History Odyssey: Middle Ages Level 2 Study Guide
Required Resources and Alternative Book List
The following books must be obtained apart from the History Odyssey Middle Ages Level 2 Study Guide. You may use any version, eBook, or print edition of these books. This list includes both the required books and also alternate options (see the note **).
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Main Reference Spine: The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia (1999 or newer edition)
Alternate or additional Reference Spine: History Quest: Middle Times by Linsdey Sodano. History Quest, created for young children as a read-aloud, is appropriate for middle school students as an independent read.
The History Odyssey Timeline from Pandia Press (or a homemade timeline)
Other Required and Alternate/Additional Books:
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
Alternate/Additional: Tales from the Arabian Nights by Donna Jo Napoli and Christina Balit. An illustration-heavy book that might be attractive to students on the younger end of this age group or for those who love a lot of artwork in their books.
Alternate/Additional: The Arabian Nights by Kate Doublas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith. Another collection that is beautifully illustrated by Maxfield Parrish with more sophisticated text.
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
A Shakespeare Coloring Book from Bellerophon Books
Beowulf, A New Telling by Robert Nye
Alternate/Additional: Beowulf: An Illustrated Edition, translated by Seamus Heaney. For older students who might appreciate the poetic cadence of Beowulf, I recommend the illustrated edition of Seamus Heaney’s translation. It’s the closest to reading this epic poem without learning Old English and contains photos of period artifacts.
The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
Alternate/Additional: King Arthur by Sidney Lanier. Another great option, this book has color illustrations by N.C. Wyeth.
The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
Castle by David Macaulay
Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray
Alternate/Additional: The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A classic that follows a teen girl as she becomes an apprentice to a midwife. This book is a female-centered alternative option to Adam of the Road.
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
Tales from Japan retold by Helen & William McAlpine
The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
Additional books that could be added to Middle Ages Level Two
Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett
Feathered Serpent Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico by David Bowles
Before Columbus: The Americas Before 1491 by Charles Mann. Older or more advanced readers can read the original, 1491, also by Charles Mann.
**A note from Samantha Matalone Cook, who has created our alternate/additional book list for History Odyssey: Middle Ages Level 2:
As the world changes, so does historiography. The approaches and methods used to tell the story of history are rapidly evolving to reflect a more inclusive, holistic view of world history. There are new resources, materials, and research that, even in just the past few years, have revealed how history as a subject has missed, marginalized, or distorted the past for many people and communities.
As I work on writing a new History Odyssey series, my goal is to present middle and high school students with a history education that embodies an intersectional, balanced, global experience that connects them with concepts and skills while underlining the impact the past has had on current events.
In the meantime, I’ve created a list of some alternative books to use with the current History Odyssey Level Two series that are more aligned with the goals mentioned above but still fit within the framework of the existing curriculum.
Thanks for choosing History Odyssey,
Samantha Matalone Cook, MAT
*The Story of Mankind: Due to the polarizing nature of The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Van Loon, it is optional reading in this level two course. It should be considered a possible resource for gathering information. If students choose not to read TSOM, they might need to seek out other resources on the Internet or at a library in order to complete some of the lessons.
Lesson 3. Monasticism (cont.)
Layout of a medieval abby or monastery: https://www.timeref.com/life/abbey5.htm
Layout/floorplan of a monastery or abbey: http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/A_heritage/Abbeys/Monastery_layout.htm
Lesson 11. Central Europe
Lyrics to “Good King Wenceslas”: https://www.carols.org.uk/good_king_wenceslas.htm
Lesson 14. Beowulf, A New Telling
For assistance in completing the Elements of an Epic worksheet: https://penlighten.com/epic-poetry-characteristics-elements-examples
Lesson 17. The Vikings
BBC Bitesize – Vikings: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/ztyr9j6
Jorvik Viking Center: www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/vikings1.htm
Information about the Viking king Knut: www.viking.no/e/people/e-knud.htm
Viking timeline: http://www.softschools.com/timelines/the_viking_age_timeline/351/
Lesson 18. The Vikings (cont.)
Lesson 19. The Vikings (cont.)
Lesson 20. The Vikings (cont.)
Map of Viking voyages and routes: https://www.thinglink.com/scene/687237030756745216
Lesson 21. The Vikings (cont)
Lesson 22. The Normans
Lesson 23. The Normans (cont.)
Lesson 25. Knighthood
A video on becoming a knight: http://www.medievalchronicles.com/medieval-knights/becoming-a-knight/
Lesson 26. Chivalry
Lesson 33. The Crusades (cont.)
Lesson 39. Ireland
Lesson 42. Adam of the Road (cont.)
Lesson 61. Bulgaria and Kiev
Lesson 63. Constantinople and the End of Byzantium
Lesson 65. The Ottoman Empire
Pictures the tughra (signature) of Sϋleyman: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/sisterwendy/works/tug.html
Lesson 69. The Mongols (cont.)
Lesson 77. Haiku
Helpful information for writing haiku:
Lesson 80. North America
History of the Anasazi: https://historytogo.utah.gov/anasazi/
Mississippians- the mound builders of North America: https://www.thoughtco.com/mississippian-culture-moundbuilder-171721
First Nations of Canada overview: https://www.500nations.com/Canada_Tribes.asp
Canada’s First Peoples: http://firstpeoplesofcanada.com/index.html
Native People of the Arctic and Subarctic, National Geographic for Kids: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/native-americans/native-people-of-the-arctic-and-subarctic/
Ancestral Puebloan: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/swscience/ancestral-puebloan.htm
Lesson 81-82. The Maya
Lesson 84. The Aztecs
Lesson 85. The Incas
Lesson 87. Ghana "The Land of Gold"
Ancient Ghana Empire – https://themedievalages.weebly.com/africa-ancient-ghana.html
The Met Museum – Trans-Saharan Gold Trade (7th-14th century) – https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/gold/hd_gold.htm
Ancient Africa- Empire of Ancient Ghana – https://www.ducksters.com/history/africa/empire_of_ancient_ghana.php
Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, Three of the Greatest Western African Trading States – https://about-history.com/ghana-mali-and-songhai-three-of-the-greatest-western-african-trading-states/
Map activity from PBS about the history of Africa through maps. This includes the empires of Ghana, Mali, and the Songhai Empires so is valuable for this and the following lessons. It shows trade routes during the 4th -16th centuries in the Subsaharan region along with showing the changes in borders by 1914 and then beyond. https://wgvu.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/social-studies-236-mbe-r1-grades-6-12/a-history-of-africa-through-maps/
The PBS 6-part documentary called Africa’s Great Civilizations is excellent. The 3rd episode (Empires of Gold) especially has great information about the Middle Ages in Africa. It is available for streaming on the PBS site (with a PBS streaming passport, which does have a cost). It may also be available for free on YouTube. Highly recommend the whole series. https://www.pbs.org/video/africas-great-civilizations-empires-gold-hour-three/
Lesson 88. Mali and Ethiopia
A brief History of Mali: https://www.thoughtco.com/brief-history-of-mali-44272
The History of the Mali Empire : https://about-history.com/the-history-of-the-mali-empire/
The Empire of Mali (1230-1600): https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/empire-mali-1230-1600
The Empire of Mali: The Twang of a Bow – Extra History – Video of Ghana/Mali history including Sundiata: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkayShPilkw
Mansa Musa, one of the wealthiest people who ever lived TEDEd video :https://ed.ted.com/lessons/mansa-musa-one-of-the-wealthiest-people-who-ever-lived-jessica-smith
The Hidden Treasures of Timbuktu TEDEd video:https://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-hidden-treasures-of-timbuktu-elizabeth-cox
Prester John: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prester_John
The Imaginary King (Prester John) who changed the real world TEDEd video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJKqtoAcutA
Lesson 90. Benin and Zimbabwe
Stories about Benin legend- The Voodoo priests, kings, and ghosts of Benin: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/benins-voodoo
The Kingdom of Benin: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/kingdom-benin/
Who built Great Zimbabwe? and why? TEDEd video: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/who-built-great-zimbabwe-and-why-breeanna-elliott
Lesson 91. Songhay
The Songhay Empire PBS activity: https://wgvu.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/social-studies-168-ws2-r1-grades-6-12/the-songhay-empire-analysis-activity/
Songhai Empire: https://www.ancient.eu/Songhai_Empire/
Songhai, African Empire 15th -16th century: https://www.sahistory.org.za/article/songhai-african-empire-15-16th-century
Lesson 103. Tudor England
Suggested Books for Further Reading
Europe in the Middle Ages
Grendal by John Gardner – The Beowulf epic from Grendal’s point of view.
The Shining Company by Rosemary Sutcliff – Historic fiction. 7th century Britain’s battle with the invading Saxons.
Matilda Bone by Karen Cushman
DK Eyewitness Book: Medieval Life by Andrew Langley
Life on a Medieval Pilgrimage by Don Nardo
Dove and Sword: A Novel of Joan of Arc by Nancy Garden
El Cid by Geraldine McCaughrean
Medieval England by Katherine Hinds
Outrageous Women in the Middle Ages by Vicki Leaon
Men of Iron by Howard Pyle. Historic fiction. A young boy trains to be a knight in 15th century England.
Tales of the Norse Gods by Barbara Leonie Picard
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
Twelve Bright Trumpets by Margaret Leighton Twelve historic fiction stories that span the Middle Ages from the fall of Rome to the fall of Venice.
The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow by Allen French
The Red Keep by Allen French – Historic fiction. 13th century Europe during the 2nd crusade.
The Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff – Historic fiction. The last Roman Auxiliaries are leaving Britain but one young legionnaire stays behind.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hidden Treasure of Galston by Eleanore M. Jewett
Sword Song by Rosemary Sutcliff – Historic fiction. A young Viking swordsman is banished from his home.
The Gauntlet by Ronald Welch – Peter travels back in time to 14th century Europe during the time of castles, hawking, and battles.
Jackdaw Portfolios: The Black Death
Jackdaw Portfolios: 1066
Joan of Arc: The Teenager Who Saved her Nation by Philip Wilkinson
Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett
The Emperor’s Winding Sheet by Jill Paton Walsh – Historic fiction. The story of the fall of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire.
Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam by Diane Stanley – Beautifully illustrated book about the crusades form a Muslim point of view.
Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire by Miriam Greenblatt
Ivan the Terrible by Thomas Butson
Sword of the Samurai: Adventure Stories from Japan by Eric Kimmel
Jackdaw Portfolios: Byzantine Empire
Marco Polo for Kids by Janis Herbert – An informative activity book.
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park – Historic fiction. A look at a craftsman’s colony from Medieval Korea.
Before Columbus: The Americas Before 1491 by Charles Mann
Mesoamerican Mythology: A Captivating Guide to Maya Mythology, Aztec Mythology, Inca Mythology, and Central American Myths by Matt Clayton
DK Eyewitness Books: Aztec, Inca, & Maya: Discover the World of the Aztecs, Incas, and Mayas- their beliefs, rituals, and civilizations by DK
Jackdaw Portfolios: Incas: A Cultural History
The Aztec News by Philip Steele ed.
The Royal Kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay: Life in Medieval Africa by Patricia and Frederick McKissack
Great Zimbabwe by Mark Bessire
The Kingdom of Benin in West Africa by Heather Milar
Sundiata: Lion King of Mali by David Wisniewski – For a slightly younger target age but full of beautiful illustrations.
Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali by P. James Oliver
Europe in the Renaissance
Beware, Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer – Part of the Young Royals series. Tells the story of Elizabeth Tudor in her teenage years.
Doomed Queen Anne by Carolyn Meyer – Part of the Young Royals series
Mary, Bloody Mary by Carolyn Meyer – Part of the Young Royals series
Patience, Princess Catherine by Carolyn Meyer- Part of the Young Royals series
Elizabeth I, Red Rose of the House of Tudor by Katheryn Lasky – Part of the Royal Diary Series
Mary, Queen of Scots, Queen Without a Country by Katheryn Lasky – Part of the Royal Diary Series
Queen’s Own Fool, A Novel of Mary Queen of Scots by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris
Fine Print: A Story About Johann Gutenberg by Joann Johansen
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