BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

20 October 2014
Schools - Teachers

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Schools Home > Teachers > The Beauty of Maps resources > Psalter Map

The Beauty of Maps - Psalter Map

Print page


Lesson plans

BBC links

Full details, including credits and location for the maps featured can be found on the BBC Four site.

Aims and objectives

  • To define a map.
  • To understand the importance of maps to historians.
  • To begin to develop an understanding how human scientific knowledge of the world has changed.
  • To understand how historical and contemporary maps differ.
  • To understand religious beliefs in the medieval world.

Resources required for this lesson

  • Psalter lesson worksheet 1 and Psalter Map video with teacher's transcript
  • Psalter lesson worksheets 2 - 6
  • Examples of maps
  • Cardboard, scissors, glue, coloured paper, coloured pencils

The lesson plan


  1. Split the class out into groups of four.
  2. Handout copies of all the maps as well as a contemporary A-Z, Atlas, Road Atlas and tourist map.
  3. Using the example they have been given ask the groups to answer the question. What is a map? They should list the key points to read out to the rest of the class.
  4. Feedback the answers and discuss as a class.
  5. Create a class a spider diagram to define a map.

Activity 1

  1. Load the video clip of the map onto the IWB.
  2. Hand out Psalter worksheet 1.
  3. Play sections of the clip and pause at stages (referring to the teacher's transcript downloadable from the Psalter video page) for the class to match the definitions of events and fill in missing words on Psalter lesson worksheet 1.
  4. Once they have watched the clip discuss the answers as a class.

Activity 2

  1. Split the class into pairs or groups of 3-4 pupils to complete a card sort.
  2. Hand out the card out the cards cut out from Psalter worksheet 2.
  3. Once the class have placed their cards under the headings discuss the answers.
  4. Hand out the statements about the main aims of the map. See Psalter worksheet 3. They have to decide which one they most agree with and explain why.
  5. Each pair/group should then feedback their answers to the class and as a class, pupils must agree upon the most important aim of the map.

Activity 3

  1. Split the class into groups of 2-3 pupils.
  2. Handout Psalter worksheet 4a. This gives a basic outline of the things people were expected to do in order to get to heaven.
  3. Give each group a specific way to get to heaven from the worksheet and ask them to produce a short role play where they mime a way to get to heaven and the rest of the class have to guess which it is. This should be done like the game charades.
  4. Perform role-plays.
  5. Discuss the number of ways people could get to heaven and which were most appropriate for the rich and which for the poor.

Activity 4

  1. Split the class into groups of 3-4. Hand out Psalter worksheet 4b. This explains how to create a medieval map game about how to get to heaven.
  2. Once the games are complete the groups need to swap games and play. The teacher could give a prize for the best three games.


  1. Play the video clip again.
  2. Divide the class into pairs. Ask them to discuss and record all the things they have learned from the map about medieval religious views.
  3. Feedback and compile a class list.
  4. Split the class into groups of four and give them the scenario sheet given in worksheet 4c. They have to persuade the governors of a local museum to buy and display this map. In their speeches each group needs to explain what it reveals about religious belief and geographical understanding.


  1. Research life in a Medieval Monastery.
  2. Explore the details of the map in greater detail, using the BBC Four: Beauty of Maps site.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy