Most of the videos I use for the Dark Ages unit also apply here. The ones listed below are more specific to this section.

Media Guide

Name Type Description

Robin Hood

DVD Disney film that I use as a "break" between the two medieval units. I take a whole week on the movie and accompanying Powerpoint and history lab. We do an exploration of whether or not Robin Hood was likely a real person or not. The movie has plenty of topics that are referenced throughout the notes and gives the students some background on King John who we discuss when discussing the Magna Carta.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights

DVD I use a few short clips when discussing the various characters and any evidence that they may have existed in real life. It certainly is not educational but definitely is motivational and gives students a much deeper interest in the subject.

The Plague


FYI: If you buy The Dark Ages this documentary is included in the special features!

There are a ton of documentaries about the Black Death but in my mind this one is the best. It is very similar to The Dark Ages documentary and features many of the same "talking heads". The reenactments are very realistic and it is interesting throughout. It is long though so again, I only use a couple clips.

Kingdom of Heaven

DVD This one is a 2 for 1 deal. I show the opening scene of the movie (heavily edited) to show the motivation some people had for going on the Crusades. Addtionally, the special features disk in this set has two documentaries that are wonderful. I almost always show the full episode of "History Vs. Hollywood" that is included. The information is detailed and the program is interesting for students as well.

Crusades: The Crescent and the Cross

DVD Excellent documentary about the run up to the Crusades. As far as the wars themselves only the first Crusade, the conquering of Jerusalem is covered. Wonderfully done but very dense as well. Perfect for high school but will need edits for middle school to keep focus.

Unit Guide

Late Middle Ages Notes


1. Walkthru: Late Middle Ages

2. History vs. Hollywood: Kingdom of Heaven - Questions based on the History Channel documentary.

3. Crusades Simulation Lab (Pope Urban's SpeechTeacher's GuideScript, Fate LettersStudent Hand out) - Experiential lab where students are taken on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to experience what life was really like on Crusade.

4. History Mystery: The Black Death - History analysis activity where students try to determine what was spreading the Black Death throughout England. (Common Core Ready - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7)

5. Castle Builder - Fun activity where students design their own castle blueprints and then "attack" each other.

6. Medieval Dossiers: Richard vs. John - History analysis activity where students examine fact sheets on King Richard and King John to determine if the popular understanding of the two men is fact or fiction. (HA Skill: Interpreting documents)

7. Weigh the Evidence: Robin Hood - History analysis activity where students examine a series of exhibits relating to the existence of Robin Hood. Each is exhibit is "weighed" based on its relevance and validity so that a proper conclusion can be drawn. (Common Core Ready - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7)
8. Middle Ages Strategy Guide - Review sheet covering the Dark Ages and Late Middle Ages.

9. A Day in Medieval Europe - A guided tour through a day in Medieval Europe using video, sound, pictures and imagination. Teachers follow a script while students complete a journal. Here is the PPT file (it is big and some of of the videos are not there for size/copyright reasons but it is a good start.)

Lesson Guide

I. Kings Vs. Popes
a. This section covers three "rounds" of kings vs popes - Charlemagne vs. Pope Leo, King Henry vs. Pope Gregory and King John vs. The Whole Church. Lots of information but it works!

b. Late Middle Ages Walkthru

II. Kingly Troubles (Magna Carta and the Crusades)
a. While I realize one day may not seem sufficient to cover the Crusades alone let alone adding the Magna Carta it works. My focus on this section is problems with control and both fit into that. I, obviously, don't go into deep detail on either subject but I hit what I need to hit.

b. History vs. Hollywood vid

c. Crusade Simulation (Teacher's Guide, Script, Student Hand out)

III. Medieval Weapons
a. Another section that isn't exactly in the standards but is well worth covering. It reviews a series of Medieval weapons ending ultimately with the introduction of the Long Bow which renders the armored knights useless and hastened the end of the feudal system.

b. Castle Design Lab
Let me admit right off there is arguably no academic value to this lab and it only barely can fit into the standards. Students draw their ideal castle with views from both the top and the front. They are to include all the necessary parts for survival. Additionally, they write a paragraph detailing specifically how they would defend an attack by 1,000 knights. Whenever two are done pair them up and have them trade papers. They will then write one paragraph explaining how they would attack the other castle. They are to find any weaknesses or oversights (unprotected wells, no extra food stores, etc.) in the opposing castle.

IV. The End of Feudalism
a. Notes about job specialization and the Black Death and how both led to the end of the feudal system.
b. History Mystery: The Black Death
I found this on the Internet a few years ago and I have adapted it. It is very well done in terms of laying out the evidence for the causes of the plague but not making it so obvious that every student will figure it out. Be sure to do the lab before discussing the causes. It is helpful to discuss the disease and its impact beforehand to build interest, just keep the causes out.