The study of the Middle Ages seems to open the door to a bounty of activities for any grade where it appears on the curriculum. In our imagination, the era is filled with pageantry, chivalry, knights in shining armor and castles on the hill. Forget that the castles were wet and drafty, the Black Death lurked, and most people lived in thankless servitude. We can still learn about the times by staging mock tournaments, banquets, and costume play. The kids will have fun, the teachers will look creative, and we might learn a little bit about our fabled past.
In this unit, Medieval Life: Researching, Writing, Puppets!, the writing and performance of a puppet play brings the fun, while individual research and working together as a team accounts for the learning. You can fit it into your schedule in a number of ways:
in a single class - Social Studies or Language Arts
in an interdisciplinary learning setting where 2 0r more subjects (SS and LA) share the same students
in an enrichment class, mini course, or summer school class
We have provided a sample calendar for the first two of these settings.
Students will not be functioning alone but as part of a drama production company who will create and perform a puppet play based on your knowledge and research on a part of medieval life. Each production company will:
* select a topic about the Middle Ages from the included list
*name your company and fill out your Company Information Sheet.
* Keep this sheet up to date as they work.
* research the topic gaining historic information
* choose a style for the play from the Medieval Drama Background sheet
* write a puppet play in chosen style including historical facts from research
* produce scenery backdrop and puppets for the play
* rehearse the play
* perform the play