*I started the lesson with a little bit of history on the Middle Ages for some perspective.
What event marks the beginning of the Middle Ages? FALL OF GREEK AND ROMAN EMPIRE
The Middle Ages saw the beginnings of a rebirth in literature. Early medieval books were painstakingly hand-copied and illustrated by monks. Paper was a rarity, with vellum, made from calf’s skin, and parchment, made from lamb’s skin, were the media of choice for writing. Students learning to write used wooden tablets covered in green or black wax. The greatest number of books during this era were bound with plain wooden boards, or with simple tooled leather for more expensive volumes.
How were books produced in the Middle Ages? HANDWRITTEN BY MONKS
Tell me one thing they wrote on. VELLUM…..what it vellum made from?….CALF SKIN
What did students write on? WAX TABLETS
What do you write on? PAPER
How do you experience handwriting? IT IS HARD FOR ME BECAUSE I CANNOT RELIABLY USE MY HANDS.
Wandering scholars and poets traveling to the Crusades learned of new writing styles. Courtly Love spawned a new interest in romantic prose. Troubadours sang in medieval courtyards about epic battles involving Roland, Arthur, and Charlemagne. Literature exploded from the universities as scholars began to question convention and write social commentary, as well as poetic fiction.
How did the Crusades influence literature in the Middle Ages? EXPOSURE TO NEW PEOPLE AND PLAE IMPROVED CONTENT FOR WRITING
Language saw further development during the Middle Ages. Capital and lowercase letters were developed with rules for each. Books were treasures, rarely shown openly in a library, but rather, kept safely under lock and key. Finding someone who might loan you a book was a true friend. Some might rent out their books, while others, desperate for cash, might turn to the book as a valuable item to be pawned.
How did language evolve in the Middle Ages? UPPER AND LOWER CASE LETTERS WERE USED.
Why did people in the Middle Ages treasure books? BECAUSE THEY WERE SO HARD TO MAKE
Do you think people still treasure books? SOME PEOPLE DO, OTHERS DO NOT
How about you? Do you treasure books? I LOVE BOOKS BUT CANNOT READ THEM ON MY OWN BECAUSE MY EYES CAN’T TRACK THE LETTERS ACROSS THE PAGE.
Ian, would it surprise you if I told you that I have done this lesson with several other nonspeaking kids and 100% of them have told me the exact same thing – that they love books but can’t read independently because they can’t track the letters? NO, I AM NOT SURPRISED BECAUSE I THINK WE ARE SIMILAR LIKE THAT.
I talked with Ian about audible books that he can listen to on his iPod or iPad (or other devices) that would allow him to listen to books so he can read independently. I asked, “would you be interested in that?” ENORMOUSLY
Ok, let’s talk about what genres interest you. Before we do, can you tell me what genre means? KIND
POETRY….any poets in particular?…..FROST, WHITMAN, HUGHES…..ok, I have a Hughes in mind, but just to be sure, can you tell me a first name? LANGSTON….do any particular types of poetry appeal to you? ALMOST ANYTHING EXCEPT ROMANCE
HISTORICAL FICTION….in particular?….FIRST I WOULD PREFER TO READ ABOUT SLAVERY BUT I ALSO WANT TO READ ABOUT PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
Anything else? LIFE IS GOING TO BE SO DIFFERENT NOW.