Medieval Town & Medieval Manor: Postcards from the Middle Ages with Handouts

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Teaching Guide for these Materials
1. The essential question for this lesson on the medieval town is: Did the benefits of medieval town living outweigh the drawbacks? Why? Why Not?
2. Distribute the handouts entitled, “The Medieval Town.” Handouts on pages 4-5 are written at Middle School reading level and the handouts on pages 6-7 are written at a high school level. You can decide to read the same sheet together or differentiate based on the reading levels of your students.
3. Distribute page 3 and have students work together to record the benefits and drawbacks of medieval town living using the details from the reading.
4. Review the responses during a whole class discussion. You may want to ask the students to select the best and worst feature of Medieval town living and have them defend their selections.
5. Distribute page 1 & 2, which should be copied back to back, and inform students that they are a former serfs who have moved to the medieval town of Pont De Bois, France. They are to send a postcard back to the manor and include in the message:
a. A description of the benefits and drawbacks of the town
b. An explanation of how their life now differs from their life on the manor
c. An explanation in response to the essential question: Did the benefits of medieval town living outweigh the drawbacks?
d. Write one open-ended question of the individual living on the manor.
e. They must design a postage stamp reflective of the time period.
f. On the reverse side they will create an illustration that reflects their perspective of a medieval town.
6. Once completed ask students to mail their postcard to a fellow classmate. You may want students to swap papers with each other at their table or have the whole table swap paper with another table.
7. Distribute pages 10 and 11 (copied back to back) and now have them imagine they are living on a manor and responding back to their friend who is living in the town. The instructions for completion are as follows:
a. In the message describe the benefits and drawbacks of living on a manor.
b. Describe day to day life on the manor,
c. An explanation as to whether or not they believe the benefits of manor living outweighed the
drawbacks.
d. They should also ask an open-ended question in response to your friend’s message about his/her
life in the town.
e. They should design a postage stamp reflective of the time period.
f. On the reverse side they will create an illustration that reflects their perspective of a medieval town.
8. On page 9 that students can complete the organizer to review life on the manor. If you have not completed the lesson on the manor, I have included a graphic organizer and two handouts on page 12 (HS Level) and 13 (MS Level). I generally use the essential question: "Did manor living benefit all social classes equally?" for the lesson on the manor. (THIS LESSON WOULD NEED TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE THE LESSON ON THE TOWN)
9. Once the postcard is completed they can mail it back to their friend and read the response.
10. Students can submit the postcards after completing a self-assessment of their work against a common core
rubric, which can be found on page 8.
A full teacher's guide can be found on page 14.
Total Pages
14
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
3 Days

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Medieval Town & Medieval Manor: Postcards from the Middle
Medieval Town & Medieval Manor: Postcards from the Middle
Medieval Town & Medieval Manor: Postcards from the Middle