This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others. 

Recorded MS
Big John’s Secret: Living History Through Literature (Medieval Era 1)

Join us in this project-based approach to Medieval History! We will meet Big John, a peasant who grows up to serve as a page in the Fifth Crusade during the 13th century, and encounter St. Francis of Assisi along the way.

Total Class Recordings: 6

Duration of each class: 45 minutes

Prerequisite: No class prerequisite. Your student will need Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible file.

Suggested Grade Level: 5th to 9th grade

Suggested Credit: 1/2 semester History or Literature


Living History Through Literature is a project-based course series. These courses weave the study of literature into a meaningful and engaging encounter with a specific era of history. In LHTL (Medieval): Big John’s Secret, we meet Big John, a peasant who grows up to serve as a page in the Fifth Crusade during the 13th century. While in the Holy Land, Big John searches for his true heritage and encounters Saint Francis of Assisi along the way. Students will study the historical context of the novel and participate in engaging literature discussions. In this project-based course, students will engage in short quizzes and in projects of their choice. Project options will include fiction writing, preparing period-specific food and/or costumes, creating lapbooks, recreating scenes from the novel (Legos, clay, K’nex, digital drawing, hand-drawing, etc.), building a timeline, mapping, and more.


Class 1: Overview of Historical Context and Novel Introduction
Class 2: Literature Discussion; Project Introduction
Class 3: Literature Discussion; Cultural Overview
Class 4: Literature Discussion; Fiction Writing Tips
Class 5: Literature Discussion; Final Project Instructions
Class 6: Literature Analysis and Historical Connections; Student Project Showcase

Materials and Homework

Course Materials: Big John’s Secret by Eleanore M. Jewett [Bethlehem Books], ISBN-10: 1883937892; ISBN-13: 978-1883937898
(https://bethlehembooks.com/product/big-johns-secret/ or bookfinder.com)

Homework: Students should plan to spend one hour on reading homework per class day, and three to five hours on the optional student project.

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