Teaching with Chess – Feudalism in Medieval Europe

High school history teachers! Look no further! A feudalism activity that students will love!

Final Chess GIF

Your students will NEVER forget this lesson plus you’ll love teaching it. Combine feudalism in Europe with one of of the oldest games in the world and voila! A unique in-class simulation that helps students understand social classes and roles as they play a game that helps engage those higher-level thinking skills!

Teaching with Chess

Chess as we know it today was actually influenced heavily by the social structure of feudal Europe. Originating in India around the 5th century, it migrated around Asia and the Middle East, adopting and assimilating to the new cultures and time periods it was in. When chess arrived in Europe, the pieces and game movements changed again and became distinctly European.


Listed as public domain on Wikipedia

The king and queen were modeled after the heads-of-states in the influential nation-states of Europe and the bishop emerged as Christianity emerged as the single most powerful religion in Europe. The other pieces, the knight, rook, and pawns were all influenced by the major social groups of the time.


Photo by Finlay McWalter. (Lewis Chessmen) Wikipedia. 29 Oct 2007.

Throughout the centuries, chess was an important training tool for military leaders and state officials. It was used as a way to develop patience, logic, and strategy and of course was also a fun way to pass the time.

Your students will love learning the history of chess, can relate the history of the game and of the pieces to the history of feudal Europe, and will be able to think about the social classes as something that really existed. Plus, they get to have fun, and this will become something they beg to play throughout the year!

You get a 15 minute video explaining the history of chess and how it relates to feudal Europe. You also have access to very short videos on how to set up chess boards and how each pieces move.

TpT Screenshot

There are blank note pages for students to use to help them, especially if they have never played the game.

The best way to use this product is to have multiple game boards and pieces. You can have multiple students at each station but it does work best if you allow students to pair up and play a real game of chess.

Buy the product once, use it every single year. Use the boards year round. Have a short day due to bad weather? Play a game of chess. Have lengthened periods due to testing and have time to spare? Play a game of chess. Day before winter break? Play a game of chess.

Forever, they will remember your class

and the lesson on feudal Europe.


Ready to purchase? Click the picture to see the product!

Teaching with Chess



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If you liked this blog then maybe you would also like:

Pronunciation Blog     Monopoly     Social Studies Vocabulary     Four Tailwind Mistakes to Avoid

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