Grade 6 Unit 6 Middle Ages and Renaissance

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Subject: Ancient World History

Grade: 6

Unit:  6 Middle Ages

Pacing: 25 days


Essential Question(s):

1. Explain the type of government formed in Medieval Europe, and how did it change by the late middle Ages?


2. Why was the Roman Catholic Church play such an important and powerful role during the middle Ages?


3. What were the Crusades and what were their major effects on life in Europe?


4. What causes led to the birth of the Renaissance in Italy?


Big Idea(s):


  1. Under Feudalism, land was owned by Kings or Lords who had Vassals run the land using peasants or serfs to keep it running successfully.  In return Vassals had power but were required to pay taxes and raise armies to go to war for the King or Lord when requested. Eventually, the Kings power had grown and the Lords/Nobles wanted more of a say, so they created the Magna Carta, which limited the Kings power over the nobles.
  2. The Catholic Church offered hope to all, regardless of a person’s wealth.  It owned a lot of land in many kingdoms and collected taxes making the church wealthy and powerful in all of Europe. The Church was able to have a say in government and control the Kings. It could excommunicate people, even Kings, who did not follow catholic laws.
  3. The Crusades began because the Catholic Church wanted Christians to control the Holy land. During two hundred years of war Europe changed due to the new ideas, technology, medicine, math, trade and exploration that occurred during this time.
  4. Italy became a center of European trade. Merchants and ordinary people could earn fame and fortune. Italy’s trade was based within its cities, which became centers of power and wealth. Most powerful Italian cities became independent city-states.


CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)


1.3.2   Identify examples where cultural differences contributed to conflict between

1.5.1    Civilizations and technology and how it effects environment.

1.5.2    Analyze how environment affects impacts a nation’s/civilization’s economic and
 social development.

1.6.1    Compare and contrast significant world trade patterns in both past and present.

1.7.1    Compare and contrast different forms of governments/leaders past and present.

1.9.1    Compare and contrast the rights of citizens under different forms of
 government/leaders throughout the Ancient World.


1.1  .2   Compare and contrast the historical events in other nations with those in US


1.3.1        Explain how the arts, architecture, music, and literature of a civilization reflects

its culture and history.

1.13.3  Analyze how individual lives are influenced by social, cultural and material contexts.


2.1.1    Use labels and symbols to gather information from charts, graphs and maps.

2.2.1    Use maps to understand and explain historical content.

2.3.1    Compose an expository essay using evidence to describe a social studies event or


2.5.2    Prepare a descriptive report on a social studies topic and use visual forms of evidence.

3.1.1    Evaluate the impact of historical background on a specific event or issue.

3.2.1    Cite evidence to summarize the feelings and outlook of people engaged in a

            historical event.

 “Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)


Concepts(Need to Know)

Skills(Able to Do)


Problems faced by Middle Age Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

  • Francs
  • Vikings


Feudalism/Manor System.







Power of the Church

  • Economic
  • Government
  • Military


Rise of the Middle Class






Magna Carta





Explain the rise of Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.




Examine how land and power were divided under feudalism.


Compare and contrast the daily lives of the peasant/serf versus the vassals/lords in the Manor.


Discuss why the Roman Catholic Church was so important and powerful throughout Europe.



Conclude how trade increased the growth of towns and the rise of the middle class.


Identify the causes of the Crusade and its positive and negative affects in Europe.


What motive was behind the creation of the Magna Carta and its affect on the power of the monarchy?


Explain why Italy was the birthplace of the Renaissance.

































Common Formative Pre- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis): See Pre-Assessment Unit 7 Middle Ages


“Dipsticks” (Informal Progress Monitoring Checks):

Will be created at the discretion of classroom teacher.


Common Formative Post- Assessment (Followed by Data Team Analysis): See Post Assessment for Unit 7 Middle Ages.


Instructional Planning

1.     Suggested Resources/Materials:

Textbook (pgs. 392-420
Discovery Channel Movie(s)
Power point presentation/slide show
Inspire Ed Curriculum


Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:


Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections

Middle Ages
Holy Land
Pilgrim                                         Hundred Years’ War                       Renaissance                                  humanism