Women in the middle ages

23 Aug

Year 8 will soon be learning about the roles played by different groups of people in the middle ages.  Our first case study will be women.

My plan is to begin the lesson with a general discussion about what the kids want to be when they grow up.  Hopefully I will get a range of interesting responses.  I will then use this as a segue into explaining that in the middle ages not all career paths were open to everyone.  This was especially true for women  – society had rules about the roles that could be performed by women.

As a number of students in my class have low literacy skills,, this brief introduction will be followed by some textbook reading and pointed questions.  While there will be class discussion, students will be given time and assistance to write the responses in their books.  This way, they get to practice their reading, writing and speaking skills.

Some of the language in the text is quite difficult, so we will probably also have to do some kind of vocabulary activity so that students understand what they are reading.

Once we have finished the content, I will play a game called ‘Is a woman in the middle ages allowed to do this job?’  I will project images of women in different roles (doctors, lawyers, architects, mothers etc).  If students think a medieval woman would be allowed to do a particular job, then they vote with a big thumbs up.  If they think that she would not be allowed, the need to create a X using their arms.   We will then discuss whether or not a woman in the middle ages would be allowed to do that job.  A short version of the game can be found here: SLIDES – medieval women game 

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