400 AD – 1300 AD
Easter Islands, Mesa Verde, Medieval Europe, Venice, Jerusalem, Spread of Islam, Marco Polo’s silk trade
As your child studies current events, he or she will quickly learn that the world is a complex place. We can trace many of today’s issues back to this time period. The better your child understand the legacy of these problems in 4th and 10th grades, the easier it will be to discuss and understand today’s issues. The fall of Rome created a void in Europe. Our western history calls it the Dark ages. Many of the advancements in science and math were lost for 1,000 years in Europe, but the East, particularly China made great advancements. 40% of the European population died from the bubonic plague, which had a devastating impact on all parts of life. Your child will enjoy the love story of King Arthur and Guinevere, the tales of Robin Hood and the portrayals of the Crusades. Medieval Europe was a hard life but exploring the castles, putting on armor and holding a sword or bow is an exciting experience for children. Visit the islands of Rhodes and Malta, where European knights lived while travelling to and from the Holy land. Seeing the walls of Jerusalem, walking the Via Dolorosa, praying at the Wailing Wall, with the Dome of the Rock an exclamation mark to all history classes.
Study how the little island country of Venice rose to dominate trade and control the Mediterranean Sea, only to lose it all for lack of friends. Visit Istanbul and learn the 1,000-year history of Constantinople before it fell to the Ottomans in 1453 and became Istanbul. Encourage your child to study Mongolia to learn how this small nomadic tribe conquered Poland, Russia, Persia and China, leaving devastation in its path. This helps explain China today. We cannot underestimate the impact of Marco Polo opening up China.
While all of Europe and Asia were going through massive turmoil, the native Indians of North America were progressing to live in adobe huts in the cliffs of modern-day New Mexico. The Rapa Nuii people were carving massive statues on remote Easter Island. Visiting these places and learning first-hand more about their history will provide additional insight into why Jerusalem is divided into Christian, Jewish and Muslim neighborhoods and why Westerners probably do not understand the Chinese. Closer to home, you could visit the impressive Yucatan pyramids built between 550-1000 AD and study their culture. Power, religion and economics were behind many events during this period, the results of which we still feel today. Take a river cruise through the middle of Europe and explore the Medieval castles. New ships called cogs were developed to carry more goods. Help your child trace the history of armor thru this period. Embrace the opportunity to explore and learn together.
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Normandy, France
- Venice, Italy
- Paris, France
- London, England
- Conwy Castle, Wales
- Rome, Italy
- Mesa Verde National Park, outside Durango Colorado
More to Watch
- Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization
- Jerusalem: The Biography
- The Road to Jerusalem: Book One of the Crusades Trilogy
- City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
- A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
- Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia
- Genghis: Birth of an Empire: A Novel (The Khan Dynasty)