Books Unchained: The Spread of Literacy in Europe (EN-CUR-368)

Photograph of the Wellcome institute library, 1982
Opgerold manuscript CC BY

The cross-curricular learning scenario, covering the following subjects: History, Croatian Language and English (EFL), is designed to develop students’ information literacy and ICT skills. With this learning scenario, students are introduced to various European and Croatian digital collections of manuscripts and first printed books (incunabula), emphasizing the role of the printing press in the process of democratizing knowledge.

Glagolitic script versus Latin

Using digital tools, the students will use the collected material to prepare digital timelines presenting the transformation of oral medieval culture to a literate one. Specifically, students will compare the use of Glagolitic script in Croatia in the period from the 12th to the 16th century with the use of Latin in the rest of Europe.

The Shop of the Bookdealer Pieter Meijer Warnars on the Vijgendam in Amsterdam, 1820, Rijksmuseum PD
The Shop of the Bookdealer Pieter Meijer Warnars on the Vijgendam in Amsterdam, 1820, Rijksmuseum PD

How this LS corresponds to Croatian curriculum?

The national curriculum of Croatian language in primary school covers the topic of early literacy in Croatia and the wide-spread use of Glagolitic alphabet during the medieval times (6th grade). In the same grade, this topic is also a part of the History curriculum, when students are taught about the developments during the Middle Ages in Europe and Croatia.

Due to more complex English language structures in the proposed resources, it is recommended that the LS is conducted with the students of 8th grade. In terms of ICT curriculum, with this LS, students are introduced with the use of copyrights, curated digital collections and creative use of digital tools.

This learning scenario has been developed during the English version of the “Europeana in your classroom: building 21st-century competences with digital cultural heritage (Rerun)” online course. The course aimed to improve teachers’ understanding of cultural heritage in order to efficiently integrate it into their lessons and practices. The courses can be accessed here.

Author: Jelena Madunić

Age of students: 13 – 14

Subject and topics: History, Croatian Language, English (EFL), ICT/ The invention of printing and the spread of literacy in Europe

Learning Scenario:

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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