My colleagues and I are in the process of putting together a new unit for our 7th grade for next year. Since there will be three classes of 7th graders, one idea we're considering is after a brief overview of Feudalism in general, taking each class into a different direction - one class looking at Medieval Europe (Team Knight), one at Medieval Middle Eastern Culture (Team Saracen) and one at Feudal Japan (Team Samurai). This seems like a good way to compare/contrast three very different cultures, examine geography and its role in developing cultures and comparative religion.

None of this is set in stone at this point (there's a pun in there somewhere) - we are at the very beginning stages of developing this unit.

If we want to have something awesome in place by, say, November, we need to start planning now, so we have the summer to do research and set things up.

We are looking for help in three areas:

1) General concepts. If you have any ideas about essential concepts, vocabulary, etc.. that should be covered in a 7th grade overview of Medieval History, Saracen Culture, Feudal Japan, etc.., could you please add to or leave comments on ourMedieval GoogleDoc?

2) Project ideas. In the past, our 7th graders have put on a Medieval Faire where each student presented some aspect of Medieval life. That's always a huge hit at our school, but since we'll be covering this around the holidays in December and January, we may have to think outside the box a little on this one. This unit is a natural for project-based learning, so we'd love some input on project ideas. (Again, please leave comments on our GoogleDoc) This would also include ideas for a field trip or other educational activities.

3) If any of you teach a Medieval History unit and would like to collaborate in some way - have our classes work together via Skype or something - could you please contact me? I'd love to set something up. This would be especially awesome if we could establish a relationship with a class in Europe, the Middle East or Japan. (Though, for a very sheltered group of kids from New Hampshire, North Dakota or California would be equally exotic.)

Thank you.

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