. The Daily Life of English Peasants

Peasants of the Middle Age faced a very harsh life. This lesson explores the typical lifestyle for an English peasant in the 11th through 13th centuries, including the daily tasks they performed.

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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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the AP World History Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course

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