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The Question
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To the Manor Born was a British television series
set in modern times about a woman who is
forced to leave the home owned by her family
for centuries. The legacy of the British Manor
Home dates all the way back to medieval times.
Originally a property owned by the local Lord,
the manor served as the center of the Lord’s
property and he owned all surrounding lands
having serfs who toiled on the land. They were
often fortified and in times of trouble the locals
went to the manor for safety. Through the
years, the manor homes were passed down
among families to the male heir. The
fortifications were removed, and the homes
became the seat of family class, power, and
wealth. If a man was cursed with only
daughters, the house would pass to the closest
male family member. For a definition, click here.
(At the Visual Thesaurus, type in manor.
Explore the definitions and related words.)
In Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, the manor
home pays a pivotal role in the setting and in
the themes of class throughout. Understanding
the importance of the manor will assist in
divining the intricacies of the novel.
How did the concept of the manor house serve to further and fortify the
class structure from Medieval times to the present?
Information Sources
You will use these resources to research the
history and characteristics of the British
Manor Home:
– Medieval Manor Houses (This site
gives a brief overview of their origin
and how they evolved.)
– Manor House (Discusses medieval
house layout and services.)
– Historic Houses of England (A
clickable list of homes and castles
around Britain, each site gives a short
history and many have a link to the
houses’ official website. Many are
open to the public and can be rented
for events. Most offer pictures of the
Here are some questions to help focus your research:
•How would a family seek to ensure its future if there were no male children?
•How were the costs of owning the manor underwritten?
•How was the manor used to further the position of its owner?
Compose 2-3 questions of your own.
Use this graphic organizer to help take notes as you research.
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The Student Activity
You and a partner will research manor
houses of England as background for
Pride and Prejudice. Use the graphic
organizer to focus your note-taking.
You will then use a site called
FloorPlanner to design your own
manor house and grounds. Take a
few moments and walk through the
online tutorial. It does require
registration and a valid email
address, but you do not need to
access your email. When your
design is complete, you may save it
to your dashboard, print an image of
it, or export it. It will print either 2D or
3D depending on which view you are
on when you select print or export.
As an alternative, your teacher may ask
you to prepare a poster board design.
Be sure it is a floor plan showing and
labeling the rooms and grounds.
In both cases, you should include a onepage description of your house
including a description of the rooms
and their use and how that use
changed over time.
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The Assessment Activity
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Whether you do FloorPlanner or a poster board floor plan, your product will be assessed with this
scoring tool.
Be sure to include the information from your research and show how the manor house evolved over
The floor plans will be shared on the second day.
As a culmination, you will compose a reflection on the role of the manor house in defining a class
structure. Think about the original use of the houses and who owned them. As time passed how
was the house passed from generation to generation and what changes in society, culture, and
technology affected the family and the house. Use the essential question to guide your response:
How did the concept of the manor house serve to further and fortify the class structure from
Medieval times to the present?
Your reflection will be assessed with this scoring tool.
Enrichment Activities
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Go to the PBS Companion site for
their series Manor House.
Explore the website and in
particular, the house.
After exploring the site and
accessing the knowledge you
gained in your research, write a
real estate ad for Netherfield
Park (where Elizabeth first meets Mr. Darcy in
Pride and Pejudice.)
Your teacher may assign this for
Teacher Support Materials
ISTE NETS for Students:
Lesson Objective:
The student will prepare for reading Pride and Prejudice by
researching background information on manor houses.
MSC Standards for English:
1.1.1 The student will prepare for reading, viewing, and/or listening to
a text.
- Research background information as a preparation for reading.
3.1.5: The student will create effective media presentations that use
visuals and/or sound and appropriate technology to present a
particular point of view on a topic or idea
5.1.2 The student will participate in and contribute to large- and
small-group collaboration for a variety of assigned and self-selected
5.2.3 The student will use appropriate props, visual aids, and
electronic media to enhance accuracy and audience appeal
6.1.2 The student will demonstrate understanding of information and
ideas communicated orally
AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner:
1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format
(e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and
gather meaning.
2.1.6 Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and
technology skills to create products that express new understandings
3.1.1 Conclude an inquiry- based research process by sharing new
understandings and reflecting on the learning.
3.1.3 Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new
understandings effectively
3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and
display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view,
use, and assess
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct
knowledge, and develop innovative products and
processes using technology.
Students use digital media and environments to
communicate and work collaboratively, including at a
distance, to support individual learning and contribute to
the learning of others
Students demonstrate a sound understanding of
technology concepts, systems, and operations.
Time Management:
The lesson should take two days. The first day is for
research and creation of product. Day two is for sharing
of the products and completing the reflection. The
reflection could be assigned for homework.
Differentiation Strategies:
Group/partner students heterogeneously by reading
ability and technology skills
Have students use assistive tools embedded in the
BCPS databases such as read aloud and dictionary
Learning Preferences/Styles:
Field dependent, auditory, visual, active, reflective,
global, sequential, kinesthetic
Notes to the Teacher:
If you want to use FloorPlanner students will need to
register. You might want to check out the tutorial before
the class comes to the library.. You might want to print
the grahic organizer ahead of time.
Consult with your Library Media Specialist for help in
implementing the Slam Dunk.
Created by Barb Falkinburg Library Media Specialist
BCPS Slam Dunk Model, Copyright 2015 , Baltimore County Public Schools, MD, all rights reserved. The models may be used for educational, non-profit
school use only. All other uses, transmissions, and duplications are prohibited unless permission is granted expressly. This lesson is based on Dr. Jamie
McKenzie’s Slam Dunk Lesson module available at