The Cathars

The Cathars of Languedoc were a fascinating group of medieval religious dissidents.

A study of them provides an interesting way of studying medieval religion and society in either Year 7 (when looking at Medieval Religion / The Crusades) or Year 8 (as a prelude to the the European Reformation)

Here at the International School of Toulouse we round off a study of this topic with a joint History/Geography trip to the Medieval Citadel of Carcassonne.

Option 1: Project-based

The Mystery of the Holy Grail and the Cathars
An ActiveHistory Mystery. The "History Mysteries" lessons are designed as stand-alone projects which each last 3-4 hours.
Through engaging historical topics, they teach skills of problem formulation, deductive reasoning, independent research, groupwork and structured writing.
There is a standard teacher lesson plan and student record sheet / markscheme for each activity.

Option 2: Worksheet-based

1. Introduction: The Court of Raymond of Toulouse
Designed to give students a romantic impression of what Medieval Languedoc was like.

2. Why did the Pope launch the Albigensian Crusade? (a) Religious Reasons
Students compare Cathar viewpoints to those of Catholics, and form their own judgement as to which they have most sympathy with.

3. Why did the Pope launch the Albigensian Crusade? (a) Other Reasons
An interactive Diamond 9 Exercise based at Interactive Whiteboard Resources
[worksheet] [interactive exercise]

4. Early Events of the Crusade: The Campaigns of Simon de Montfort
A decision-making exercise: Would you have taken the same decisions as de Montfort?
[worksheet] [teacher answer sheet]

5. The Siege of Toulouse: Living Graph Activity
An interactive exercise based at Interactive Whiteboard Resources.
[worksheet] [interactive exercise]

6. The Siege Stone at Carcassonne: PostIt Activity
An interactive exercise based at Interactive Whiteboard Resources.
[worksheet] [interactive exercise]

7. [Siege Stone - Flash Animation]
Designed to accompany the above lesson.
[interactive exercise]

8. The Siege of Montsegur: Interactive Running Dictation Exercise
Students watch the events unfold through a series of "news feeds" and should then be asked to write a biased newspaper report about the event from either a Catholic or a Cathar perspective.
[interactive exercise]

9. Build Your Own Castle!
If students have not already played this game in Year 7, now would be an ideal time to do so!
[interactive exercise]

10. Keyword Challenge: The Cathars
If you are unfamiliar with the format of the game, click here for instructions.
[interactive exercise]

Year 8 Trip to Carcassonne


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