This 10 page packet/lesson teaches students about the innovations of the Middle Ages' Agricultural Revolution and the impact it had on society. The lesson uses primary source excerpts, images, readings, and a fun "farming" simulation activity. A thorough teacher answer key is included.
The lesson begins by having students complete a "Do Now" question to get them thinking about what the term "Agricultural Revolution" might mean. Then, students connect the lesson to previous knowledge by reading a primary source poem about why serfs' lives were so difficult.
Then students complete a hands-on simulation in which they act as a serf "farming" their fields - first under a set of directions simulating pre-Agricultural Revolution farming, then simulating post-Agricultural Revolution farming. They draw diagrams and calculate field output, efficiency, and productivity through simple math calculations (this part will appeal to STEM-minded students) to discover for themselves the economic and nutritional benefits of the 3 Field Rotation System. Great for kinesthetic learners!
Students then complete a few secondary source readings with analysis questions in which they learn about the methods and impact of the technological innovations which contributed to the Agricultural Revolution, such as: the heavy plow, the use of the plow horse, horseshoes, and the new horse collar.
Students finish by learning about the social and demographic effects of the Agricultural Revolution and use what they learned in the whole lesson to complete a writing activity in which they assess how "revolutionary" they believe the Agricultural Revolution really was.
This lesson covers all the key points students must know about this subject for state assessments, and is completely Common Core aligned.
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