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Fact versus Film: How Hollywood Depicts the Crusades in the Kingdom of Heaven

by
Sarah Black


Contents of Curriculum Unit 07.02.03:

To Guide Entry


Serving both as a blessing and a burden, film is one of the greatest tools that we as teachers have at our disposal. Film can be an especially powerful medium in providing visual representations of abstract and distant historical concepts that our students have a difficult time grasping or relating to. However, when viewed with an unsuspecting eye it can create overwhelming misrepresentations, misunderstandings, and false perceptions for the history student. Therefore, it is our responsibility to provide our students with the necessary tools in which to discern fact from fiction when viewing films based in history. This unit will analyze how the Crusades, launched from Medieval Europe to claim the Holy Land, were portrayed in the film Kingdom of Heaven (Ridley Scott, USA, 2005). By studying the Crusades, my students will not only develop an understanding of medieval history and cross-cultural interaction, but also be able to see the impact of historical events on our world hundreds of years later.

The goal of this unit is to use my students' love of film to help them to distinguish between the historical facts and inaccuracies that plague "historically representative" films. Specifically, this unit will help my students develop a critical eye when viewing historical films by strengthening their background knowledge and understanding of historical context so they are able to discern historical fact from fiction/embellishment.

In the course of this unit, my students will analyze primary sources and read secondary sources to provide background information and ranging historical perspectives on the Crusades. Upon developing background knowledge and historical context for the Crusades, we will view Kingdom of Heaven and draw comparisons between the primary source accounts as well as the theatrical portrayal from the film. The culminating activity will stem from my students' strength as visual learners and love of film to help bolster their critical thinking skills. My students will choose between acting as either a film critic, writing a review for Kingdom of Heaven for its historical accuracy; or as a screenwriter, rewriting the script for a chosen scene in order to make the scene more historically accurate.

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Rationale

I am a World History teacher at Cross Annex in New Haven, CT, a credit retrieval program for students who have been unsuccessful in a traditional school environment for a variety of reasons, such as attendance, behavior, and academics. Students, predominantly African American and Latino ranging from 14 to 18 years old, in my World History classes have a difficult time comprehending what life was like hundreds or thousands of years ago, extending beyond their own experience. Additionally, my students lack the background knowledge that is essential to critically thinking about history and its many facets.

I have found that many of my students rely upon visual representations to foster their understanding of the multitude of abstract concepts that are inevitable within history. Film has been an invaluable teaching tool for me, and learning tool for my students in that it provides a concrete representation that my students struggle to extract from text. Through film, my students are able to see what ancient Greek architecture looked like, how the Chinese Empire became unified under the Qin Dynasty, and what the experience of individuals during the African Slave Trade was like, among many other historical events.

My students indiscriminately embrace the story lines, characters and outcomes of "historical" films; thus posing a significant dilemma. Often times, Hollywood fails to present and preserve historical accuracy in exchange for riveting fight scenes, captivating romance, and the classically oversimplified distinction between the good guy and the bad guy; in effect, my students, who rely upon these visual representations to strengthen their understanding of history, walk away with the understanding that what they have just watched is absolute truth. The cause for this lack of skepticism is generally a result of their unfamiliarity and lack of background knowledge and historical context with the topic presented in the film.

For this unit, my students will analyze how the Crusades has been depicted in film, with the recent release of Kingdom of Heaven, by examining primary sources from both European and Islamic perspectives to provide a holistic historical perspective. My students will increase their background knowledge on the Crusades and will be equipped with the historical facts of what actually happened during this time period, allowing them to extract the fictitious bits from the film Kingdom of Heaven. Not only will my students be able to discern fact from fiction but also with their understanding of the historical context in which the Crusades took place, they will be able to speculate as to why the film included certain themes or fictitious details/elements in order to convey a certain message or perspective.

I have selected the Crusades to be the topic of determining historical accuracy in film for a number of reasons. First, the Crusades align effectively with Unit 7 of the New Haven Public Schools' World History Curriculum (Rise of Europe) since this is when Europe begins to expand its empire into the East; second, the Crusades are a time of great cross-cultural interaction and exchange between the Western and Islamic worlds in the realms of religion, politics and economics; and third, the issue of religious tension between Islam and Christianity is genuinely relevant in contemporary history and thus learning about the Crusades will help my students understand how this tension has developed throughout history.

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History

The Crusades serve as a powerful vehicle in demonstrating Europe's development into contemporary history. It is a time of consolidation of power, religious division, technological development, military expansion, cross-cultural interaction and global trade. In teaching the Crusades, it is important to outline the reasons for the Crusades as well as the impact on European society.

Pope Urban II, calling for the reclaiming of Palestine as well as the Holy City of Jerusalem, launched the Crusades in 1095. The Crusades were financially backed by predominantly English and French monarchies as well as the Holy Roman Empire. The motivations behind the Crusades are heavily debated; however, they can be described as being three-fold: religious, political and economic.

First, the Catholic Church was faced with much skepticism in its ability to provide an outlet for the poor laymen (A person who is not a member of the clergy nor has the financial means to live a pious life to obtain salvation). Additionally, Urban II was greatly concerned about the civil violence in Europe and hoped that such energy could be focused on fighting against the Muslims in the Holy Land, ". . .you kill and devour each other, and carry on war and mutually destroy each other. Let your hatred and quarrels cease, your civil wars come to an end, and all your dissensions stop. Set out on the road to the holy sepulcher, take the land from that wicked people (the Muslims) and make it your own" (Trans. Thatcher, O.J. and E.H. McNeal. A Source Book for Medieval History: Selected Documents Illustrating the History of Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905, pp. 516 - 21). Therefore, in an effort to assert his religious authority amongst the public, the Urban II called for the Crusades to the Holy Land in an effort to provide a pilgrimage in which the laymen could achieve salvation as well as to reduce violence breaking out in Europe.

Second, many European territories and monarchies were engaged in competition to increase their holdings in the Holy Land (Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades: A Short History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987, p. 171 - 172). Additionally, with the impending threat of Turkish control extending into the Byzantine Empire (current day Greece), the Western European powers responded with support from the Catholic Church to protect Christendom in the Eastern Empire (Byzantine Empire which controlled modern-day Turkey).

Third, the possibility of gaining access to Islamic markets and trade routes to China would allow for the introduction of new goods as well as markets to sell European goods (Bentley, Jerry H. and Herbert F. Ziegler. Traditions & Encounters: A Global Perspective on the Past, Volume I: From the Beginnings to 1500, 2nd Ed., Boston: McGraw Hill, 2003, p. 542). Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, was an economic center since most trade routes intersected here, allowing for the cross-cultural exchange of goods and ideas.

While the European powers were unsuccessful in gaining and holding onto lands in the Islamic territories, the Crusades serve as an example of European cultural and economic expansion. The cultural and intellectual ideas coming from Islamic lands such as philosophy, astronomy, mathematics, and science benefited Europe greatly in its own development. Additionally, the introduction of new agricultural and trade goods such as spices, coffee, granulated sugar, silk products, and cotton textiles into European markets increased the demand for trade as well as Europe's economic development. This cross-cultural exchange of goods and ideas helped shape European society as well as encouraged further exploration of new lands for trade and expansion of the European empire.

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Objectives

By the end of this unit, my students will be able demonstrate mastery of the following objectives.

Content Objectives: Students will be able to

1) Describe the following vocabulary terms: crusades, papacy, monarchy, sultan, dynasty, and jihad.
2) Locate the four crusader states on a map and the corresponding modern-day countries: Edessa (Turkey), Antioch (Syria), Jerusalem (Israel), and Tripoli (Lebanon).
3) Explain why both Christians and Muslims wanted claim to the Holy Land, for both religious and political reasons.
4) Identify the major key players and events during the Third Crusade: Richard I of England, Salah al-Din (commonly known as Saladin), Guy of Lusignan, Queen Sibylla, Baldwin V, and the Battle of Hattin (European spelling).
5) Compare the strengths and weaknesses of Richard I of England and Saladin as political and military leaders.
6) Explain the impact of the Crusades on European society, religion and economics.

Skill Objectives: Students will be able to

1) Read and interpret primary sources related to the Crusades.
2) Explain the role of cultural perspective on historical record-keeping.
3) Synthesize primary sources accounts into a comprehensive description that incorporates both perspectives.
4) Evaluate the accuracy of film in its portrayal of historical events based on primary and secondary source accounts.

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Strategies

New Haven Public Schools places a great deal of emphasis on the research-based teaching strategies outlined by Robert Marzano, with many of the strategies incorporating skills from Bloom's Taxonomy (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation). Additionally, I have found that the Marzano teaching strategies have been quite effective in my own classroom, with regard to presentation of information as well as increasing academic achievement amongst my students. As a result, my unit will implement many of Marzano's teaching strategies, focusing heavily on building background knowledge, identifying similarities and differences, as well as nonlinguistic representations. The following section will demonstrate how the aforementioned teaching strategies will be applied and built upon throughout the course of this unit.

Building Background Knowledge and Historical Context: Secondary Sources & Vocabulary

In order for my students to evaluate and critically think about what they are seeing in the film, necessary instruction must take place that will build background knowledge and historical context. Most of my World History students have never studied the Crusades and, if they have, they have retained little to no information about the Crusades. Therefore, I will spend at least 2 class periods assessing what my students may already know about the Crusades, introducing the "need to know" information and vocabulary regarding the Crusades, and organizing the information into a format that will be most meaningful to my students. All of this will occur before my students watch Kingdom of Heaven as well as read the indicated primary sources. Additionally, throughout the course of my unit, it will be crucial to reinforce the background knowledge as well as vocabulary so my students are able to process and store the information which they will then be able to draw upon for the entirety of the unit as well as for the culminating activity.

While primary sources provide a more authentic view of history from a specified time period, secondary sources can help fill in the gaps of understanding by synthesizing, analyzing, generalizing, and interpreting information, which can then be presented in a more comprehensive way. Additionally, my students, as already mentioned, will need to develop sufficient background knowledge and historical context of the Crusades before they will be able to critically read the primary sources as well as view the film. Therefore, I will be drawing from a variety of secondary source readings to help provide the historical context in which the Crusades occur as well as reinforce and further expose the vocabulary terms in reading.

In building background knowledge, it is important to first tap into any prior knowledge my students have of the Crusades - perhaps they may not think of the Medieval European Crusades, but they may have heard the word "crusade" or its reference in pop-culture (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Stephen Spielberg, 1989). A quick, informal, and interactive way of assessing prior knowledge is to conduct a brainstorming session at the beginning of the unit where students are able to tell what they already know or simply guess. From this informal diagnostic, I am able to tell what my students already know as well as where they might have misunderstandings regarding the Crusades. This activity will serve as a springboard into establishing the "need to know" background knowledge regarding the Crusades (see Content Objectives 1 - 3).

Marzano speaks to the importance of teaching vocabulary not as formal definitions but as conversational explanations and descriptions that students can meaningful interact with (Marzano, Robert J. Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2004, p.71). I have found that my instruction is far more effective and easily understood when I cut out the formalities of language and explain certain historical concepts in more informal and conversational terms. Additionally, when introducing the terms identified in Content Objective 1 (crusades, papacy, monarchy, sultan, dynasty, and jihad), my goal is for my students to have a basic understanding of the word before contextualizing it; for example, I will want my students to understand that the "papacy" was the office of the religious leader (Pope) of the Catholic Church. In an effort to help solidify their understanding, we will use analogies, such as "Papacy is to Pope as Executive Branch is to President," in order to draw from what might be more familiar in an effort to help them understand and think about the new information. In this example, my students will understand what the Pope was in charge of as well as the Pope, like the President, was not always the same person, but merely an office or title that was held by different people throughout history. From that point on, "papacy" will then be contextualized within the Crusades, as the Pope was the primary support and leader of the Crusades, from a religious stand point.

Historical Portrayal through Nonlinguistic Representations

The theory of dual-coding suggests that people store information in two forms: linguistic and nonlinguistic. Marzano discusses how most classroom instruction is delivered only in linguistic form whereas nonlinguistic form is often times not considered in the presentation of information despite the impact nonlinguistic representations have on our ability to store information and the increased stimulation and activity in the brain (Marzano, Robert J. Building Background Knowledge, p. 72). By providing my students with nonlinguistic representations, not only do I engage their interest as visual learners but also the information is successfully understood and stored for future reference.

My students rely upon visual representations to help foster their understanding of more abstract concepts and terms that we study. Because we will be viewing the film twice, first to expose my students to the storyline as well as how the film portrays the Crusades and then second to critically view the film and compare it to the primary sources, it is important that my students have a strong understanding of the plot as well as the primary sources in order to evaluate the film's historical accuracy.

Prior to showing the film, I will utilize other nonlinguistic representations to help my students develop and organize their background knowledge in a meaningful way that will allow them to remember and think about the content information. As a history teacher, I have found the timeline to be one of the most effective yet abused teaching tools; when used as a tool for memorizing key dates and events, the timeline can be the basis of what all history teachers want to avoid and that is losing the unique narrative history can provide. However, when used to help provide a sense of sequence, chronology and cause-and-effect relationships, the timeline can serve as a very powerful graphic organizer that provides students with an outline for the narrative. In addition to a timeline, we will utilize a variety of graphic organizers and templates which will set up the framework in which my students will think about certain information (comparing Richard I of England as well as Saladin, comparing primary sources).

Once my students have a foundation of background knowledge, we will then view Kingdom of Heaven together as a class. Showing a film is ideal for the block schedule because you are able to watch 60 - 80 minutes worth of the film, each day. Because my class periods are only 40 - 43 minutes long, any sense of fluidity in film is lost; therefore, each day we will only watch 30 - 35 minute segments, with guided questions and "plot catch-ups" to ensure that my students are engaged and understand the plot. When I have used film before as a teaching tool, not only do I provide guided questions that my students answer while watching the movie but I also provide "plot catch-ups," brief plot synopses throughout the film that explain major events or plot developments, on the same hand-out with their questions. By providing "plot catch-ups," we are able to watch the movie uninterrupted and without having to pause the movie every few minutes to make sure we know what is going on. Additionally, at the beginning of class, we are able to look back to the "plot catch-ups" to remember what we have seen the day before to ensure that the rest of the movie makes sense.

As suggested by the title of this unit, film will play a crucial role in providing a nonlinguistic representation of the content. This unit will go a step further and consider the influence of nonlinguistic representations and how it shapes the way we understand history; while film will serve as a teaching tool, it was also serve as the basis of our criticism for the unit. This unit will draw upon my students' love of film in an effort to strengthen their critical thinking skills - I want my students to think about what it is they are watching and how that corresponds or conflicts with what they have learned about the Crusades.

While this unit will not serve as an introduction to cinematography, I want my students to be aware that film is just like any other medium, it is constructed with a certain purpose in mind - the director chose to include certain camera angles for a specific reason, the characters' costumes were given serious consideration, a particular scene was shot in silence and with low lighting to convey a certain mood. Directors have choices when filming and they make those choices to make a statement and to reflect their perspective; while we are watching Kingdom of Heaven, I want my students to be thinking about what they are watching and how that affects their understanding of the Crusades.

Developing the Critical Eye: Reading and Synthesizing Primary Sources

Primary sources provide greater opportunity for authentic historical analysis and speculation; when viewing primary sources from two drastically different cultures and societies, questions are raised as to the impact of cultural perspective on historical record keeping.

When high school history students are taught the Crusades, the texts readily available to their teachers typically embody a pro-Christian or European agenda; this is due largely in part to the lack of accessible Islamic primary sources as well as the choice of the textbook publishing company (Prentice Hall's World History: Patterns of Civilizations and The Pageant of World History are examples of oversimplified texts). Most world history high school textbooks oversimplify the complexities of cross-cultural interaction and therefore provide accounts derived from a more familiar and identifiable perspective, in this case, Western European. In order to counter this imbalanced approach, my students will be exposed to primary sources such as edicts, letters and treaties written by European Christians and Muslim Turks. In providing both Christian and Muslim perspectives, my students will be able to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the Crusades as well as insight into how Christians and Muslims viewed one another.

Reading and interpreting primary sources are some of the most challenging tasks the high school history student will encounter; my students' success in being able to do this will rest heavily on my ability to clearly and effectively communicate the historical context in which these primary sources were written. In building my students' background knowledge and understanding of the time period, the primary sources become part of a larger understanding of what was taking placing during the Crusades.

In preparing students to read primary sources, validity of sources must be taken into consideration. Often times, we as teachers will want our students to think about the authenticity and reliability of the primary (and secondary) sources our students are reading; for the purpose of this unit, this will be discussed briefly but not heavily focused upon. The purpose of this unit is to get my students thinking about how well Hollywood utilizes the primary sources available to them and how well these sources are incorporated into the portrayal of historical events and people.

With that end in mind, we will discuss the value of primary sources as pieces of evidence that shed light on what life was like long ago that can inform us, today, as how society has changed over time as well as how we can most accurately think about past societies and historical events. Ultimately, I want my students to be thinking about how the primary sources we will be reading informed the team of people who created Kingdom of Heaven and whether or not these primary sources were used effectively in the historical recreation of the Crusades.

As we are reading the selected primary sources, we will be asking ourselves the following questions in order to help us understand the nature and value of the sources:

First, what information can we gather about the author to help us understand how the author knows these details? Where is the author from, what is the author's position in society, was the author present during the event? What might have biased the author's account?

Second, where does the information come from and what type of information is it - eyewitness account, financial or agricultural record, letter, religious order, political treaties, etc.? How do authors know what they are writing about?

Third, what conclusions are drawn, by the authors, from the available information? What does the information tell us about the larger historical context?

And, lastly, how much time has elapsed since the events described occurred?

In asking these questions, my students will be interacting with and critically thinking about the primary sources so as to develop a better understanding of the time period.

Fact versus Film: Comparing Primary Sources to Film

Marzano provides compelling evidence for the identification of similarities and differences ("compare and contrast") as an effective teaching strategy for all age groups and I have found it to be incredibly successful in my own classroom (Marzano, Robert J. Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2001, pp.14-16). While it may seem unsophisticated for the high school classroom, the Venn diagram and its many variations is something that my students immediately recognize, understand, and are able to apply and analyze the structure within their writing. Not only does this structure set up a framework for students to think about information but it also provides a nonlinguistic representation (usually graphic organizers) that reinforces the skill and plays upon their strength as visual learners.

The basis for this step in the unit is to push my students to actually think about and question what it is they are watching, drawing upon what they have learned and what they know. Often times when teachers show films in class, the film is to serve as a mere visual aid in helping students imagine what life was like; while this can be helpful, this activity does not do enough in getting students to apply what they have learned and to critically analyze how history is represented in film.

During this section of the unit, students will watch the film for a second time, with the intent of critically thinking about what they are seeing and how that corresponds or conflicts with the background knowledge and historical context we have gained from the secondary sources as well as the perspective and historical authenticity we have acquired from the primary sources. While students are watching the film, I want them to be thinking how well the historical integrity of the Crusades has been preserved and perhaps why certain scenes were embellished or certain events/characters were not included. The process of comparison will prove to be invaluable for my students for a number of reasons: First, it will give ground to what they have learned as they are able to take the information they have gained in class and apply it to a different experience; second, it will build their confidence as students since they will have been provided with the tools to successfully accomplish this task; and third, perhaps most important, it will get them thinking about what they are watching. If this unit is successful in accomplishing its goal, then my students will begin questioning other films that they see and build their interest to investigate the accuracy of history in its representations in film.

Evaluation of Film: Film Review or Screenplay

After having read both primary and secondary sources as well as having seen the film twice, students will then determine how successful the film was in preserving the historical integrity of its depiction of historical events and people. This will serve as the final assessment or culminating activity, drawing on content as well as skills achieved throughout the course of this unit. The culminating activity will stem from my students' strength as visual learners and love for film to help bolster their critical thinking skills.

Students will have two options for their final assessment

1) My students will act as film critics and write their own review of the film, focusing on the issue of historical accuracy and drawing upon the background information gained from studying the Crusades through primary and secondary sources.
OR
2) As a class, we will write a class review of the film and my students will be responsible for creating an alternative script for a portion of the movie that would have made the film more historically accurate - how would they have depicted the Crusades in film.

By providing choices for their final assessment, students will be more interested in creating their product as well as more invested. While both choices provide significant room for creativity, the basis of the assessment would be founded in the students' background knowledge and insight gained from the secondary and primary sources. Both assessments draw upon their strengths in order to address areas of weakness: my students' learning style as visual learners and interest in film will serve to improve their critical thinking skills with how they think about and watch film.

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Sample Lesson Plans

Note: Lesson Plans are designed for 40 to 45 minute class periods.

Lesson Plan 1

Goal: To assess students' prior knowledge of the Crusades and to introduce the "Need to Know" information regarding the Crusades.

Objectives:

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to

1. Define the vocabulary terms: crusades, papacy, and monarchy.
2. Explain the three major causes of the Crusades (religious, economic, and political).
3. Evaluate which of the three causes contributed most significantly to the Crusades.

Procedures:

1. Jumpstart/Do Now: First five minutes of class, the teacher will provide an image of crusaders engaging in battle, to each student (Suggested Images: Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995, pp. 21, 139, 157). Students will generate ideas about the image with prompts from the teacher (what is going on in the picture, who are the different people, what are they doing, what can you tell about the people in the picture, etc.). Students will then share their responses.
2. The teacher will explain that the image is of Crusades and will then briefly define.
3. The teacher will introduce the new material and vocabulary terms: crusades, papacy and monarchy as the key players in the Crusades as well as the power struggle that existed between the two groups. (My students benefit hugely from graphic organizers for note-taking purposes so it might be helpful to create something for your students to structure and organize their notes). The teacher should emphasize how it was the Pope (leader of the papacy) who decided to send the Crusades to the Holy Land.
4. Class will then discuss possible reasons for why the Crusades may have occurred. The teacher will draw from student responses to establish the three major causes (religious, economic, and political) of the Crusades. This information should also be presented as notes.
5. The teacher should be circulating throughout the classroom throughout the entirety of the lesson to make sure students are on task and to offer help.
6. After discussing the three major causes of the Crusades, students will assume the historical perspective of a clergy member, a merchant, or a monarch and write a letter to persuade the Pope for why the Crusades are necessary. Students should choose whichever cause they find to be most compelling and write their argument from the perspective of the corresponding individual (clergy member: religious, merchant: economic, monarch: political).
7. Upon completing the letter to the Pope, students will complete an Exit Slip that requires them to identify the vocabulary terms: papacy and monarchy, as well as the major causes of the Crusades.

Materials:

1. Individual student copies of an image of crusaders during the Crusades.
2. Graphic Organizer for note taking (self-created).

Assessments:

1. Persuasive Letter to the Pope: Demonstrates students' ability to evaluate the major causes of the Crusades and ability to apply historical perspective in their writing.
2. Exit Slip: Demonstrates students' mastery of the first two objectives for the lesson. The teacher should grade the exit slips immediately so they can provide feedback the following day and clarify any mishaps.

Lesson Plan 2

Goal: To establish an understanding of the impact of geography on the Crusades.

Objectives:

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to

1. Locate the Middle East and identify the four crusader states and the corresponding modern-day countries on a map: Edessa (Turkey), Antioch (Syria), Jerusalem (Israel), and Tripoli (Lebanon).
2. Explain the obstacles crusaders faced in traveling to the Holy Land.
3. Hypothesize the impact of "home field advantage" in the outcome of the Crusades.

Procedures:

1. Jumpstart/Do Now: First five minutes of class, the teacher will provide a blank map of the world and have students identify the seven continents and as many countries as they students can.
2. The teacher will ask how familiar students were with the Middle East and if anyone was able to identify Israel. The teacher will explain that this region of the world is where the Crusades were taking place and that it is important for the class to have a sense of "place" when talking about history.
3. The teacher will provide individual copies of maps of Europe and the Near East before c. 1300 (Riley-Smith. Illustrated History of the Crusades, p. 410) and the Latin East (Riley-Smith. Illustrated History of the Crusades, p. 414) and have the students locate the four crusader states on both maps. The teacher will also show students which modern-day countries the Crusaders states were located in (Turkey, Syria, Israel, and Lebanon).
4. The teacher will ask students to consider what some of the difficulties crusaders may have faced in traveling from Western Europe to the Holy Land hundreds of years ago. Students should consider accessibility of ships and caravans, distance, expenses, terrain, language, cultures, religion, disease, etc. in traveling to the Holy Land. Students will take 10 minutes to study the map and independently generate a list of obstacles faced by crusaders.
5. Students will then form partnerships to share what some of the different obstacles they thought of (5 minutes). Student partnerships will then share their ideas with the rest of the class, as the teacher will record the ideas on the board, so all students can see.
6. The teacher will then explain the concept of "home field advantage," using the more common sports analogy, to illustrate the point that the crusaders were protecting the Holy Land on unfamiliar terrain.
7. Students will then hypothesize the impact of "home field advantage" on the result of the Crusades, also taking into consideration the obstacles brainstormed earlier in writing their hypothesis.
8. Upon completing their hypothesis, students will complete an Exit Slip asking them to locate the Middle East and identify the four crusader states.

Materials:

- Individual student copies of maps: Europe and the Near East before c. 1300, Latin East.

Assessments:

1. Student Hypothesis: Demonstrates students' ability to apply knowledge of the obstacles faced by the crusaders along with the concept of home field advantage to evaluate the impact of geography on the result of the Crusades.
2. Exit Slip: Demonstrates students' mastery of the first objective for the lesson. The teacher should grade the exit slips immediately so they can provide feedback the following day and clarify any mishaps.

Lesson Plan 3

Goal: To critically read and interpret a primary source related to the Crusades and explain how the primary source contributes to our larger understanding of the Crusades.

Objectives:

As a result of this lesson, students will be able to

1. Read and interpret a primary source related to the Crusades.
2. Explain the role of cultural perspective on historical record keeping.

Procedures:

1. Jumpstart/Do Now: First five minutes of class, the teacher will tell the students that something is about to happen in the classroom and they are responsible for writing down what they observe as completely as possible. (The teacher should arrange for another teacher or student to enter into the classroom, engage in a somewhat controversial conversation [such as politics or grades], over-exaggerating body language, end the conversation with the other teacher or student leaving the classroom.) After students have finished writing down their observations, the teacher will ask for two to three students to share their observation, noting differences and similarities between the different accounts. The teacher will ask the students why he/she asked them to write down their observations (because they were asked to, to create a record of what happened, to not forget in a few weeks or years).
2. The teacher will then explain the importance of what they have just done; each student has created a primary source that in one year, they will be able to look back on and recall exactly what happened on that day, one year earlier.
3. The teacher will ask students to think about some of the problems regarding primary sources: what do we know about the author, what kinds of bias might the author have, where did the information come from, was the author actually present during the event, what does the author base their conclusions on? These are the questions that the students will be asking themselves as they read a primary source written during the Crusades.
4. Students will be given an individual copy of a primary source written during the Crusades (Suggested Primary Source: Eds. Allen, S.J. and Emilie Amt. The Crusades: A Reader, Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures: VIII. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2003, pp. 162 - 163. Note: Previous instruction should include information about Saladin and the fall of Jerusalem). Students will also be given a guided reading template (self-created), which should include the following questions:
a. What information can we gather about the author to help us understand how the author knows these details?
b. Where is the author from, what is the author's position in society, was the author present during the event?
c. What might have biased the author's account?
d. Where does the information come from and what type of information is it - eyewitness account, financial or agricultural record, letter, religious order, political treaties, etc.?
e. How does the author know what they are writing about?
f. What conclusions are drawn, by the authors, from the available information?
g. How much time has elapsed since the events described occurred?
5. The teacher and students will read through the primary source together, with students being encouraged to underline, highlight and write on their primary source copy. While reading through the primary source, the teacher will occasionally stop to ask the students some of these questions.
6. The teacher should work with the students through the first few questions but then allow the students to work on their own, with the teacher circulating to answer questions. Allow for a substantial amount of time for the students to work with the primary source.
7. When most of the class is finished, ask for volunteers to share their answers with the rest of the class to try and get a general consensus of the students' conclusions.
8. Upon completion of the primary source questions, students will complete an Exit Slip asking them to consider how someone else may have recorded the same event depicted in the primary source. What if they were Christian? What if they were the Pope? How does cultural perspective impact the way history is recorded?

Materials:

1. Individual student copies of primary source.
2. Individual student copies of primary source questions.

Assessments:

1. Primary Source Questions: Demonstrates students' ability to think about and interpret primary sources based on guided reading questions.
2. Exit Slip: Demonstrates students' mastery of the second objective for the lesson. The teacher should grade the exit slips immediately so they can provide feedback the following day and clarify any mishaps.

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Bibliography

Allen, S.J., and Emilie Amt. The Crusades: A Reader, Readings in Medieval Civilizations and Cultures: VII. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2003.

Collection of primary sources from both European and Islamic perspectives throughout the duration of the Crusades - excellent variety. Student-friendly contextual introductions to each source along with a brief background of the author.

Bennet, Judith M., and C. Warren Hollister. Medieval Europe: A Short History. 10th Ed. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2006.

Secondary source: provides historical context for the Crusades. Also has a great picture of Saladin and Richard III in a mythical joust (p. 230, Fig. 9.2).

Gabrieli, Francesco. Arab Historians of the Crusades. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957.

Collection of translated Arabic primary sources during the Crusades, provides great scope of Arabic and Islamic Empires. Excellent background information on Arabic historians and their works, as well as commentary on the quality of their records.

Geary, Patrick J., Ed. Readings in Medieval History. 3rd Ed. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2003.

Collection of primary sources, providing impressions of the First Crusade (1096-1099) from the Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Byzantine perspectives (pp. 407-442).

Lane-Poole, Stanley. Saladin: All-Powerful Sultan and the Uniter of Islam. New York: Cooper Square Press, 2002.

Biography of Saladin, emphasis on rise to power, loyalty to Islam, and rule as a fair and respected leader. Great section on the Battle of Hattin and Saladin's role as military force and fair leader (pp. 197-216).

Maalouf, Amin. The Crusades Through Arab Eyes. Trans. Jon Rothschild. New York: Schocken Books, 1984.

Collection of primary sources from Arab historians. Excellent portrayal of Saladin as a fair and devout leader (pp. 176-200) as well as timeline incorporating the development of the Islamic Empire (pp. 277-280).

Madden, Thomas F., Ed. The Crusades: Blackwell Essential Readings in History. Malden: Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2002.

Collection of essays and articles written by contemporary historians that introduces students to the fundamental concepts of crusading, including the nature of the movement, the motivation of the participants, and the impact on the East. Focuses on the political, economic, religious, and demographic factors behind the Crusades - assumes certain understanding of content but editorial structure is student-friendly. Madden is considered one of the leading experts on the Crusades.

Madden, Thomas F. The New Concise History of the Crusades, Updated Student Edition. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2006.

Strongly recommended for students (hence student edition). Text provides background knowledge of Crusades while also tying in the impact of the Crusades on our modern world, post-9/11. Also, includes discussion questions for each chapter.

Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades: A Short History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987.

Strong overview of the Crusades with a relatively short account of the Battle of Hattin and the Fall of Jerusalem (pp. 84-87), which is what Kingdom of Heaven focuses on. Riley-Smith is also considered one of the leading experts on the Crusades.

Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Excellent sources for illustrations, maps, and photographs related to the Crusades, a great resource for any World History teacher who has many visual learners in the classroom.

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