The Crusades from Medieval European and Muslim Perspectives. A Unit of Study for Grades 7-12.
Author(s): Aghaie, Kamran Scot
Source: ERIC Education Resource Information Center
This unit of study seeks to supplement the information presented in world history textbooks about the Crusades. The Crusades were instigated by the call for “holy war” against Muslims by Pope Urban II in 1095 and spanned several centuries. The unit notes that usually the depth and breadth of coverage varies substantially, and the Crusades are usually taught as a component of medieval European history, without allowing for a more holistic approach which would include other perspectives. The unit provides students with primary documents that allow them to practice analytical skills by scrutinizing the uninterpreted texts on their own. New perspectives are offered concerning the Crusades by focusing on the experiences of both Crusaders and Muslims. Students are given an understanding of the more diverse forms of interaction between Crusaders and Muslims. The unit consists of five lessons. Teacher background materials and lesson plans with student resources are provided. Lessons vary according to the different grade levels and can be adapted to a slightly higher or lower level. The teacher background materials provide an overview of the unit and present historical information and context necessary to link the specific “dramatic moment” to the larger historical narrative. The unit’s lesson plans include a variety of ideas and approaches that can be elaborated upon or shortened, as the need arises. Concludes with an 18-item bibliography and four web-site addresses for further study.