Title of Product
History in Action: Medieval Realms: Luttrell Psalter
: United Kingdom
Century: 1300 - The 14th Century
Topic: Luttrell Psalter
Image of the product
Name of Author(s): Channel 4
Name of Producer: Channel 4
Language/s of Product: English
Target Group: General public, Secondary Teachers and students
Overall Evaluation: excellent
Objectives & Structure:
Open site with sections that allow detailed exploration of the content and context of the Luttrell Psalter. Although linked to television programmes the site offers excellent stand-alone information and resources. The site allows teachers opportunities to add historical context to the artwork or link art and history in the curriculum. Students could access the site directly and study the artwork in some detail through the illustrations chosen.
Description of contents:
The site is divided into the following sections which are largely self-explanatory.
(Note that ‘Further Resources’ contains an excellent bibliography and that all images in the ‘Study’ sections are printable. Activities are a set of classroom-based exercises.)
Using the Programmes
Study - King David
Study - Sir Geoffrey
Study - The Sheep Pen
Study - The Feast
Study - The City
Study - The Golden Coach
The first programme discusses illuminated manuscripts in general, focusing on the Luttrell Psalter as a means of learning about daily life in the Middle Ages. It covers the farming year, with particular reference to the harvest and special celebrations. Images of monsters and ‘babewyns’ which haunt the manuscript are shown and puzzled over.
The second programme continues the investigation of medieval life by looking at a family feast and how an estate would be run to make such extravagance possible. It then looks at the medieval world picture, showing scenes from the Bible, the life of Christ and the lives of the saints. Attitudes to death, heaven and hell are explored, and further questions are asked about the purpose of the exquisitely drawn monsters which adorn the text.
Evaluation and Comments
Overall Evaluation: excellent
Clarity of structure, logical sequence of contents: excellent
Usability / easiness of navigation: excellent
The website is interesting / stimulating: excellent
Educational and learning value: excellent
Quality and relevancy of content: excellent
Compatibility of the content with the target group: excellent
Suitability and quality of graphic interface: excellent
Degree and quality of interaction: excellent
Exploitation of the electronic potential: excellent
Availability and quality of simulation exercises: excellent
Quality of the evaluation tools: excellent
Possibility of printing/saving material or tests: excellent
Description of how the website can be used with the students::
The programmes can be used in a variety of ways:
• To provide a glimpse into the medieval English world by close observation of a primary source, the Luttrell Psalter.
• To introduce or summarise a topic.
• To raise questions about how we can know about the past and how medieval manuscripts enable us to access the past. How historically accurate are they? How do the images they contain shape current ideas of how medieval English people looked and lived?
The gentle pace of the images and commentary allows each programme to be shown from beginning to end. Alternatively, playing or re-playing certain sections will enable students to focus on particular topics.
The site allows for cross curricular links to be made between Art, Religious Education, History and Citizenship
Evaluation Date: 30.06.08
Name of teacher: Andy Mortimer
Name of School: Project Developer
Subjects Taught: Art
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