Active Learning 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

Planning the Teaching of the Middle Ages

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

This article explains the ideas underpinning this project and particularly the
classroom resources

Download this core article HERE …

1. What time does the tune start? Helping students see the bigger pictures of
the Middle Ages

Originally published in the online edition of the HA publication

Download the article HERE …

2. Assumptions that strangle students’ understanding of the Middle Ages

An exploration of the assumptions which undermine students’ capacity to study the Middle Ages effectively and why challenging these assumptions is so important.

See the article HERE …

3. Sitting on Cats: Helping students recognise that people in the Middle Ages
were as real as us.

Developing students' understanding of individual people and their similarities and differences with people today.

See the article HERE …

4. Building explicit understanding of historical periods into KS3 planning

Ideas for introducing students to issues about periodisation – for the Middle Ages and other periods for once!

See the article HERE …

5. Planning at KS3 – the problem of 1066

Does the concentration on the Norman Conquest risk omitting other events of equal or greater significance?

See the article HERE …

6. Medieval Lives:  Helping Y7 look beyond the shadow of the Renaissance

Exploring why it’s easy to underestimate the extent of change during the Middle Ages.

See the article HERE …

7. Choosing content to create a more balanced picture of the Middle Ages at KS3

Suggestions for the details within familiar topics which challenge students’ negative views on the Middle Ages and create a more accurate sense of period.

See the article HERE …

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

A list of different types of knowledge, together with notes about the issues they raise for planning teaching about the Middle Ages at KS3.

See the article HERE …

9. Reflections on why it’s worth teaching medieval history at KS3

Discussing why it’s important to teach medieval history at KS3 and the importance of communicating these aims to students.

See the article HERE …

10. Some thoughts on planning the teaching about medieval monarchy at KS3

Discussion of developing students’ big picture of medieval monarchy and of how that work links into monarchy in the 1500s and 1600s.

See the article HERE …

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

Explaining why creating an overview chapter was harder than I expected – hopefully this will help teachers tackling this task themselves.

See the article HERE …

Introduction to Medieval Topics

The Paston Letters: an introduction for teachers

The outline story of the Paston family and their remarkable letters, suggestions for reading, ideas for using the letters in classrooms and supporting PowerPoint slides.

See the resources HERE

The Luttrell Psalter: an introduction for teachers

The content and background of the Psalter, an introduction to the Luttrell family, Sir Geoffrey’s will and how these sources might be used at KS3 – plus linked websites and resources.

See the resource HERE

Understanding Migration in the Middle Ages

An extended version of Martin Spafford's article on migration from Exploring and Teaching Medieval History.

Read it HERE …

Introductory Reading Lists

The Wars of the Roses

An introductory annotated reading list aimed at teachers who are new to The Wars of the Roses at A level, not those who’ve studied the period in detail or taught it for years.

See the reading list HERE …

Introductory Reading on the Middle Ages

A list of suggestions for new teachers with little background knowledge of the period. It’s divided into a short starter pack, a second layer of suggestions and finally some of my own favourites.

See the reading list HERE

Exploring and Teaching Medieval History
The Publication

The two contents pages for Exploring and Teaching Medieval History including the material which is only available on-line HERE …

The publication is available open access on the HA website.

It can be downloaded HERE …



You can see some recent items by historians and others which were either created for classroom use or are aimed at enhancing teachers’ knowledge and confidence in teaching about the Middle Ages.

See them HERE …

This Page

Planning the Teaching

Medieval Topics

Reading Lists

ETMH – Publication




Exploring & Teaching Medieval History

Download it from the HA website HERE …

And see the contents pages HERE …