Ch 18: The High Middle Ages High School World History Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The High Middle Ages chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the students in your classroom about topics such as the rise of universities, the rule of Frederick II and the invention of mechanical clocks. 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.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday 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 Rise of Universities and Displacement of Monasteries
The definition of heresy, and a look at classical knowledge and the power of the church;
St. Francis of Assisi and other monks who chose to live without possessions and preached in the streets;
The importance of books and paper in the spread of classical knowledge;
The spread of education and the first universities
Tuesday The Magna Carta and the Constitution of Clarendon: Definition and Significance;
Charter of the Forest and the Provisions of Oxford: Definition and Significance;
Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics and History;
Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics and Style
The creation of the Constitution of Clarendon;
The reasons for the development of the Charter of the Forest;
The importance of the ribbed vault, pointed arch and flying buttress in Gothic architecture;
The decoration of the great cathedrals with sculpture and stained glass
Wednesday Gothic Painting: Style and Characteristics;
How Thomas Aquinas Saved the Faith From Reason;
Frederick II: King and Emperor
Perspective painting and the origins of Gothic paintings and murals;
The beliefs of St. Thomas Aquinas and Plato;
The rule of Frederick II during the High Middle Ages
Thursday The Invention and Impact of Mechanical Clocks;
Mongolians and Their Contributions to Western Civilization;
Guilds in Western Culture and Economies in the High Middle Ages
A look at the origins of timekeeping in the Middle Ages;
An exploration of the effect of Chinese technologies on European countries;
The purpose of medieval guilds of the High Middle Ages
Friday Middle Age Royals of England and France;
Power Struggles of the Holy Roman Empire: Popes vs. Emperors;
The Daily Life of English Peasants
The Capetians and the Angevin empire;
The reign of Frederick II and the battle for control of the German empire;
A look at the struggles of peasants and their obligations

17 Lessons in Chapter 18: The High Middle Ages High School 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.

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

6. 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.

Gothic Architecture: Style, Characteristics & History

7. 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.

Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

8. 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 Painting: Style & Characteristics

9. 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.

Thomas Aquinas' Influence on the Catholic Church

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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.

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

16. 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 Daily Life of English Peasants

17. 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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