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

  • Locate the Byzantine Empire at its height on a modern day atlas map or globe.

  • Make inferences about historical events and eras using historical maps and other cultural artifacts.

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

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

  • Describe the historical development of technology used in painting and sculpturing within the Byzantine Empire and clothing worn in the newly legalized Christian churches

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
design and music included in church services

  • Teachers should explain how the Byzantine Empire's 1,000 years of survival and prosperity change the ideas of religion and influenced changes in the way both males and females dressed in public today.

  • Encourage student to infer for themselves why Constantinople was important to the empire.

  • Discuss how social institutions contribute to the development and transmission of culture.


1. Anticipatory Set:

  • Music & Video Clips – Show students a video clip of the sculptures, and discuss why nudity was or was not allowed at the time and this should completed without the teachers explanation. As a followup ask the students to repeat the process for painting techniques. Ask students to sit in groups of three or four and as a group describe what they see in the photos or hear in the sound clips. They will write about what they perceived to be from ancient or modern society. Teacher should not give the “answers” until they have explored all options. (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. We will learn how the religions the students’ families practice resulted from the crusades. Also, the types of art that survived, they feel is important, the clothes students and the community wear today and the music that the students enjoy have been heavily influence by the Byzantine Empire.
  • Teachers should feel free to modify the lesson plan to meet their student learning capabilities.

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 religion will change the world’s societies?” “What religions would you follow without these influences?” Give a few minor details about how the Byzantine Empire changed the world.

4. Model:

Sculptures that survived and the different styles during the rise and fall of the Byzantine Empire were influenced by the conquerors.

external image 01f_1250.jpg external image Ephesus%20Sculptures%2010_8_07.jpg

Use the Christianity Culture – listen to some music from the Byzantine Empire and do a comparison with music sang and played in churches today.

Gospel Music **http://ancienthymns.com/**
Gospel Music Gospel Music

external image sanvitale19.jpg external image WOCA_2007_Group.jpg external image blog_etro_fall_09.jpg external image Byzantine_01.jpg external image 14musfea1_269225s.jpg external image lady-gaga-vma-outfit.jpg external image michael-jackson.jpg external image jacksons-military-jackets1.jpg

With the legalization of Christianity and the split of the churches that survived the crusades the robes and military style clothing changed very little and survived over time. Some even are worn in main steam societies today.

external image greg1mistra.jpg external image pope+greg+3.jpg external image 220px-PopeAdrianIVCameo.jpg external image pope_benedict_451%5B1%5D.jpg

Relate to students there was split in philosophies in the church that recognized two Popes. Ask them which Pope is the true Pope. Discuss what happened after the split in Christian church and how this split effected Evangelism, Episcopalian and African Methodist Episcopal (A & E) church's.

external image religious-symbols-t9132.jpg

These religious symbols represent the majority of religions considered to be main stream and widely recognized. Student will be expected to recognized that these are religious and identify them with 80% accuracy. 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 materials to identify all the religions that exist today.

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 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