Lesson Plan on the Crusades

Teacher: Sandra J. Grenier Subject: Social Studies
Grade Level: 6 Date: June 6, 2002

I. Content: I want my students to understand that during the 13th century, major changes in Europe were occurring such as increased population, food shortages, and many deaths. Arabic numbers were introduced to Europe. Traveling was neither easy nor safe but people were becoming more mobile. The Crusades were holy wars fought by Europeans believing they were upholding the Christian religion against the invasion of the Islamic religion. The Crusades were wars fought with savageness. The crusaders attacked Muslims, Jews, and other groups. During the Fourth Crusade, Jerusalem was recaptured.

II. Prerequisites: The student should be able to locate countries on a world map. The student must understand that boundaries have changed over time due to the ability of one group of people to control another group of people. The student must understand what conflict is. The student should have knowledge of the events of the first three crusades. The students should know some similarities and differences between the Christians, Jews, and Arabs during this time period.

III. Instructional Objective: Given a map of Europe and the Middle East in the 12th and 13th centuries, the student will describe the major causes and effects of the Fourth Crusade. Included in the description must be reference to the following: 1. identification of the countries involved in the crusade, both European and Muslim, 2. the outcome of the crusade in terms of battles, territory gained and lost, leaders of both sides, and at least one way Europe changed as a result of the Crusade.

IV. Instructional Procedures:

Lesson-initiating activity: The lesson begins with the teacher reading Pope Innocent III's comment shortly after the capture of Constantinople. Then, there will be a teacher-guided discussion where the students will be asked to discuss their interpretation of what Pope Innocent III may have meant by this statement.

Core activities: Next, the teacher will introduce the fact that quarreling between the western Catholic Church in Rome and the eastern Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople was a reason for the fourth crusade to begin. In addition, the teacher will explain reasons why the new leaders were becoming involved in this crusade from France, Flanders, and the Venetians.

Closure activities: The teacher will provide maps for paired students to identify the countries involved during the fourth crusade. Using an overhead, the teacher will review the countries involved while pointing drawing a line between the countries involved. The paired students will write a list of how they believe Europe changed and provide the reasoning behind their answers. Next, the teacher will ask the students their ideas and will write all student responses on the board. Then, the teacher will lead a discussion about the answers given. Finally, the teacher will provide examples of the wealth that was obtained during this conflict and how it changed these countries.

ESOL considerations: The teacher will provide additional examples and pictures of the three various religious cultures involved in the crusades. The teacher will provide audiotapes of the lecture material so that students can listen another time if they so choose to. The maps should provide visual representation. The discussions, in addition to the lecture, should help develop better understanding of the concept.

V. Materials and Equipment: The materials for this lesson include an overhead projector, world maps from the fourth crusade for the students and one made into an overhead for the teacher, paper and pencils to make the lists, pictures of different places of worship, pictures of the religious books like the Bible and the Koran, examples of the religious cultural groups, audiotape of the lecture, and a tape recorder.

VI. Assessment/Evaluation: The teacher will give the class a written test in which the student will be asked to describe the major causes and effects of the Fourth Crusade. The description must include: 1. all of the countries involved in the crusade, both European and Muslim, 2. the outcome of the crusade in terms of battles, territory gained and lost, leaders of both sides, and at least one way Europe changed as a result of the crusade.

VII. Follow-up Activities: The students will select and read a newspaper or magazine article about a conflict in a European country. They will prepare a report stating what conflict they believe the article is addressing. The report must also include any similarities or differences between the crusades and the chosen article. Another activity might be to assign each student a country to research for current conflicts that they are facing. Then, every morning two students could share the information they've found and we could discuss it as a class to further the students' understanding that there are many reasons why events like war occur. After presenting to the class, the two students would then write the conflicts their country faces today on the appropriate country of the world map that is the size of a classroom wall.

VIII. Self-Assessment: The teacher will observe students during the lesson asking questions to check for comprehension. Were the students able to correctly identify the countries involved? Were the students comfortable working in pairs or would this lesson have been more effective with just the overhead map? Were the discussions more motivating and effective? The teacher will review the assessment results to determine student understanding.

Pope Innocent III's comment:

The Greeks may well hate us as dogs. These defenders of Christ who should have turned their sword against the Saracens have waded through Christian blood.

Some of the possible changes that occurred:

Increased power and prestige to the church, more contact with the outside world, trade and travel became more profitable, coined money became more common by 1200, the practice of Usury was permitted, feudal lords became more prosperous and independent, the Jews were persecuted, and many people were murdered.

Reply to author
Navigate the ADPRIMA Site