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Grade 4 Social Studies

Unit Plan- Early

Societies, 3000 BCE
1500 CE
By: David, Stephanie and Katarina

Big Ideas

By studying the past we can better understand

the present

The environment had a major impact on daily life

in early societies.

Not all early societies were the same

Framing Questions
What methods can we use to compare societies
from different eras and regions?
What are the most significant differences
between Canadian society and societies of the
What are the most significant differences among
early societies?
In what ways did the environment influence early
Does the environment have the same impact on
Canadian society?

Lesson 1

In todays lesson the students will learn about the

different social classes in medieval Europe and talk
about how they differ in work responsibilities. They
will then compare their new knowledge to the social
classes is Canada and our work responsibilities.
Specific Expectations
A1.1 Compare social organization in two or more early
A1.3 Describe some of the ways in which their daily life
differs from the lives of young people from different
backgrounds in two or more early societies

Lesson 2

Overall Expectation:

A1. Compare key aspects of life in a few early societies (3000 BCE
1500 CE), each from a different region and era and representing a
different culture, and describe some key similarities and differences
between these early societies and present-day Canadian society

Specific Expectations:

A1.2 Compare aspects of the daily lives of different ground in an early

society, and explain how differences were related to the social
organization of that society
A1.4 Compare two or more early societies in terms of their relationship
with the environment and describe some key similarities and differences
in environmental practices between these societies and present-day

Lesson Description:
This lesson focuses on what people wore in medieval Europe
and today in Canadawhat the clothing was made from , the
styles, and how clothing styles varied depending upon wealth

Learning Goals:
Today I will Learn
The types of clothing worn in medieval Europe and today in
How the clothing relates to natural resources
How clothing and materials suits different climates

Success Criteria
I can research the clothing worn depending on wealth in
medieval Europe
I can identify the materials my clothes are made from
I can compare the materials and clothing worn in medieval
Europe and today in Canada

Minds On 10 min
The teacher will bring in different materials, fabrics or clothing
articles (cotton, wool, linen, leather, silk)
Have the kids look at each of the samples brought in and
discuss the characteristics of each fabric (texture, weight, and
appearance). The students will record the observations.

What do you think these materials come from?

What types of clothes do you think people from medieval

Europe made from each of these fabrics? Why do you
think so?

In this early society, there were no buttons or zippers. How

do you think clothes were designed and fastened without

Action 30 min
The students are going to get into groups and use the books provided to
find the different types of clothing that was worn in medieval Europe in
each economic class. They will record their information on their
observation chart.
When they are done, they are then going to check the labels on their
clothing (shirts, pants, sweaters, hats, jackets, shoes) to see what
materials they are made from. These materials will also be added onto
the observation chart
For the last five minutes, the class will meet back to discuss what they
have found. The teacher will ask based on the student's clothing :
Which of these materials could have existed in medieval Europe?
To discuss the types of materials and whether they are humanmade or natural.
What are the similarities and differences from materials used in
early societies?

Early Medieval Clothing

What you wore depended on who you were in the Medieval period.
If you were rich you would probably own a variety of clothes, in the latest styles and colours. If you were a
poor peasant, you may only own one tunic. Although it was possible to obtain silks and other luxurious
materials from abroad, they were very expensive. Most clothing therefore was made out of wool. This
meant that clothing in the Medieval period was itchy, difficult to wash and dry and very hot in the summer.

Noblemen and Women

These pictures show the costume worn during the reign of the Normans by rich people.
The man is wearing a woollen tunic, belted at the waist, that has been embroidered around the hem.
Over this he has a woollen cloak fastened with a brooch. On his legs he wears woollen leggings
fastened with cross-gartered leather strips.The man's wife is wearing a woollen dress trimmed with white
linen and embroidery, belted at the waist. Over this she has a woollen cloak. Her headdress is made out
of linen and is held in place with a headband.

This man is wearing a brown woollen long jacket over short breeches. These were probably the only
clothes he owned. As you can see he did not wear a hat or shoes.

Consolidation 10 min
The class will then further discuss:

How does the clothing relate to the societies natural


How does the clothing suit the climate of the two regions?

How is the clothing similar and different from clothing worn

in Canada today?
What surprised you about clothing from medieval Europe?
Next lesson we are going to start talking about agricultural
practices .

Lesson 3: Agriculture
Overall Expectations:
A2 - Inquiry: use the social studies inquiry process to
investigate ways of life and relationships with the
environment in two of more early societies (3000 BCE
1500 CE), with an emphasis on aspects of the
interrelationship between the environment and life in
those societies

Specific Expectations:
A 2.1 - formulate questions to guide investigations into
ways of life and relationships with the environment in two
or more early societies, with an emphasis on aspects of
the interrelationship between the environment and life in
those societies

Lesson Description:
Students will research agriculture methods in medieval
times and compare them to the methods used today.
Students will need to identify the importance of crops
within the feudal system.

Lesson Goals:
I will learn who did the farming in medieval times
I will learn what tools and methods were used in farming
I will learn how it was different from todays farming

Success Criteria:
I can identify who did the farming
I can list the tools and methods used in farming
I can identify how farming and agriculture has changed

Minds On 10 min
Discuss what we know about farming now
ask questions, record students answers
e.g. who farms? machinery used? how do
they plough? what do they plant? how do they
fertilize? how do they deal with pests and weeds?

Discuss how this might compare to medieval

ask questions, record students answers
e.g. who does the farming? did they have
tools to help them? have you seen images
depicting farming methods? how was it different
from today?

Action 30 min
Split class up into groups of six, each member
gets a different aspect of farming to research
e.g. ploughing, seeding, caring for the soil,
caring for the crops, harvesting, processing

Groups research using information sheets and

books provided in classroom
Meet back up in groups and share research
Teacher will circulate through the class providing
support where needed

Consolidation 10 min
Class shares main findings
Compare how they are different to what they
know about current methods

Lesson 4
In this lesson we will focus on the layout of
Medieval Europe on a map and how it is similar
and different to the current layout of the area
Specific Expectation:
A 2.3 - analyse and construct print and/or digital
maps, including thematic maps, as part of their
investigations into interrelationships between the
environment and life in early societies

Lesson 5
Architecture in Medieval Europe
Lesson Plan Description: students will learn about the types of
architecture found within this era . Students will look through various
resources and by the end of the lesson, attempt to describe the
architectural characteristics unique to the era and place themselves
within the perspective of a medieval tour guide.
Big Idea: Not all early societies were the same.
The concept of Disciplinary Thinking: Significance- determine
the importance of something (e .g ., an issue, event, development,
person, place, process, interaction). The significance of something
is generally determined by its short- and/or long-term impact on
people and or places.)

Overall expectation: A3.
Understanding Context: demonstrate
an understanding of key aspects of a
few early societies (3000 BCE1500
CE), each from a different region and
era and representing a different culture,
with reference to their political and
social organization, daily life, and
relationships with the environment and
with each other.

Specific expectation: A3.6.

Identify and describe some of the
major scientific and technological
developments in the ancient and
medieval world (e.g., calendars;
the printing press; developments
in agriculture, architecture,
medicine, transportation,

Learning Goals: Today I will

When the Medieval era took place.
The names of the different and
important features of medieval
Why certain buildings were designed
the way they were.

Success Criteria: I can

identify the years in which the
medieval era took place.
identify the different architectural
features of medieval churches and
explain why the buildings were
designed the way they were.

Minds On

Duration: 15 minutes

First the teacher will show this short video

describing some differences between the middle
ages and the contemporary era. Using their prior
knowledge, students can point out some of the
historical inaccuracies within the video.
The teacher will show a brief
PowerPoint presentation that shows the
unique architectural features of castles
and other structures from medieval
Europe. It will also contain the vocabulary
necessary for the lesson.
The teacher will then ask what similarities
and differences they see from the buildings in
todays society. For example, a contemporary
church and a medieval church.


Duration: 30 minutes

Okay students, everyone back to your desks and work on your

grand tour of your medieval castle. (activity explained in
Assessment slide)

Teacher rotates among the students and provides

assistance where needed.

Students return to their desks and are allowed to move

between the resource table and their work station and begin

Assessment Mode: Written and
Assessment Strategy and Task for
Students: individual and
Assessment Tool: Rubric
Students will place themselves in the shoes of a Medieval real
estate agent. They will write out a tour of either a medieval
castle or church, explaining the different features of the
structure and what they are good for. In the consolidation and
connection period of the lesson, the students will try and sell
the building to their elbow partner. They may use the pictures
in the texts from the resource station to help with their sales

Consolidation & Connection

Duration: 5 mins

Teacher asks the students to find a spot with their neighbor and
give them a verbal tour of a castle or church using the two to three
paragraphs they created.

Okay Grade 4s, you are the real-estate

agent and your partner is a king or a
queen, looking to buy some new property,
try and sell to them!

Lesson 6
Students will learn about the social hierarchy found
in medieval Europe. They will learn about the
roles and responsibilities of each social class ex,
monarchs, the clergy, artisans etc.
Specific expectation:
A3.8 describe the social organization of some
different early societies.

Culminating Task
Medieval Festival
Part One:
The class decides on a date for their festival and
makes a list of people who would attend. Each
student selects a role
Part Two:
Make a list of facts gathered about the character as
well as fictional information.
Make a drawing or figure of your character with
correct clothing for their level of wealth.
Part Three:
Write one or two paragraphs introducing their
characters to the rest of the class

Culminating Task (cont.)

Part Four:
As a class research and make a list of activities that
take place at a feast
Decide on some to include in the class festival
Part Five:
As a class discuss types of food that were eaten
and choose ones to be included in the feast.
Part Six:
Class festival with a feast. The students will play
the roles of the characters they chose.

Chong, S., & Cairo, M. (2014). Chapter 4: The Needs of Daily Life. In
Early societies. Toronto: Nelson Education.
Lawson, J. (2005). Hands-on social studies (2nd ed.). Winnipeg: Portage
& Main Press.
Medieval Life Worksheets. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2015, from