A Tale of Two Villages: Writing a medieval chronicle


It is an undeniable fact that the history of the middle ages is still being written today –medieval battles are re-assessed through the discovery of weaponry used and discarded; the expanse of trade routes across the globe is re-evaluated by coinage found in unexpected places, and our understanding of the ways the Vikings lived and worked changes on almost a yearly basis. And so what better way to have students understand this than having them write history?

 A Tale of Two Villages is a group project where each village of 4 or 5 inhabitants must write a narrative history of their locale in the form of a chronicle. The basic premise of the assessment is to consider how the larger events in history, the turning points covered in the lectures, have affected the inhabitants of the village.

what better way to have students understand the history of the middle ages than having them write history?

The villages pre-date the migrations of the Germanic tribes and go on to experience the coming of Christianity to the West, the Vikings, the Crusades, reform and heresy, the 12th century renaissance, and of course the Black Death and the Hundred Years War. These historical events are used to construct a contemporary account of the social, cultural, political and religious events that made a difference. This immersive, experiential learning activity is shown to engage students in the creation and construction of their own learning through reflecting and changing their understanding of the ways history is still relevant today.