Fusion: The Middle Ages, Byzantine Empire, and Poetry
This unit provides students the opportunity to experience the Middle Ages/ Byzantine Empire time period through first-person accounts while making connections to modern day culture. This unit begins with the introduction of Hemingway’s poetry, as many of the moods and tones in his work are comparable to the emotion during this time period. Additionally, students, especially adolescents, tend to relate to much of Hemingway's poetry as it relates to times of hardship, personal confusion, and overcoming obstacles. Tone and mood are generally the most difficult literary concepts for students to grasp. This unit focuses on returning to these literary elements, as human emotion is such a central part of the Middle Ages. To keep students engaged and connected throughout the entire unit, a song journal activity is provided . The song journal allows students to take any modern day song or poem and relate it to the time period discussed. Students are expected to annotate the poem, provide historical reasoning, and specify the tone and mood. This provides students a memory strategy as well, which assists them on their assessment, as well as for overall retention. The final assessment includes critical thinking questions, a writing task, and a personal poem related to information obtained throughout the unit.