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Adept Handbook
Teaching Through Living History
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Cover Letter to Teachers

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Dear

Enclosed are the teaching materials I mentioned in our phone conversation. We have compiled these to help teachers prepare their classes to get the most out of our visit.

The Persona Worksheet should NOT be handed out to students. We include it to give teachers an idea of the types of questions we have received in the past. Rather than give students a list of seed questions, have them write down questions they might ask a foreign penpal or visitor from another world. You can also have them come up with questions relating to the topic divisions on the bibliography or vocabulary sheets.

The bibliography lists just a few of the sources that we have consulted in creating our "personas" and documenting their answers. Occasionally our sources disagree with earlier theories/beliefs concerning the Middle Ages. When this occurs, we will gladly explain how the differing interpretations arose. Research into the Middle Ages and Renaissance is a continuing process which has shed new light on misconceptions promoted by Victorian 'authorities' and popularized by Hollywood.

The vocabulary sheet can be used in a number of ways. Individuals or small groups can be asked to research the meanings of one word from each category or all the words in a particular category. Have them share the results of their research. The entire class may prefer to identify words they already recognize and then check to see how their meanings have changed over the centuries.

Tell your students that we may use these words in answering their questions. Assure them that it's okay to ask for clarification if we use an unfamiliar word or phrase. Encourage students to consider and ask about the details of medieval life, because we make every effort to let their interests determine the direction and content of our talk.

Even though much of this packet deals with books as sources, we hope to convince students that history is not limited to books. The Middle Ages and Renaissance were real. People very much like us lived through them, even though the world around them was considerably different than the world we know today.

I hope you will find these materials helpful. Please feel free to share them with the interested teachers.

Sincerely,

 


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