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Medieval Life Lesson

Updated on December 1, 2015

This is part 1 of a 4 (or 5) part hands-on unit on the Medieval Period. Cook & eat a Medieval meal, play Medieval games, create Medieval crowns, and more! These lessons are geared toward 4th-5th grade level children and their siblings. They were created by another mom for our weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 33 children between the ages of 1-13. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, after school program, camp, or co-op!

Medieval Introduction

1. Pray. Read & discuss Hebrews 13:17.

2. Let each child mention what first comes to their mind when they think of the medieval period.

3. Read "Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle" by Joanna Cole.

Book to Read for Activity 3

Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle
Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle

In the fun Magic School Bus fashion, Ms. Frizzle and Arnold go on a "field trip" to the Middle Ages. The book defines a castle, labels the parts of a castle, gives some idea of what castle life was like for those who lived in and around the castle (peasants, craftsmen, servants, nobility), shows how a castle was attacked and defended, and describes a Great Hall feast after the battle.

 

Royalty

4. Quickly discuss the feudal system.

5. Show pictures of various types of royal crowns & jewelry. Allow children to design their own crowns. You can find detailed instructions for one design at http://www.freekidscrafts.com/medieval_crown-e893.html.

YOU WILL NEED: posterboard, construction paper, craft jewels, glue, glitter glue, fake flowers, tape, staplers, scissors, & markers

6. (Optional) Review the British kings & queens. If desired, the children can memorize them using this poem from Kings & Queens of Britain by Frances & Rowan Barnes-Murphy.

William the Conqueror long did reign, William Rufus by an arrow was slain.

Henry was a scholar bright, Stephen was a king without any right.

Henry II Plantagenet's scion, Richard I was as brave as lion.

John though a tyrant the Charter signed, Henry III had a weakly mind.

Edward 1 conquered Cumbria's Dales, Edward II was crowned Prince of Wales.

Edward III restored Scotia's pride, Richard II by Henry's hand died.

Henry IV then wore the crown, Henry V pulled the French king down.

Henry VI lost the Roses and France, Edward IV led the commons a dance.

Edward V was slain by his brother, Richard III soon gave way to another.

Henry VII was frugal of means, Henry VIII had too many queens.

Edward VI Reformation began, Bloody Mary frustrated the plan.

Wise and profound were Elizabeth's ways.

England and Scotland were joined under James.

Charles found the people a cruel corrector, Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector.

Charles II hid in an oak, James II took Popery's yoke.

William and Mary next shared the throne, Good Queen Anne then reigned alone.

George I from Hanover came, George II carried on the name.

George III was loved in the land, George IV was pompous and grand.

William IV had no heir of his own, so good Queen Victoria came to the throne.

Edward VII loved gambling and fun, George V reigned through World War I.

Edward VIII gave his throne for a wife, George VI saw more World War strife.

Elizabeth II was crowned young and serene and the people still sing "God save our Queen."


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1066: The Crown, the Comet and the Conqueror by David Hobbs - All images are from amazon.com.Richard the Lionheart: The Life of a King and Crusader (Graphic Nonfiction) by David WestWe Were There with Richard the Lionhearted in the Crusades by Robert N. WebbKing Alfred: England's Greatest King by Christina DuganAlfred the Great: First King of All England by Howard ClossAlfred of Wessex by Frank MorrissThe Norman Conquest by C. Walter Hodges The Namesake: A Story of King Alfred by C. Walter Hodges Magna Carta by C. Walter Hodges
1066: The Crown, the Comet and the Conqueror by David Hobbs - All images are from amazon.com.
1066: The Crown, the Comet and the Conqueror by David Hobbs - All images are from amazon.com.
Richard the Lionheart: The Life of a King and Crusader (Graphic Nonfiction) by David West
Richard the Lionheart: The Life of a King and Crusader (Graphic Nonfiction) by David West
We Were There with Richard the Lionhearted in the Crusades by Robert N. Webb
We Were There with Richard the Lionhearted in the Crusades by Robert N. Webb
King Alfred: England's Greatest King by Christina Dugan
King Alfred: England's Greatest King by Christina Dugan
Alfred the Great: First King of All England by Howard Closs
Alfred the Great: First King of All England by Howard Closs
Alfred of Wessex by Frank Morriss
Alfred of Wessex by Frank Morriss
The Norman Conquest by C. Walter Hodges
The Norman Conquest by C. Walter Hodges
The Namesake: A Story of King Alfred by C. Walter Hodges
The Namesake: A Story of King Alfred by C. Walter Hodges
Magna Carta by C. Walter Hodges
Magna Carta by C. Walter Hodges

Good Children's Books on Medieval Royalty and Famous Battles

1066: The Crown, the Comet and the Conqueror by David Hobbs is a picture book on the Battle of Hastings describes why it happened, where Normans and Saxons stood and fought, and the consequences of Duke William's victory. Richard the Lionheart: The Life of a King and Crusader (Graphic Nonfiction) by David West is a great book on Richard the Lionheart written in graphic novel (comic book style) format. My older son (age 9) also really enjoyed the chapter book We Were There with Richard the Lionhearted in the Crusades by Robert N. Webb. King Alfred: England's Greatest King by Christina Dugan and Alfred the Great: First King of All England by Howard Closs are both picture books that are prefect for introducing King Alfred,the first king of England. My older son (age 9) also really enjoyed the chapter book Alfred of Wessex by Frank Morriss. The Norman Conquest by C. Walter is definitely worth finding! It is a 32 page picture book about William the Conqueror with plenty of factual information written in an action-packed manner. Also look for The Namesake: A Story of King Alfred and Magna Carta, both written by C. Walter Hodges.

Medieval Games

7. Quickly discuss medieval games.

8. (Optional) Play Nine Men's Morris. Divide the children into pairs and give each pair a game board and 9 game pieces each. The outermost square should measure 6" by 6". Go here for an example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Men%27s_Morris. Take turns putting one piece at a time on the board. You can only put your game piece on the dots. Both players try to get 3 of their game pieces in a row. (This is called a mill.) Whenever a player makes a mill, he can take off one of his opponent's pieces. After all your game pieces are on the board you can use your turn to move your pieces along the lines to the next dot. Keep trying to get your pieces to make a mill and remove your opponent's pieces. The game is over when one player has only 2 men left.

YOU WILL NEED: (per pair of children): 1 game board, 9 playing pieces of one color/type & 9 playing pieces of a different color/type (buttons, stones, etc.)

9. Play Bowls. The bowls playing field is a bowling green, a smooth lawn where competitors roll balls for points. Divide the children into two teams and set up two bowling "greens." A child from each team will roll softballs or baseballs toward a target ball (a tennis ball). Points are gained for how close players can place their balls to the target ball without actually striking the target ball. Players are also able to use their ball to knock out an opponent's ball if it is close to the target ball.

YOU WILL NEED: cones, sticks or other markers to line 2 "greens," softballs, & tennis balls

10. Play Hoodman's Blind (today called Blind Man's Bluff). The game was called Hoodman's Blind because in the Middle Ages, the blind player wore a hooded cape backwards over the face instead of a blindfold. Have all the children stand in a circle. Ask for a volunteer to be the Hoodman. The Hoodman stands in the middle of the circle and is blindfolded. One of the other children taps the Hoodman on the shoulder. The Hoodman gets 2 guesses as to who did the tapping. If he guesses right, the players change places. If not, the Hoodman stays in the middle.

YOU WILL NEED: blindfold

Medieval Meal

11. Read "A Medieval Feast" by Aliki. (*Note: This book is also a good option to read if you are doing your Medieval Feast as a class/lesson rather than as a separate event. If this is the case, you can read a different book instead or skip this activity during this lesson.)

Book to Read for Activity 11

A Medieval Feast (Reading Rainbow Books)
A Medieval Feast (Reading Rainbow Books)

This has delightful illustrations show all the work involved in stocking up with food, hunting, fishing, harvesting, brewing, baking, men, women and children all joining in with the work. The illustrations are full of fascinating details of the lives of medieval people, nobles, and common folk.

 

12. Quickly discuss what people ate during the medieval period.

13. Make (non-alcoholic) Mead. In the Middle Ages, mead was left to ferment, but we will drink it right away. Divide children into 2 groups and have each group make a pitcher of mead. Stir in 1/2 cup of honey to 2 quarts of cold water in a pitcher. Add more honey until it's as sweet as you want. Add the fruit slices and sprinkle on a bit of nutmeg. Serve over ice.

YOU WILL NEED: pitcher, mixing spoon, 2 cups of honey, nutmeg

YOU WILL NEED: pitcher, mixing spoon, 2 lemons or oranges (sliced into rounds), ice, & disposable cups

14. Make Smothered Bread (today called French Toast). Divide children into 2 groups. Heat the electric skillet to medium heat or heat the skillets on the stove over medium-high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Have children take turns cracking 6 eggs into a bowl with the 2 Tbsp. milk and mixing it with a whisk or fork. Have them dip a slice of bread into the egg/milk mixture and place it in the skillet, browning it on both sides until golden brown. Serve on a plate with butter, honey, or fruit jam.

YOU WILL NEED: 1 loaf thick bread (French bread, Texas Toast, or something similar), 1 dozen eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, non-stick cooking spray, 2 skillets or 1 electric skillet, whisk or fork, pancake turners, & butter

YOU WILL NEED: 1 loaf thick bread (French bread, Texas Toast, or something similar), 4 tablespoons milk, non-stick cooking spray, 2 skillets or 1 electric skillet, whisk or fork, pancake turners, jam, small disposable plates & forks

15. Eat smothered bread & drink mead.

16. Review what we learned today.

Good Picture Book Series on King Arthur

Tales of King Arthur: King Arthur and the Round Table (Books of Wonder)
Tales of King Arthur: King Arthur and the Round Table (Books of Wonder)

Hudson Talbott has taken the tales of King Arthur and divided them up into various picture books. Both my boys (ages 5 and 9) loved reading all of them. Afterward they would grab their toy swords and act out the scenes. They also enjoyed the King Arthur tales written by Stephen Krensky, Margaret Hodges, and Robert Sabuda.

 

Who invented King Arthur's round table?

Sir Circumference!

Materials Needed for This Lesson

-"Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle" by Joanna Cole
-posterboard, construction paper, craft jewels, glue, glitter glue, fake flowers, tape, staplers, scissors, & markers
-(per pair of children): 1 game board, 9 playing pieces of one color/type & 9 playing pieces of a different color/type (buttons, stones, etc.)
-cones, sticks or other markers to line 2 "greens," softballs, & tennis balls
-blindfold
-"A Medieval Feast" by Aliki
-pitcher, mixing spoon, 2 cups of honey, nutmeg
-pitcher, mixing spoon, 2 lemons or oranges (sliced into rounds), ice, & disposable cups
-1 loaf thick bread (French bread, Texas Toast, or something similar), 1 dozen eggs, 2 tablespoons milk, non-stick cooking spray, 2 skillets or 1 electric skillet, whisk or fork, pancake turners, & butter
-1 loaf thick bread (French bread, Texas Toast, or something similar), 4 tablespoons milk, non-stick cooking spray, 2 skillets or 1 electric skillet, whisk or fork, pancake turners, jam, small disposable plates & forks

Ready for the next lesson?

Knighting ceremony and joust from part 4 (or 5): Knights & Ladies Lesson
Knighting ceremony and joust from part 4 (or 5): Knights & Ladies Lesson

Bake medieval meals, create a medieval village, design stained glass window cookies, hold a jousting tournament, and more during this fun 4 or 5 week hands-on unit study of the Medieval Period or Middle Ages!

  • Medieval Life Lesson - This is part 1 of a 4 (or 5) part hands-on unit on the Medieval Period. Cook & eat a Medieval meal, play Medieval games, create Medieval crowns, and more!
  • Castles Lesson - This is part 2 of a 4 (or 5) part hands-on unit on the Medieval Period. Build model castles, weapons, and more!
  • Medieval Art Lesson - This is part 3 of a 4 (or 5) part hands-on unit on the Medieval Period. Mix together and paint with egg yolk paint, design and eat stained glass window cookies, create colorful tapestries, and more!
  • Cathedral Lesson - This is an optional lesson in this unit focusing on Cathedral design and architecture. Decorate stained-glass cookies, design a dome using blocks, sketch each type of cathedral, sing about the true foundation of cathedrals, and more in this fun lesson on cathedrals!
  • Knights & Ladies Lesson - This is part 4 of a 4 (or 5) part hands-on unit on the Medieval Period. Create a Coat of Arms and swords, hold a jousting tournament, act out a knighting ceremony, and more!
  • Medieval Feast and Field Trip Ideas - This is the culminating activity we did after a 4 (or 5) week hands-on unit on the Medieval Period. We held a festive medieval feast complete with entertainment and much merriment. Also included are the field trips we took during our unit.

Looking for all of my unit studies and lessons?

Over the years I have posted over 30 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 140 lessons. The unit studies include the Human Body, Simple Machines, Earth Science, American Revolution, Pioneer Life, Countries of the World, and many more! For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies .

The Middle Ages in 3 1/2 minutes

Kings and Queens of England: Episode 1: Normans

Kings and Queens of England: Episode 2: Middle Ages

The Dark Ages...How Dark Were They, Really?: Crash Course World History #14

Konos Volume I
Konos Volume I

Konos Curriculum

Would you like to teach this way every day?

Konos Curriculum

I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful curriculum and was created by moms with active children!

Konos Home School Mentor

If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!

© 2011 iijuan12

Comments, questions, or ideas? - Please leave a note to let me know you dropped by. I LOVE getting feedback from you!

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    • CuAllaidh profile image

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Nice lens, check out my lens on stoolball https://hubpages.com/education/medieval-stoolball for another sport you can play, alternately I have a wiki dedicated to medieval sports and leisure at http://sports.lilleypress.com where you can find out tons more games to play with kids. Also for a board game search out Hnefatafl, its another great one dating back to the vikings, often on the other side of Hnefatafl boards was a game that was for years thought of as "the game on the other side of the board" and no one had a clue what it was, but it is now suspected it is a viking variant of morris.

      Bookmarking your lens though, its great :D.

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 5 years ago from New York

      Very interesting home school lesson that I am sure the children will enjoy. *Squid Angel Blessed* and added to My Squid Angel Blessings 2012. I created a new category in the "Education" neighborhood for "Home School Lessons".

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      I remember as a child these were exactly the kind of lessons I enjoyed best. Great lens.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      The medieval days were filled with charm, heraldry, and war. There truly are many issues to discuss and learn from these times.

    • iijuan12 profile image
      Author

      iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

      @Lady Lorelei: Thank you so much for dropping by! You gave me my 450th squidlike! Yes, there is quite a bit to learn from this time period!

    • LizMac60 profile image

      Liz Mackay 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've recently become fascinated by Perkin Warbeck. Or was he Richard IV? Really enjoyed all the ideas for learning here.

    • iijuan12 profile image
      Author

      iijuan12 4 years ago from Florida

      @LizMac60: Thank you!

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