Lesson Title:

The Influences of the Byzantine Empire 330 A.D. - 1455 A.D. In Today’s Society

Sunshine State Standards:

SS.912.W.2.5: Explain the contributions of the Byzantine Empire


This is the time during students’ lives where they will start exploring other Cultures and how these cultures influenced their lives. This lesson is designed to help tenth grade high school students compare and contrast the similarities and differences of the Byzantines’ empire during the Middle Ages.
I want my students in this lesson plan to learn about the about how their lives have been influenced by the Byzantine Empire. I will provide evidence that some of the worlds greatest designers that currently infuse styles from the Byzantine Empire into modern fashion and that student in the class room today subscribe to these cultural trends without realizing where that their fashion sense originated in the early Byzantine society.

Goals Objective:

10th grade social studies students will be able to identify through critical analysis and inference how key figures and events of the Byzantine
Empire 330 A.D. - 1455 A.D. influenced the world and the modern culture we live in today. Students will be able to examine photos of key artifacts that influence students in today’s society. The students will be able to identify the artifact and identify their authenticity with 80% accuracy.


1. Map Byzantine Empire

  • Students will locate where the Byzantine Empire at its height on a modern atlas, maps or globe.

  • Students will be able make inferences about changes throughout this historical time and events historical maps and other cultural artifacts.

2. Identify which type of material existed for making clothing during the Byzantine rule

  • Students should Compare ways in which social systems affected environmental, and socioeconomic and technological changes.

  • Students will describe the historical development of technology used in weaving cotton and silk materials and coloring techniques used in making clothing

3. Describe the challenges of the region, the battles with neighboring societies and other sovereign
nations influenced the nations choices of materials and what bearing religion had on clothing

  • Students will discover how Byzantine Empire 1,000 years of survival and prosperity change the ideas of religion and influential changes over the way both male and female dressed in public.

  • Students will discuss why Constantinople was important to the empire.

  • Students could explain how social institutions contribute to the development and transmission of culture.


1. Anticipatory Set:

  • Picture Prompt – Show students an image of Byzantine hats, and instruments from the Byzantine Empire 330 A.D. - 1455 A.D. with no explanation, and ask them to identify/explain it, and justify their answers. Ask students to sit in groups of three or four and as a group describe what they see in the photos. They will write about what they perceived to be from ancient societies or modern society. Do not give the “answer” until they have explored all options first. (ESOL Strategy: Linking content to previous experiences)

2. Objective:

  • Explain to the students what they will be identifying through critical analysis: identify the key figures and events of the Byzantine Empire 330 A.D. - 1455 A.D. How the events that of this society influenced the world and the modern culture we live in today. The clothes the students wear today and the music that the students enjoy have been heavily influence by the Byzantine Empire.

3. Essential Questions:

  • Ask the students, “What key figure or event has made the biggest contribution for the students in today’s society, and what ways has Byzantine Empire influenced the world today?” “How do you think the musical stories sang and told of exploits of war is similar to the Rap/Hip Hop society?” “What religions would you follow without these influences?” Give a few details on how the music of the Byzantine Empire changed the world.

4. Model:

external image Phrygrian.jpg external image e08432_ma.jpg external image CP93.jpg

Use the Pop Culture – Use a picture of a Phrygian cap from the Byzantine Empire and do a side by side comparison with a hat commonly worn by students today.

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  • A Byzantine lira was a medieval bowed string musical instrument similar to the violin and guitar used today. The teacher would relate to students that there were other examples like the modern day guitar. Teachers will show the students an example of how the Byzantines used music to tell their stories of great leaders and battles. A good example would be the similarities to rappers telling their life story through Hip Hop of today. What do you hear on a rap album is the story of their journey through the streets and survival. They will not be expected to know every detail; instead expect general understanding of content and correlations of the cultures. Have the class use computer and reference

5. Check for Understanding:

  • Have the students view video from the History Channel or on youtube.com The Byzantine Empire Video **The Byzantine Empire Part 1** “Real-World” Have students relate their observations of culture, colors and artifacts in the video and have them discuss in class how a topic or concept relates to a real world application. Then have students write about this topic for homework. Variation: ask them to record their answer on index cards. (ESOL Strategy: Small Groups)

6. Guided Practice

  • Pass out materials (markers, butcher paper) and have the students draw their interpretation of the region. Circulate throughout the room and assist students as needed.

. Independent Practice:

Type up a summary of today's lesson and analyze what they learned from it. Also what they already knew about the Byzantine Empire or Culture.


Referring to the video review how the Byzantine Empire came to power how long they ruled and what was their downfall.


  • Students will return to their groups and put together and test of all the material they have learned from the lesson, and each group will conduct a small presentation of their test design and consolidate all groups’ questions for an end of lesson assessment. The test will cover at the minimum notable figures in the Byzantine Empire’s history and their significant events that influenced your style of dress and choice of materials used during manufacturing.

Labeled ESOL Strategies:

1. Visual Aid
2. Choral Response
  • Jeopardy game
  • Hangman
  • Speed round family feud

3. Small Groups
  • Interpretation of a piece of art
  • Role play of a character

4. Linking content to previous experiences
  • Person reflection linking subject to something of today
  • Religious symbolism

5. Provide the student with an outline/copies of maps
6. Highlight important information
7. Use short, simple sentences when giving my lesson