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Christian Kingdoms (redirected from FrontPage)

Page history last edited by FranJLte 1 year, 9 months ago



Lesson Plan




Thinking moment:

1. The Christian Reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula


  1. To start the discussion, you can ask the class:

Did the Christian Reconquest advance southwards or northwards on the Iberian Peninsula?’


Initiate the activity:

These sentences describe the movement of the Reconquest.’


  1. You might use these words in the activity:

  • move-moved

  • fight-fought/ against

  • defeat-defeated

  • Christians

  • Muslims


  1. Finally, ask the students:

Do you know when the last Muslim king surrendered?’


In this unit you will find out the answers to these questions:

  • What were the Reconquest and repopulation?
  • What were politics, economy and society like in the Christian principalities of the Iberian Peninsula?
  • What were the Christian city like?
  • What were the main expressions of Pre-Romanesque, Romanesque and Gothic  art in Spain? 
              • KEY WORDS:
    • Reconquest: Christian military advance towards the south of the Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and 15th centuries in which Christians regained territory that had been in Muslin hands
    • repopulation: settling of Christian colonists in territories that had been reconquered from the Moors
    • Pre-Romanesque:  artistic styles with some features leading to the emergence of Romanesque art and architecture (semicircular arch, barrel vault, etc.) 
    • crown of Castilla: name given by historians to the territory governed by the kings of Castilla and Leon from 1230
    • taifa kingdom: small state resulting from the division of the Cordoba Caliphate in 1031
    • Mudejar: Muslim who remained on land conquered by Christians
    • fuero: code of law in which the king or a lord granted a city certain priviledges, such as exemption of taxes



From 711 onwards the Muslims occupied the  Iberican Peninsula except in the north where several christian principalities emerged, which later, became kingdoms. The main kingdoms were:

  • The kingdom of Leon and Asturias, known as the kingdom of Leon
  • The kingdom of Navarra (first kingdom of Pamplona)
  • The kingdom of Castilla, Fernando I was the first king
  • The kingdom of Aragon (it was a small territory belonged to the Kingdom of Navarra)

Repopulation was the process of Christian settlements  in the lands that had been under Muslin rulers until then.



Political organisation and institutions:

  • Monarchy: it was feudal in nature because the nobles were the king's vassals
  • Cortes: they were formed by members of the nobility,  clergy and the bourgeoisie
  • Administration: the monarchs created some institutions to administer justice such as the Chancilleria in the Crown of Castilla and the Justicia Mayor of Aragon
    • they also founded a treasury to collect taxes
    • the king had territory  delegates who represented them


Farming and livestock were the predominant activities but in the cities there were also craftwork and trade


Society was based on the estates and had a pyramidal structure. At the top of the social pyramid was the king:

  • priviledge estates:
    • nobility:
      • high nobility (counts, marquises and dukes)
      • low nobility who were at the service of the high nobility
    • clergy: bishops, abbots and grand masters from the military orders
  • non-priviledge estates:
    • peasants: could be the owners of the land they farmed
    • bourgeoisie: they became more important as the cities grew bigger.





Thinking moment:

 The Christian repopulation of the Iberian Peninsula


  1. To start the discussion, you can ask the class:

What happened to the populations of the areas reconquered by the Christians?’


Initiate the activity:

Here are the three ways repopulation was carried out. Which system was implemented in each area?’


  1. You might use these words in the activity:

  • reconquer

  • colonists

  • taxes

  • belong

  • settlement


  1. Finally, ask the students:

Let’s talk more about the different ways repopulation was carried out. What do you know about “fueros”, for example?



Thinking moment:

3. Daily life in Christian cities


  1. To start the discussion, you can ask the class:

Were Christian cities in the Iberian Peninsula big or small? Were all the inhabitants Christians?


Initiate the activity:

Look at the sentences about daily life in Christian cities.’


  1. You might use these words in the activity:

  • protect

  • space

  • craft

  • squares

  • narrow

  • fountain

  • trough

  • vegetable plot


  1. Finally, ask the students:

What were the buildings made of in early Christian cities?’




4. Architecture in the Christian kingdoms


  1. To start the discussion, you can ask the class:

What different architectural styles evolved in the Christian kingdoms?’


Initiate the activity:

Is anyone able to identify this building?’


  1. You might use these words in the activity:

  • Camino de Santiago

  • pilgrim

  • pilgrimage

  • altar

  • religious ceremony


  1. Finally, ask the students:

Do you know why pilgrims travel to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela?’


Introduction PPT

Building cathedrals

building the great cathedrals.odt



St. Thomas Becket: 




Thomas Becket (also known as Saint Thomas of CanterburyThomas of London, and later Thomas à Becket (1118 – 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both theCatholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death he was canonised by Pope Alexander III.

Thomas Becket


Read about St. Thomas Becket and answer these questions:


  1. Locate Thomas Becket in time and place.
  2. Who made him archbishop?
  3. Did he always agree with his friend, Henry II?
  4. Explain the disagreement with the king.
  5. How did he die?

Life and murder of Thomas Becket: 




Watch the video and read the information about Leonor of Aquitaine,

Answer these questions:

  1. When and where did she live? 
  2. Who were their parents?
  3. Who were her sons? 
  4. Explain Leonor´s role in English affairs.

Bloggers time!!!!! 

ACTIVITY: (listening 149-1)

Read the two versions of the Battle of Covadonga and answer the questions below:

Version 1

Pelayo was with his companions on Mount Auseva and the Muslims army arrived and set up camp opposite the entrance to a cave. Pelasyo trusted in Jesus'  mercy and said: "Lord Jesus Christ will free us from these pagans" Algama, the Muslim general, ordered the battle to commence and the soldiers took up arms. Their swords shone, lances were at the ready, arrows were shot incessantly, stones came flying through the air. But when the stones reached the home of the Virgin St. Mary who was in the cave, they turned around and were sent from where they came and killed the Muslim soldiers.

Chronicle of Alfonso II

Version 2

In the land of Galicia a wild ass appeared called Pelayo. From that moment the christians in al-Andalus began to defend the land that they still held and fought against the Muslims. The Muslims had taken control of their country and only the rock was left where king Pelayo was sheltering with three hundred men. The Muslim soldiers attacked him until all his soldiers were dead from hunger and only thirty men and women were left in his company. In the end, the Muslims scorned them saying "Thirty wild asses. What damage can they do to us?"

Chronicle of A-Maggari 


  1. Which is the Christian version? 
  2. In the first version, who will free them from the pagasns?
  3. What happened to all the stones and arrows that the Muslims shot? Who won the battle?
  4. Who do the Muslims describe as "wild ass"?
  5. How many men did Pelayo have?
  6. How many people survived the Muslim attack?
  7. What did the Muslims say at the end of the battle?






  1. 149_page145_introduction.mp3 
  2. 150_page145_keywords.mp3
  3. 151_page146_keywords.mp3
  4. 152_page147_keywords.mp3
  5. 153_page148_keywords.mp3
  6. 155_page149_activity7.mp3
  7. 156_page150_keywords.mp3
  8. 157_page151_keywords.mp3
  9. 158_page152_keywords.mp3
  10. 159_page153_activity9.mp3
  11. 160_page153_activity11.mp3
  12. 161_page153_activity13.mp3
  13. 162_page154_keywords.mp3
  14. 163_page155_keywords.mp3
  15. 164_page156_keywords.mp3
  16. 165_page157_activity15.mp3
  17. 166_page158_keywords.mp3  
  18. 167_page159_keywords.mp3  
  19. 168_page160_keywords.mp3
  20. 169_page161_activity20.mp3
  21. 170_page162_revisionactivity1a_b.mp3
  22. 171_page162_revisionactivity1c.mp3
  23. 172_page163_revisionactivity8a.mp3
  24. 173_page163_revisionactivity8b.mp3  







1.- Page 149, 6

Answer the questions:

a) What is the difference between Reconquest and repopulation?

b) What system of repopulation does each of the definitions below refer to?

  •  The kings gave Muslim houses and land to the people who had helped to reconquer the area.
  •  There were agreements between the king and the Muslim population. The monarch permited them to stay and keep their land in exchange for the payment of special taxes. 

2.- According to the legend:

a) El Cid was born in the ........ century.

b) He faught on the side of king .......

c) After king Sancho was assassinated, his brother ........ became  king.

d) El Cid made king Alfonso swear publicly ........ times he hadn killed his brother.




Page 153, 9

Listen to the  description of the Mesta and answer the questions:

  •  In what month did the Castillan flocks of sheep begin to move south?
  • Why did they markthem with red earth? 
  • What was a cabaña? Ho many sheep were there in a flock? Who was in charge of each   cabaña? And of each flock? 
  •  Why did they carry a net and salt with each folk? What  did they mostly obtain fr merino sheep: meat or wool?



Page 157, 18

Read the text about games in the Middle ges and answer the questions:

The streets and squares of medieval cities were the perfect place to ply ball games. These games were so popular in Valencia that the streets were a permanent playground for the people, and this caused problems for public order.

Horse races were held anywhere from the streets to open spaces. The winners received pizes such as a couple of chickens.

Also popular were darts and archery. They also played  skittles. Prizes usually conistd of silver cups and jewells.


  • How many different games  are mentioned in the text? How do you say these games in your language?
  • Which games were popular in Valencia?
  • Where did people play these games?
  • Why do you think they caused problems?
  • What were  the prizes for winning horse races?
  • What other prizes did people receive for the games?


Revision activities: 
1.- Put these events in chronological order:
  • The Battle of Navas de Tolosa
  •  Boabdil surrenders Granada
  •  The battle of Covadonga 
  •  The definitive union of Castilla and Leon
2.-  Are the following sentences true or false?
  • During the Reconquest the Christian kingdoms expanded from the north towards the south of the peninsula.
  • The cortes had more power and influence in the Crown of Castilla than in Aragon.
  • Mozarabic: art mixed elements of Muslims art with Romanesque and Gothic features.

3.- Copy and complete the sentences in your exercise book with the correct words:  Castilian, sheep, ports, metalwork,  vines, wool, transhumant, fairs.

a) In some inland areas of the Crown of Aragon the cultivation of ............ was very important.

b) Textiles and ............... were significant in medieval Cataluña.

c) The main commercial ..... of the Crown of Aragon were Barcelona and Valencia.

d) In Castilla .............. rearing was very important.

e) Merino sheep produced abundant high quality ............ .

f) The Mesta was a  Castilian association that defended the interests of the owners of ...................... livestock.

g) ....... wool was sold especially in the Law Countries.

h) They held ..... in Medina del Campo (Valladolid)



María Beato & Paula Ramos: Christian kingdoms


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