Untargeted – 5

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4 thoughts on “Untargeted – 5”

  1. Robert Harrell

    Thanks for the post, Ben. Next year I want to work more on creating and sustaining the “movie in the mind”. Currently my 3/4/AP class is reading the book I wrote. Two chapters have particularly good action and geography sequences. For both of them I walked the class through the action after we had read (I may do it before next time) with every student playing an assigned role (even if it was just being the wall around the city of Acre or a foley artist). Each chapter had one or more fight sequences, which I will beef up next time. One of my students said that doing this really helped him understand the chapter.
    Today’s chapter covered the involvement of the Germans in the Third Crusade, so the class walked down the hall as the 100,000 man strong imperial army, stopping in Vienna, Budapest and Belgrad along the way and discussing what happened there. Then we crossed the Balkans and had skirmishes with bandits. After crossing the Dardanelles we continued through Anatolia until we reached the Saleph River and Friedrich Barbarossa drowned. Then most of the army went home (and students became Saracens for later). After burying various parts of Barbarossa’s body in Tarsus, Antioch and Tyre, we reached Acre and played out the double siege there. (City held by Saracens, besieged by Crusaders, who were besieged by Saladin’s troops.) Of course it was all in German with the movie running the whole time. Lots of people died, so we had “bodies” littering the ground – and happy students. We even had the “wall” of Acre collapse, as is recorded in historical records, and founded the Teutonic Knights.

  2. Don’t we all. My favorite thing about Robert is that he used to be one of those guys on horseback at those medieval dinner theatres. How cool is that? Little did the audience know that he could have ridden around the arena discoursing on the literature of the time or regaling them with poetry in German. The French think that they are “all that” when it comes to poetry, but not really, right? I admit it.

  3. You guys make me blush. ::turning red::
    It’s the students who inspire me. One of them had asked me if we would act out the chapter like we had the earlier one – so of course we had to.
    Just a couple of days before going out on the “Third Crusade” we made a short foray into poetry. The class read one of the most famous poems from Walther von der Vogelweide (I just love the way that name rolls off the tongue) and a short poem by “Der von Kürenberg” (As I told the class, no one knows his name, so he’s simply “The guy from Kürenberg”.) They took it in stride that they were interpreting 12th-century poetry in the original and nailed the imagery. “Ich saz uf eime steine” (from Walther) is about the sad state of the empire and how bleak things look when people abandon concepts of honor and accountability; “Das Lied vom Falken” (from “the guy”) is about lost love and seeing the one you loved and lost going out with other people. It’s amazing how current and pertinent some of this old stuff can be. Great discussion.
    An idea I got from Jason Fritze has worked really well with what we are doing. I had my TA draw a map of the Third Crusade on a shower curtain liner. (I copied it onto a transparency, hung the liner on the wall and projected the image onto the liner. All he had to do was trace.) It has been great – I had exactly what I wanted in a large enough format for everyone to be able see it. (We also took it outside and used it for the sail that became the roof of the hospital that the founders of the Teutonic Knights used for the roof of their field hospital.)
    We’ll finish the book this coming week and then do some workstations for a change of pace: identifying herbs and spices (smell and taste), trying on armor (yes, I own a suit), measuring with the body (finger, hand, span, pace, etc.), creating chain mail (actually “knitting” some links together), etc. Naturally it all happens in German.

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