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Hello everyone, and welcome to year seven history at the Oak National Academy.

This is lesson one of four lessons looking at how far the Black Death changed the mediaeval world.

To introduce myself, I am Ms. Hillman.

I'm a history teacher.

I previously worked in Margate, but currently working within London.

And I'm very excited to begin this unit with you, especially this year, as a lot of you have already got a lot of knowledge as to how a disease can spread all across the globe and cause an insane amount of disruption to everyone's lives.

This is essentially what happened hundreds of years ago in the 1300s with the Black Death, so a lot of you already have a lot of knowledge that you can apply really successfully to this unit.

Before we begin, I just want you to check that you got everything that you need.

We just need to be writing down for this lesson.

So, I need a pen and paper.

If you don't have that yet, please pause this, so you can go and grab some and then let's begin.

Okay, first things first, I'd like you to write down the date at the top right hand side of your piece of paper and the title, which is The Black Death and Silk Road.

Please make sure both are underlined.

We want to make presentation as good as possible.

Just pause me for a second as you get that done, and then we will begin.

You have a disease.

Now this would have been the announcement that many people would have heard during the Mediaeval Period in particular in between sort of the 1340s and the 1350s when the Black Death was at its height.

Now during this lesson, we're going to understand how that disease spread to have not just a huge effect on one specific country, but also globally.

And throughout the next few lessons in this enquiry, we're going to be looking at how the Black Death changed the Mediaeval Period all together.

Here we have two distinctive groups, and really very interesting.

On the left you have a group of people who we can infer as historians clearly have been affected by the Black Death.

Now this was a very, very deadly disease, and I'm just going to go through some of the symptoms with you now.

So, after a person has contracted the disease, so, they've become infected, they start to develop some symptoms within two or three days.

And the victim usually dies between four to seven days after this.

Now, the stages of the Black Death.

These people would begin to feel a bit of cold, a little bit tired, but they probably think to themselves, I'll be right as rain in a few more days.

However, then you have buboes, this is also known as the bubonic plague because of this.

They were big, black swellings in the armpit and in the groin.

These were really, really painful, but they could even grow up to the size of an apple on that area.

Now, they would smell of rotting flesh.

And they'd be really truly horrifying to see on a person.

However, some people would be lucky enough that those swellings would pop.

And that black ooze would start to come out and leave the body.

I say lucky as even though that would have been quite a disgusting thing to go through.

The people whose buboes popped therefore then had a greater chance of survival.

However, those that didn't have that, they would then go through these blisters, which we can see in this group on the left, they've got large blisters happening over their face.

Eventually they'd have a fever, then maybe becoming unconscious or dropping into a coma.

And then a lot of people would die.

So, that's our group on the left, the unfortunates who have been infected by the Black Death.

Now this source is really interesting because we can see on the right someone who's still healthy, but this interaction between the two groups is really interesting.

So, you can see him now, he's got his finger pointing upwards and he's kind of punishing them.

He's kind of acting as a barrier between them.

And he's saying no, I will not allow you to enter into this room behind me.

You cannot go any further because of the fact that you are sick and you can see that he's isolating them from everyone else on account of them being sick.

This idea that they cannot mingle with the healthy people, for fear it might spread the disease.

Now we have a word for this, quarantine.

Just wondering, do you already know what this word means? Potentially, have you seen it happen recently? And could you think of a different term that we've used for the same meaning in 2020? Yes, well done, you're absolutely right.

So, a lot of you might've been thinking about lockdown 2020, where people stayed inside their homes and they isolated from other people to stop the spread of disease.

But this was a type of quarantine, is where diseased people are isolated from other people to prevent other people from then catching the disease.

Now, during the Black Death, you've got people quarantining within their own villages.

But people started to think a little bit deeply and they were thinking, right, well, in the decades that I've been alive, I've never seen a disease like this.

Where might it be coming from, how could it have got into this village in the first place? And then this is where they were very clever and started to think about all of the global trade that have been happening at the same time and that they needed to stop, or they needed to stop people from other countries coming into their own and potentially spreading the infection further.

So, this is where the Silk Road comes in.

Now I mentioned this earlier on, this is essentially where you've got trade opening up between the East and the West.

And therefore if that disease has happened in the East because of merchants travelling across the globe to sell their goods, once they enter into that different country, and maybe they've been infected by the Black Death, or maybe they're carrying the fleas that have the Black Death, then that is going to infect that new country as well.

So, also what we see during this time is that traders from other countries would be quarantined.

And a good example of this happening is in Venice, in Italy, where ships arriving from an infected area would have to stay in the harbour for 40 days before landing.

The thought process being that, that if they then had the disease, they'd be able to work through it and become healthy again, or they die and therefore not enter the country and infect everyone else as well.

So, I just want to have a quick pause point here.

Knowing that we had to use quarantining methods during the Black Death, what can you actually predict about what the disease must have been like.

If we're having to isolate the sick from the healthy, what do you think this disease might have been like in terms of its power, in terms of how quickly it might've spread, what do you think? And also use your current knowledge about why quarantine was used in 2020 to help you answer this question.

Okay, really well done, a lot of hard thinking there, I'm going to go through some of my ideas.

Obviously you might have different ones and they might even be better than mine, which is fantastic, but I'm just going to go over the main three for you.

So, a lot of you might have been thinking, okay, if we're having to separate the sick from the healthy, then we can think that this disease would have been extremely contagious.

And you're absolutely right.

It was even, it was not just a really deadly disease, but this one could spread incredibly quickly.

Secondly, because you would have known about the fact that traders from other countries would have been quarantined, you might have thought about this disease, it's not only spreading quickly, but it's going to be spreading over huge areas.

And you'd be absolutely right.

Because of these merchants travelling the disease spread globally.

This was not just affected in one country, but in many across the whole entire world.

And lastly, because of just how contagious it was, because of how deadly the disease was, it had a very high death count, and roughly across the whole globe, 50 million people were killed due to this.

So, here you can see a timeline of the Mediaeval Period, just so you can have a better understanding of where the Black Death happens in and amongst other key events during this period.

So, if you've already looked at William of Normandy winning the battle of Hastings in 1066, the Black Death happens around 300 years after that.

If you studied the unit before this one on the creation of the Mongol Empire in 1206, Black Death happens around 150 years after that with the Magna Carta in 1215, the Black Death's around 140 years after that, putting it in the years 1346 to 1353.

And if you go on to look at the Peasant's Revolt, which is your next unit, it's around 30 years before that's happening.

First things first, what I would like you to do is read the worksheet on how the disease spread in the first place.

We had this idea of quarantine, but unfortunately it was not dealt with effectively enough to stop this disease from spreading and wiping out a quite big chunk of the globe's population.

So, what I would like you to do now is read through the questions on the screen, pause this video, and then close this video, so then you can then open up the worksheets, okay.

And you can read through them and answer these questions.

What I'd recommend you really doing now is read these questions first, before you open up the worksheet.

Just so you know what key terms you're looking out for, and please make sure that you answer these questions in full sentences in your books so that we can then go through them together, okay.

Good luck, it's going to be really interesting what you're about to read.

I loved learning this far as your age, so I'm going to pause you now here, go and complete these comprehension questions.

Welcome back.

And really well done for completing that worksheet.

We're going to go through the answers now, please feel free to pause me at any moment during these answers, just so you can either tick all the correct upstanding work that you've done or even to improve your work.

So, if I've written an answer where you think actually, yeah, that's really good, I should add that to my own.

Then please feel free to pause me at any point and do so.

Okay, so we're going to start off, first question, which two countries first experienced the Black Death in 1345? An acceptable answer to this would be China and India, which is a course, correct.

It began over in the East, but an even better answer would be to write it in a full sentence, which is the Black Death was first discovered in China and India in 1345.

Now you might think, oh, full sentence just takes so long to do, but I will tell you the reason why they're so important is that if for instance, a few weeks or maybe months, you want to come back to the work you've been doing, 'cause in school you might be doing the Black Death and you think right, actually I've already got some stuff on here, I could get a little bit further ahead by reading through these notes again.

If you look at those notes and just sees China and India, you'll be like, well, I don't know what that means.

I need more information.

But if you have a full sentence that you can see in the good answer, those notes are going to be far more useful for you.

So, this is why I'd really, really recommend full sentences at all times.

Question two, what percentage of Europeans died because of the disease? As an acceptable answer, 30 to 50%.

Now, some of you might be wondering why is that answer a range? Why didn't we just have one specific percentage? And the reason is, is that it's been really hard for historians to get population data from this period of time.

During the Black Death, there wasn't anyone taking any record of the amount of deaths.

And so what historians had had to do is look at the amount of people that were paying their taxes or the amount of people that were members of the church before the outbreak and then again after the outbreak and make an estimate of the deaths from those amount of people that were missing.

But we want to improve our answer even better.

We want to try and use that full sentence format.

So again, an even better answer would be the Black Death caused the death of 30 to 50% of Europe's entire population.

Now I just want you to let that sink in for a moment, always when we're studying history, if we see percentages, it's really hard to apply it to your life, but I want you to imagine.

Imagine six of your nearest and dearest closest friends or family.

If you were living at the time of the Black Death, 30% of those six means that two of them wouldn't have survived.

50% meaning that three of them wouldn't have survived.

That is a huge amount and really shows just how deadly and destructive this disease was.

Question three, how did the Silk Road spread the Black Death? Acceptable answer, fleas that carried the disease travelled on the traders' ships.

So, we know that the disease was carried from the fleas.

Absolutely, and we know that as they go on the trader ships, they're going to be able to transport to different countries.

However, we can definitely expand the answer a little bit, and here I've done two sentences.

So, we've got, the Silk Road helped spread the Black Death because when traders sailed to different trading ports, they sold their products.

However the products also held fleas that spread the disease further.

Okay, so these fleas might have ended up in a country that was completely healthy before, but now they've arrived there because of those traders.

It's now going to get infected with that awful Black Death.

Question four.

What tactic did the Mongols use that helped the Black Death to spread? Acceptable answer, catapulting bodies of dead corpses.

An absolutely terrifying tactic to use in war.

Imagine if you were in that castle, that Genoese castle, and then you just look at your castle walls, and you've got dead people being catapulted in, terrifying.

But I think quite good for the Mongols.

So, and even better answer would be the Mongols catapulted the corpses of their soldiers that died from the Black Death into the Genoese castles.

This was to infect the Genoese soldiers and help the Mongols win the battle of Caffa.

So again, you can see that I've just added on a little bit more detail and told a bit more of a story around that.

Question five, how did the disease spread in local areas? An acceptable answer, people still attended local bath houses.

Good answer, mediaeval people did not understand about germs and how diseases spread.

So, they still used the local bath houses.

These bath houses may have used contaminated water.

So, the disease would have spread even further.

Good stuff, really well done.

You're working really incredibly hard.

Okay, so we're now going to be moving on to our last question of the lesson and that's going to be looking back at the enquiry question.

How far did the Black Death change the Mediaeval Period? Now, even though we've only had one introduction lesson on this topic, I'm sure you can already start to think about the huge amount of changes both locally and also globally, as people started to tackle this new disease.

What I would like you to do is pause here and create a mind map, showing the changes that have happened due to the Black Death.

And you can see that mind map, I've already created one for you at the bottom.

Feel free to copy that one into your books and add maybe three to five or maybe even 10 changes that you have already learned about today.

Now to help you with this, you can think about small changes.

So, this might have only affected, a really small amount of people.

How might that lives have been changed through this disease? Think about relatives, think about how they might do different things in day to day life.

You can also think about big changes, what might have affected the whole world because of this disease.

So just pause here, and then we'll go through.

Okay, really well done.

Especially if you've been able to think about the small changes as well as the big ones.

So, I'm going to go through three of my answers.

You, I imagine might have done a lot more, really, really well done for that, but these are the three main ones that I hope that you have got.

So, first of all, I went for a big change and this was what was most obvious in my mind, with that, of course, with the Black Death, we've got increased amounts of people dying globally.

That death toll really rocketed during this time.

Another change that we have is people started to quarantine to protect themselves from the disease.

And we saw this in terms of globally as different traders were forced to quarantine themselves before they could land in new countries.

And also locally, as people would try and stay away from infected people.

And lastly, my most shocking fact I think I've given you in this lesson, is that new warfare tactics started to be developed.

Soldiers who might have been used to using other weapons could now use infected corpses against their enemies.

And this probably you could see as a much smaller change.

Obviously not everyone is doing this, but absolutely a small group of soldiers changed the ways that they used warfare.


Really, really well done today.

I'm so impressed with all the work that you've completed.

I hope that you are now fully enthused to learning more about the Black Death.

Next lesson we're going to understand how they treated it.

Obviously, you know that they don't have any idea about how disease is spread.

So, we're going to come and look at some very interesting treatments.

So, I really look forward to seeing you again next lesson, if you're feeling really proud of your work and I really hope you do, then feel free to share your work with Oak National.

So, if you'd like to please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, tagging @OakNational and #LearnwithOak and I'll be there to have a look as well.

I'm really excited to see your work.

Really well done.

I hope you have a great rest of your day with more learning.

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thank you, bye.