This is a project for six schools in six different countries. Students (aged 11-20) from different types of schools, including special needs students are participating.
In the project the students create a knight’s journey in the Middle Ages. This first person narrator comes across different key questions. Three of them might look as follows:
Our hero lives in a castle, but suddenly he is attacked by the enemy. The key question is: what can you do to defend yourself and the habitants of the castle – depending on the rank of the hero, it might also be a problem for the whole village. The students have to find out what means of weapons (Saracen steel) and defending strategies existed back then (subject: history, chemistry and crafts). Another possible key question: You are in love with a beautiful princess – how could you win her heart? In Germany “Minnesang” is relevant here, but the students have to work out their own ideas. They study medieval texts, learn about knightly behaviour and compare it to today. Maybe they write and perform some love rap-songs in the end themselves (subject: music and literature).
We think it is important that the hero is a first person narrator, thus it is easier for the students to identify with the hero and they get more easily drawn into the story. As you can see, the amount of possibilities is enormous, thus we need to agree on certain guidelines for the content (see G).
Our goal is to reduce the early dropout rate that means early academic failure among students by increasing their intrinsic motivation via using alternative ways of teaching and rich learning environments. As the hero is a first person narrator it is easier for the students to identify with the hero and they are more easily drawn into the story.
For the students, the storyline method is the vehicle to attain intellectual and motivational results in all areas of school education. They work on the story and the key questions during the meetings and in between the meetings in a virtual classroom on eTwinning. Moreover, students also meet on a regular basis locally in their respective Erasmus+ Clubs to work on the project, talk about problems that might have occurred, or to prepare for the next European meeting. Students learn a lot about their autonomous way of learning and being taught in a completely new style. They experience different school systems when sharing work produced for the exchange with partners. Through this project our students develop key competences (maths, sciences, languages/literature), transversal competences (especially practical experience), but also social skills (adapting to new environments and cultures). Moreover, when visiting various European countries and their historic sites, students do not only get to know today’s situation and culture, but also have a fine opportunity to explore Europe’s past.
By doing so, they discover a great deal about other European countries and the idea of a European community. The shared language is English. On top of that able-bodied and disabled students work together and therefore learn to respect and understand each other. Furthermore, the exchange of experience between age groups and learning groups is a vital and very challenging aspect of this project.