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(Self Paced) Homeschool Medieval World History

Janelle Hopkins, M.Ed - World & US History
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Explore the Middle Ages with simulations & hands-on activities: Europe's feudalism, Japan's samurais, China's dynasties, Mesoamerican cultures, West African empires, Mongol expansion, and the Golden Age of Islam's intellectual zenith.

Class experience

US Grade 7 - 10
Follows Teacher-Created Curriculum
Aligned with State-Specific Standards
10 lessons//10 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Invasions From Every Corner, Vikings & Birth of Feudalism
Examine the 'Barbarian Invasions' during the Western Roman Empire's decline, including causes, invading groups, and their impact on Rome. Study Charlemagne's rise to power, his imperial coronation, and his lasting influence on Europe's politics and culture. Understand the Viking Age, its timeline, regions of presence, social hierarchy, and maritime innovations such as the longship. Learn about Viking religious practices and their roles as both raiders and traders in cultural exchanges.
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Feudalism, Manor Life & the Roman Catholic Church
Grasp the development of feudalism in medieval Europe, its social order, and the power dynamics between different classes, from peasants to kings. Understand feudal contracts and the reciprocal obligations they entailed, the economic ties within the system, and the layout and governance of a medieval manor. Understand the structure, authority and influence of the medieval Church as well as the balance between religious and secular power.
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Golden Age of Islam & West African Empires
Introduce the Abbasid, Umayyad (in Spain), and Fatimid caliphates, focusing on their capitals and cultural significance.Explore the Golden Age of Islam, focusing on the Abbasid caliphate. Investigate scientific and cultural advancements, economic structures, and their global impact. Study the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires, their trade networks, leaders, agricultural methods, and cultural legacies.
 Week 4
Lesson 4
The Crusades, Reconquista & Spanish Inquisition
Understand the causes and key Crusades, and their broad impact on Europe and the Middle East. Comprehend the Reconquista, its timeline, and the Christian realms involved.
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Hundred Years' War & Emergence of Nation-States
Examine feudalism's enduring effects on Europe, its decline, and the rise of centralized states. Chart key historical events shaping England, France, Spain, and Russia. Analyze King John's impact on English monarchy centralization and assess the Magna Carta's influence on constitutional governance. Grasp the causes of the Hundred Years' War, its key figures and military innovations, and its effects on English and French society.
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Black Death & Wars of the Roses
Explore the Black Plague's history, spread, and profound effects on society, economy, and demographics in medieval Europe, and its broader implications for the decline of feudalism and the dawn of the Renaissance. Understand the War of the Roses' origins, key battles, and figures, and its outcomes, including the rise of the Tudor dynasty and the centralization of English royal authority.
 Week 7
Lesson 7
Feudal Japan
Understand Japan's feudal system and the Bushido code's principles, the influential figures in samurai history, the dynamics of the Sengoku Period, and draw comparisons between Japanese feudalism and other medieval societies.
 Week 8
Lesson 8
Medieval China & the Mongols
Assess the Mongol Empire's influence on Medieval China, examining military, governance, and cultural impacts during the reigns of Genghis and Kublai Khan, and the Yuan Dynasty's significance. Identify Chinese dynasties pivotal for cultural and technological advancements from the Sui to the Ming. Explore the Silk Road's prosperity and the Pax Mongolica's role in enhancing trade and cultural exchange, including accounts like Marco Polo's, illustrating its global significance.
 Week 9
Lesson 9
Mesoamerican Civilizations
Identify and describe the locations and geography of Aztec, Inca, and Mayan civilizations, examine their agricultural and technological advancements, and differentiate between these cultures in terms of societal structure, traditions, and historical contributions, while also assessing the profound impact of European contact and conquest on these civilizations.
 Week 10
Lesson 10
Medieval Moments Projects
Students will showcase their understanding of medieval societies through a creative project. They will create a short story, graphic novel, comic strip, or series of memes highlighting the unique aspects, daily life, and heritage of a chosen culture or empire, spanning Europe, Japan, China, the Mongol Empire, the Golden Age of Islam, Mesoamerica, and West Africa.
  • Explore the decline of the Western Roman Empire, Charlemagne's influence, the Viking Age, feudalism, the medieval Church, and key historical events in England, France, Spain, and Russia. Analyze the Magna Carta, Hundred Years' War, Crusades, Reconquista, Black Plague, and War of the Roses. Understand Japan's feudal system, the Mongol Empire's impact on Medieval China, and the Golden Age of Islam. Map the trade networks and cultural legacies of the Ghana, Mali, and Songhai empires. Study the Aztec, Inca, and Mayan civilizations and their encounters with European conquest. Create creative projects showcasing their understanding of medieval societies across various cultures and empires.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a concentration in Comparative Politics. My academic journey included a wide range of courses focusing on various political and historical aspects of civilizations from different time periods and regions around the world. This comprehensive study allowed me to develop a deep understanding of the complexities of past and present societies.

Furthermore, I pursued a Master of Education degree specializing in Secondary Social Sciences, which provided me with advanced knowledge in teaching history, political science, and related subjects. I obtained certification from the state of Alabama, qualifying me to teach social sciences to students in grades 7-12.

Over the course of my teaching career, I have gained extensive experience instructing students in US and World history; dedicated to delivering engaging and informative lessons in these subjects. Additionally, I have conducted extensive research in both history and politics for over 20+ years, allowing me to stay informed and up-to-date with the latest developments in these fields.

My educational background, teaching experience, and research expertise have equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide students with a comprehensive and engaging learning experience. I am committed to fostering a deeper understanding of historical events and political dynamics while encouraging critical thinking and a passion for learning in my learners.
Homework Offered
Assessments Offered
Upon request and prior to the start of the course, assessments can be conducted throughout the course to evaluate learner progress and understanding. These assessments may include quizzes, tests, projects, feedback and/or other forms of evaluation (i.e. letter grade). Parents and learners are encouraged to discuss their grading preferences with the teacher. The purpose of assessments and grades is to provide feedback on student learning and measure their achievement. It is important for learners to actively participate in assessments and seek feedback to gauge their progress and areas of improvement. Furthermore, a detailed rubric will be provided specifically for the project. This rubric will serve as a guideline to assess and evaluate the quality and creativity of the learners' project. It will outline the criteria and expectations, ensuring transparency and fairness in the assessment process. Learners will have a clear understanding of the criteria by which their projects will be evaluated, allowing them to strive for excellence in their projects.
Grades Offered
 1 file available upon enrollment
Paper: It is recommended to have both construction or colored paper for creative projects and regular paper for written assignments. Pen/Pencil: Essential tools for note-taking, completing assignments, and engaging in activities. Crayons/Markers/Colored Pencils: These coloring tools will be useful for visual projects and adding creativity to assignments. Printer: Access to a printer is required for printing out resources provided by the teacher. Dice: A physical set of dice, an app that allows for dice rolls, or access to a virtual dice roller online will be used for specific activities and simulations. Additionally, for the PEEP Diorama Project, you may need the following supplies: Peeps: These can be purchased online from websites like Amazon or similar platforms. They will be used as figures in your diorama. Shoe box or slightly larger box: Select a suitable box as the base for creating your diorama. Construction paper: Use construction paper to design the background scene of your diorama. Scissors: You will need scissors for cutting out shapes, figures, and other elements for your diorama. Markers and/or crayons: Use markers or crayons to add color and detail to your diorama. Tape: Secure various components of your diorama using tape. Thread: Thread can be used to suspend or hang objects within your diorama if needed. Paste: This can be useful for attaching small objects or pieces of paper to your diorama. Make sure to have these supplies ready to fully participate in the course activities and projects.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
The study of world history encompasses a wide range of topics, including some sensitive subjects from the past such as war, slavery, racism, religion, and genocide. In this course, it is important to approach these topics with sensitivity and respect.

Religion will be discussed solely in its historical context, focusing on its influence on societies and events throughout history. The aim is to provide learners with an understanding of how religion shaped various civilizations without promoting any particular religious beliefs.

To foster a comprehensive understanding, learners will be exposed to multiple perspectives through the use of peer-reviewed and scholarly sources. Critical and reflective thinking will be encouraged, allowing students to analyze historical events, conflicts, security issues, religious influences, and economic factors from different angles.

Discussions in the classroom will be closely moderated, ensuring a balanced and unbiased approach. The teacher will facilitate discussions, encourage participation, and monitor the conversations to maintain a secular standpoint that respects all viewpoints.

When relevant, viewpoints from marginalized groups will be explored, providing a broader understanding of history from different social, cultural, and ethnic perspectives. This approach promotes inclusivity and helps learners develop empathy and a deeper appreciation for diverse experiences.

Great care will be taken to present the content in an age-appropriate manner, ensuring that the material is accessible, respectful, and suitable for the maturity level of the learners.
Marr, Andrew.  A History of the World.
Captivating History.  Ancient Civilizations: A Captivating Guide to Mayan History, the Aztecs, and Inca Empire
Gomez, Michael.  African Dominion: A New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa
Souyri, Pierre François and Käthe Roth.  The World Turned Upside Down: Medieval Japanese Society (Asia Perspectives: History, Society, and Culture)
Wickham, Chris. Medieval Europe
Boum, Aomar  and Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr.   A Concise history of the Middle East, 11th ed. Boulder: Westview Press, 2015.
Khaldûn, Ibn Ibn.  The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History - Abridged Edition.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. 
Primary and secondary texts, writings and works of various early religious and significant scholars. 
Joined June, 2020
Star Educator
Teacher expertise and credentials
Alabama Teaching Certificate - Social Studies/History
Master's Degree in Education
Hey y'all! I'm Janelle, your not-so-average History teacher. I believe in making learning hands-on and engaging for my middle school students. Why is hands-on learning important for middle schoolers, you ask? Well, the simple answer is that middle... 
Self-Paced Class


weekly or $150 for all content
10 pre-recorded lessons
10 weeks of teacher support
Choose your start date
1 year of access to the content

Completed by 11 learners
Ages: 12-16

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