Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Medieval History: The Crusades

Duplicate a map of Europe and draw a routes of the pilgrims to the Holy Land. ( Damascus, Acre, Tyre, Tripoli, Hattin, Antioch, France, German Empire, Asia, Mediterranean Sea, Italian States, Rome, North Africa, Palestine, Egypt, The Balkans, Syria, Anatolia, Byzantium Empire, Byzantium, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Crusader States, Outremer, Holy Land.)
Why was Jerusalem considered the Holy Land? Imagine traveling to the Holy Land. Write a letter home telling about what you saw and heard.
Who fought in the Crusades? Why did people join the Crusades? Why didn't more peasants serve in the Crusades? Some knights brought their entire families along. Why did they do that?
Discuss the positive results of the failed Crusades.



Who were the Christian groups during the Crusades?


The Roman Empire split in two back in the early Middle Ages. Those two halves have a box each in the diagram and students’ task is to place 5 cards in the boxes but which ones go in which box? The physical task of locating 5 terms in 2 boxes will help students realize the overlaps and what they have to come to understand. It may even make them say that it’s not as complicated as the books make it seem.



Who were the Muslim groups during the Crusades?


Abbasid dynasty
Seljuk Turks
The Fatimids were a different group of Muslims who did not want to be ruled by the Abbasid and took control of Palestine, including Jerusalem, and Egypt in the 10th century. Rivalry continued into the 11th and 12th century when the Crusades took place.


The Abbasids and Seljuk Turks were Sunni Muslims, the Fatimids were Shi’ah Muslims. This adds to the potential disunity in the Muslim world. Finding out how Sunni and Shi’ah differed might be a good research task.

But, who were the Saracens? Saracens was a name given by the Christian Crusaders to all their opponents – it doesn’t denote any one group or race and the Muslims didn’t call themselves Saracens. "The Saracens", therefore, are the same as "the Franks" which was a name given by Muslims to all their opponents during the Crusades whether they came from France, Germany, England or wherever.


  • What did these three groups have in common? (their religion)
  • Why might they struggle to unite to fight against the Crusaders? (rivalries for power)



Sources and Resouces:

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