As mentioned in our previous post, we are also working on a History project with our Year 7 students. For the past few weeks,they have been learning about life in a Medieval castle and are now in a position to carry out some research into how people lived during the Middle Ages, their task being to write a diary entry for a date to be selected by them during the period between 1066 and 1485, but for the date that they choose, their writing must be historically accurate!
They have to assume the character of one of the following: a Lord or nobleman, Lady or noblewoman, squire or knight, a cook or an armourer; they then choose a special event to write about: a joust, a banquet or feast, a wedding or a festival. Finally, they should incorporate daily routines from the life of their chosen character such as mealtimes and food, schooling and education, work and leisure, and clothes. That’s a pretty detailed piece of writing, and, as well as this, they have to draw a plan of a castle with a key to the various parts and themselves in character.
Our part in this is to help them use books, yes, real books (!) within the library space, and guide them to use specific websites which have been carefully selected for content and which are guaranteed (as far as possible) to be available. We then help them to start creating their own bibliography, listing books and websites used, in the correct order and format. We explain concepts such as key words, contents and index pages, and glossaries, and emphasize the need to credit the work that other people have done, and which they use as inspiration. So far, these classes are proceeding well and we feel that our approach has made it as easy for them as can be, especially given the ground they are required to cover. The final project is to be printed or written on parchment paper, to encourage an authentic feel! In past years, we have received tea-stained copies with burnt edges, pages tied together with raffia… Lovely!
If any of our readers are carrying out similar project work, we would love to hear from you. Sharing good practice is one of our goals.
This is a photograph of our very own castle here in Berkhamsted. It was begun in 1066 and became a very important castle in its day, as William the Conqueror visited and received the submission of England here after the Battle of Hastings. Past occupants have included Thomas Becket and Geoffrey Chaucer. To discover more, click here.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons; originally submitted to Flickr by Anne Thorniley.