Students Recreates Life in a Medieval Town
As part of a unit on feudal societies, grade six students worked collaboratively to produce interactive dramatizations about life in medieval European towns. The dramatizations re-created historical conditions regarding guilds, trade and commerce, homes and households, disease and medical treatment, crime and punishment, and leisure and entertainment.
The goal of each group was to create a skit that allowed other students to see and experience an aspect of life for those living in medieval Europe. Students developed their scripts based on factual information about medieval life and included relevant vocabulary related to the content. Students collected and created props, assigned roles and rehearsed for their presentation to the class. To make their dramatizations ‘interactive’, groups had to plan for including members of the audience as part of their production. By presenting their dramatizations to the class (including interaction with audience members), students were able to teach each other about the conditions of life in medieval Europe.
After all of the dramatizations were presented, students reflected on their experience and learning using the ‘What? So What? Now What?’ format to prepare a reflective writing piece for their online portfolio.
For the ‘What?’ section of their reflection, students described what happened in the preparation and/or presentation of their interactive dramatization. For ‘So What?’, students were asked to analyze their learning experience in both presenting and observing the skits and write about what they learned, why it was important and/or how they felt about it. For ‘Now What?’, students applied what they learned and experienced to something outside of this particular experience (interactive dramatizations). Students compared life in medieval towns to modern life or discussed whether they would have enjoyed living in a medieval town in Europe or not. Some students even wrote poems about medieval life using the knowledge they gained from this learning experience. Overall, students actively participated in their learning through collaboration, creativity and reflection.
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