Active Learning on

Medieval Lives
Re-Thinking Teaching Medieval History at KS3

If students can respect people of a time as different from our own as the Middle Ages, then perhaps there is more chance of them respecting people from different cultures today rather than instinctively interpreting difference as being inferior or a threat.

This project aims to give students a more representative picture of the period and greater respect for its people, identifying their intelligence and resilience as well as the problems and dangers they faced.

The core of the project is a set of classroom resources called Medieval Lives which can be downloaded free of charge. You can explore the different elements of the project through the boxes below.

Exploring and Teaching Medieval History (2018) formed the first stage of this project.

You can download it from the HA website HERE …

And see the contents pages HERE …

Core Article: Start Here

Helping KS3 pupils begin to see the Middle Ages and its people
as historians see them

This section explains the ideas which underpin Medieval Lives - in the planning and through the classroom resources. These key ideas are:

• Pupils misconceptions and historians' portrayal of the Middle Ages

• The need to plan around takeaway statements about what we want students to learn

• The need for 3 different types of enquiries to deliver a more balanced curriculum

You can read this core article HERE …

Classroom Resources

Two different kinds of resources:

Medieval Lives – textbook-style chapters, each supported by notes for teachers and PowerPoint slides.

Medieval Readings – factual stories, biographies and other writings for students to read.

See the resources HERE …


Research into Students' Perceptions of the Middle Ages

A summary of the project’s research element with suggestions and resources for investigating your own students’ ideas about the period HERE …

Books, Blogs, Resources and Research on the Medieval World.

Up-dates and articles by historians plus resources created for classroom use, contributing to teachers’ knowledge and confidence about the Middle Ages HERE …

Articles on
Teaching about the Middle Ages

Articles about aspects of teaching – planning at KS3, introductions to medieval topics for new teachers and introductory reading lists

See the articles HERE …

Suggested Reading …

… for teachers wanting to build up their knowledge of the Middle Ages HERE …

Core Article

Helping KS3 pupils begin
to see the Middle Ages
and its people as
historians see them


Latest Medieval
Classroom Resources

Read: If you had been 12 in the Middle Ages

When were the Middle Ages?

1. What are your ideas about the Middle Ages? (revised Aug. 2021)

2. Were medieval people very different from us? (revised Aug. 2021)

3. What kinds of things mattered to people in the Middle Ages?

4. Telling Your Big Story of Medieval Britain (revised Aug.2021)

The Wars of the Roses: a package for KS3

Journey to the Middle Ages: A Scripted Drama

What kinds of things mattered? – Role card activity

Read: Did Margery Paston's story have a happy ending?

Read: William Caxton's Choices


Latest Medieval Teaching Articles

Creating an overview resource for KS3 on Medieval Britain – the dilemmas

Reflections on why itís worth teaching medieval history at KS3

Thoughts on planning the teaching about medieval monarchy at KS3

The Luttrell Psalter: an Introduction

Different kinds of knowledge: what do we want KS3 students to know about the Middle Ages?