International School History - International Baccalaureate - MYP History

MYP4 Last update - 09 November 2017  
Unit 1 - Assessment Activity 2 - Medieval Pilgrimage
For this second assessment you are going to make a short, dramatic film about medieval pilgrimage,  between three and five minutes in length. The required content of the film, I outline below and a rough guide to medieval pilgrimage is provided here. As a basic requirement, you will either provide a voice of God narration, or a performance to camera (or a mix of both), so that the dominant voice of the film is yours. You will be expected to provide a number of relevant images to accompany your spoken narration. You many use any range of additional techniques, but a spoken narrative must be central to your film.

Below is a recent example, which illustrates how such a narrative might work. But do bear in mind the students in the examples here are EAL students without MacBooks.


Medieval Pilgrimage website
This second example is altogether more ambitious, in both length and general production values. It involves a team of actors, realistic props and location filming, in genuine pilgrimage locations.


You will have three weeks to produce the film, but only two lessons will be dedicated to it. You are going to be assessed on two MYP criteria;  B: Investigating  and C: Communicating

Criterion B investigating.

In particular, I will be assessing strand iii) 'uses research methods to collect and record appropriate, varied and relevant information'. I am looking for evidence of original research; historical examples not provided be me. This might involve research into medieval pilgrimage traditions, relics and sites of regional pilgrimage, pilgrimage churches and associated saints, etc. This research will be expressed in both the written and visual dimension of the film.

Criterion C communicating.

i) communicates information and ideas effectively and accurately by using a style that is completely appropriate to the audience and purpose ii) structures information and ideas in a way that is completely appropriate to the specified format. You are making a film; that is your specified format and purpose. This is a visual medium but not only visual. Accurate use of relevant images will be important, but so also will be the quality of the script and the performance. You do not have to limit yourself to a Voice of God narration. There are all sorts of possibilities of shooting scenes in local medieval locations with friends or in using the film studies room's green screen to put yourself anywhere in the world.

What is an empathy film?

Empathy is probably the most important historical skill. Empathy involves imagining yourself as somebody else in the past; putting yourself into their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. In this film you are going to be a medieval pilgrim.

But historical empathy also has very strict rules. Empathy must be based upon real historical evidence. You must not make-up events that have no historical foundation in fact. Similarly, you must be very careful to avoid historical anachronisms and other unhistorical errors.

 My website on medieval pilgrimage will help you work your way through the steps below. 

Some guideline questions to help you write a script.

Audrey Hepburn is a top five Trip Advisor attraction for Morges.
Five steps to being a medieval pilgrim

You are at an inn, sitting by the fire, with a cup of mead in your hand. You have your feet up, resting the blisters, which cover your feet. You are nearly home and this will be the last night of your pilgrimage experience. The landlord has noticed that you are a stranger, approaches and asks you for your story. You have a drink of mead and begin.

Step One

Who are you? This is an important first question to answer. The landlord will have noticed your pilgrim's uniform, perhaps you might begin describing what you are wearing, explaining the religious symbols of each of the items.

Step Two

When and where did you begin your pilgrimage? What was it about you and your life that made you want to go on a pilgrimage? Remind yourself of the different motives of medieval pilgrims: Did you travel to see and touch holy objects? Had you committed sins for which you wanted forgiveness? Did you just want to see the world? Perhaps it was a mixture of all three?

Step Three

How did you decide where to go? Was it the association of a saint with a particular trade or illness, perhaps you decided to let God decide? What things did you have to do before leaving on your pilgrimage?

Step Four

What happened on your journey? You will need to describe your route and some of the difficulties you encountered along the way: the food, accommodation, and languages etc

Step Five

What did you see when you arrived? Remember that at some of the bigger religious sites, the atmosphere was like a carnival. There was a lot to see and experience.

But there was also the importance of reaching your religious goal.

Did you see relics?
Did you bring back brandea?
Did anything miraculous happen?
Did you collect any souvenirs?
Did you make an offering?



About I Contact Richard Jones-Nerzic