As a concluding activity for our study of the Crusades, students have been working in pairs to read about and represent the viewpoint of an historical character involved in one of the Crusades. There are Christian, Muslim, and Jewish people the students have read about. We will then have a “roundtable” meeting of different participants related to the Crusades. Each pair will give a short presentation about their person. We hope to understand the various viewpoints of the Crusades. Every pair of students has been assigned one of nine people who lived during the Crusades or participated in them Each pair must be able to:
- Understand the viewpoint of the historical figure accurately and thoroughly and present it to the class.
- Explain the character’s viewpoint on the Crusades to the class.
- Explain whether the character’s actions were justified.
- Devise questions to ask other figures.
Students have been given two class periods to prepare together, and for homework, they have read over the background information about their person.
This activity involves collaboration with a fellow student to effectively represent a particular viewpoint, and critical thinking skills, because the students must figure out how to make their particular viewpoint be reasonable, but also learn about other viewpoints and question the other paricipants. At the end of this activity the students should be able to appreciate better how the Crusades affected people’s lives, and decide whether the actions of the participants were justified.