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Middle Ages: The Crusades Nursery Rhymes
Introduction: At one time, it was quite dangerous to criticize the government. An offended king or queen would have
your head removed from your shoulders. There was no freedom of speech, so those who did have complaints often hid
them in happy little rhymes. The adults would make up silly little stories, using common people and common daily
things, but those people and things stood for the nonsense that was going on in history. Nursery rhymes were the only
safe way to poke fun at the nobles. This assignment provides you with the opportunity to create a nursery rhyme
dealing specifically with the Crusades.
Part 1: Background Information
 Read the background essay on nursery rhymes being the earliest form of
political cartooning. Look through the historical examples as well as
historical background behind each nursery rhyme.
 Next, read about each of the four main Crusades using both your textbook as
well as the resources provided.
 Choose ONE Crusade to use to complete Parts 2-4.
 You may work with one other person if you choose, or you can work alone.
Part 2: Create a Nursery Rhyme:
 Create a nursery rhyme based on your chosen crusade.
 Your nursery rhyme must either:
Relate to changes brought about by the Crusades
Discuss some of the specific happenings of the Crusades
Discuss some of the people of the Crusades
 It must be clear enough to interpret, as well as historically accurate.
 Your nursery rhyme needs to have rhythm, rhyme, and child-appealing characters. It should be short,
memorable, and fun!
Part 3: Written Explanation
 On the reverse side your nursery rhyme, you need to write, in complete sentences, a brief explanation of the
historical background of your nursery rhyme.
How does your nursery rhyme specifically connect to the crusade you chose?
Part 4: Visual OR Presentation
 You will also either present your nursery rhyme or include a colored illustration to accompany the nursery
 If you choose to present and you are partnering with someone, BOTH must present with enthusiasm
and expression
If you choose to illustrate and you are partnering with someone, BOTH must contribute to the
 Be sure to show effort and pride in your work!
**Rubric is on back – Be sure to turn it in with your project!**
Crusade #: ______
Crusades Nursery Rhyme Rubric
Nursery Rhyme Content
 Relates to EITHER changes, happenings or people of the Crusades
 Historically Accurate
 Uses format of nursery rhyme (rhythm, rhyme, with childlike characters)
____ /10
____ /10
____ /5
Written Explanation
 Includes a brief, historical explanation linking crusade to nursery rhyme
____ /15
Illustration or Presentation
 Illustration or Presentation demonstrates effort/pride in work
____ /10
TOTAL = ________/50