Medieval Exploration is a teaching and learning resource for History Studies in Year 8 of the National History Curriculum.

Available on CD-ROM
Formatted for Windows or Mac

School Price
$50.00 with a single computer site licence
$100.00 with an unlimited site licence

European Exploration
Operating System
Special Instructions

About This Program


Medieval Exploration - History Project is an interactive computer based teaching and learning resource that provides students with the nessessary historical knowledge, understanding and skills required to meet the Achievement Standards of the National History Curriculum at Year 8 - The Ancient to the Modern World.


The National History Curriculum recommends the use of 'story' as a key strategy for developing young people's historical thinking. Research shows that learners grapple with the past in much the same way as historians, making sense of it by analysing, ordering and linking events in storied form, and that in many situations students learn best by ‘doing’, providing they are first provided with meaningful and appropriate learning content.

The Audio-Visual Narrative

Medieval Exlporation is centred on a twelve minute audio-visual narrative that gives a broad overview of European exploration during the early medieval period in Europe. The narrative tells the story of . . .

Medieval Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire in the fifth century A.D. Law and order had broken down and it seemed like the end of civilisation.
The early explorations of the Irish Monks who travelled to Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, the uninhabited islands north and west of Scotland and the island of Thule, which we now call Iceland.

The emergence of the Vikings, or Northmen, who came from Scandinavia, from the lands we now call Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Their homelands were mountainous and very cold and most of the people were poor and lived as farmers, hunters, trappers and fishermen.
The Vikings abilities as sailors and ship builders, and how, in their dragon ships, they raided the richer lands of the British Isles and Europe.

They attacked the farms and the monasteries and the towns, killing and robbing the people and burning their buildings.
The Vikings sailed out into the Atlantic Ocean and south into the Mediterranean Sea, to raid the cities of southern Europe and North Africa where they fought with the Arabs.

They journeyed to the cold northern parts of Scandinavia and Russia, to trade in furs, and also to Iceland.
Eric The Red, who was outlawed from Iceland for killing some people in a fight, and his discovery and settlement in Greenland.

Leif Ericson, one of the sons of Eric the Red, and his discovery of Vinland, which we now know as North America.
Thorwald Ericson and his voyage to Vinland where he made contact with and was killed by the fierce inhabitants of this new land whom they called Skraelings.

The decline of the Vikings And eventually, even the settlements in Greenland are abandoned
The Arabs, or Saracens, conquered the holy city of Jerusalem and wars began called the Crusades, in which European armies try to drive the Saracens out of Jerusalem and the holy land of Palestine.
In Palestine Europeans tasted the spicy Arab foods, and saw the rich silk clothing and the jewels that they wore, and they became envious.
A valuable trade began when Italian merchants from the cities of Venice and Genoa grew rich from trading with the Arabs across the Mediterranean.
Other countries envied the new wealth of Venice and Genoa, and they tried to find other ways of reaching the rich lands of the Far East.

Student Project

The Medieval Exploration narrative allows students to experience the story in early Medieval history, and the project resourses of the program encourages them to become involved as participants in the study of Medieval history, by 'doing' and 'making' history using historical methods and procedures in a manner that resembles the historian's craft.

Medieval Exploration is a unique student project resource that challenges learners to create their own version of the narrative by replacing all, or any, of the 92 images in the original program with images that they have either drawn or painted themselves, or with those that they have searched for and chosen as replacements that, in their opinion, best illustrate that section of the narrative.
The process of selecting and inserting the images into the program introduces learners to the use of historical methods and procedures, focusing on the interpretation of evidence and the use of narrative to construct accounts of the past, involving them as participants rather than spectators in the study of Medieval history.
The search for and selection of the images helps in developing student’s research skills and exercises their critical thinking, and helps them learn how to reason historically with content and to understand that historical accounts and illustrations of the past may differ or conflict because people select and use evidence in different ways for different purposes.
The replacement of the original images with those of their own choosing is a very easy process. Students can obtain the images from a number of sources, such as the project resources of the school library and the internet, from which they can download images directly into the program, or they can create their own drawings or paintings that depict their personal interpretations of what is being stated in the narrative and insert them into the project.
When images are loaded into the program, their names will appear in the Image List in the Import menu of the program. When an image is selected, a thumbnail of the image appears in the viewer window, and when the Import button is clicked, the program imports the image and automatically re sizes it to fit the viewing window. The imported images are saved when the program is quit and the new images will be used when the program is reopened and played.

Historical Questions & Research

The program develops student ICT capabilities and allows them to use a range of communication forms as well as to work closely with digital technology to complete the project tasks. Through this process of engagement, students are able to grapple with the key questions, master historical research skills and build a solid foundation of historical knowledge.
Each of the 92 images in the Medieval Exploration narrative has an accompanying ‘NOTES’ page, which assists learners to develop patterns of historical reasoning by encouraging them to ask questions, foster debate, use evidence to support a position and, understanding that historical and literary dimensions of students' learning are complementary, to communicating that position effectively.
The ‘NOTES’ pages encourage students to analyse and make judgements regarding the plausibility of the script for that frame of the story, and to analyse and make judgements regarding how well the images depict what is stated in the script and the types of evidence they represent, and to give the reasons for their judgements in writing.

Teachers’ Assessment

Each narrative contains an Assessment Page where teachers can communicate with the students while they are working on a project or lesson and offer guidance and constructive criticisms if required, and where they can provide an assessment of the student’s work on completion. Each assessment session is automatically dated and saved and can be exported as a text file or printed for archival purposes.
A great deal of discretion is given to the teacher as to how they use the program. The History Projects can be used by individual students, with each student working on their own project, or by students working together in small groups, or by the entire class working on one project.
Teachers can choose to just play the stories to give students a broad overview of European exploration durring the early Medieval period in Europe, or they can use an entire narrative as a depth study, or select a chapter, or chapters, of the narrative and use them as the lesson. Whichever method is used, all of the student activities and teacher assessments will function equally well.

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