Migration Lesson 1: How well were the Jews treated in the Middle Ages? – overview

As a starter in this new GCSE lesson on Migration students are given 4 interesting and iconic images of attitudes to Jews in England in the 12th century. Students have to make deductions from them. What do they tell us about attitudes to Jews at that time?  The class is then split in two with deliberately different information to work on to create tension.  After feedback, pupils are given a fuller range of information cards to place on a spectrum ranging from ‘harshly treated’ through to ‘well treated’.

Lesson 2:  The changing fortune of the Jews in the Middle Ages

Possible exam questions: ‘To what extent is the of the government the most important factor in explaining the changing fortunes of the Jews in England at this time?’  ‘Was the reign of Henry II the golden age for Jews in medieval England?’ Or ‘Did the reign of Henry III mark the beginning of the end for English Jews?’

Here the focus is much more on change over time and exploring a wide range of factors. Students work in small groups to create their own fortunes graph showing the influence of individual monarchs so that they can test out any hypothesis that might feature in a forthcoming exam questions. The lesson finishes by students creating their FACTOR cards for the role of: a. government (mainly), b. connectedness with the outside world, c. beliefs, d. economic forces e. communications.

Lesson 3: The experience of the Flemish in the Middle Ages

Students use the strategy called Prove it! in which they are given 10 statements about the experience of the Flemish and 10 pieces of evidence. They have to work out which evidence supports which statement. In some cases there might be more than one. Statements are differentiated so that the hardest come last. Students then compare the experience of the Flemish with other European settlers in the Middle Ages, putting them in a rough rank order of who had the best experience.