I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
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!
1. Pray. Read & discuss Hebrews 13:17.
2. What first comes to your mind when you think of the medieval period? (Allow each child to answer.)
3. Read Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle by Joanna Cole.
You will need:
- Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval Castle by Joanna Cole or other book on the medieval period
Book to Read for Activity 3
Royalty: Crowns & Jewelry
4. Quickly discuss the feudal system.
5. Show pictures of various types of royal crowns & jewelry. Allow children to design their own crowns. We found it easiest to pass out pre-cut posterboard crowns and allowed the children to decorate them as desired. Younger children were happy simply gluing on pom poms & fake jewels. Older children liked cutting out additional shapes and creating designs using glitter glue. If you'd like to create something fancier, you could try this Medieval Crown Pattern.
You will need:
- posterboard (preferably already cut-out)
- glue (liquid like Elmer's or Tacky)
- items for decorating such as: construction paper, craft jewels, glitter glue, pom poms, fake flowers
- items for further decorating such as tape, scissors, & markers
Medieval Games: Nine Men's Morris
6. Quickly discuss medieval games.
7. (Optional) If you are not limited by time, 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.)
Medieval Games: Bowls
8. 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:
- sticks or other markers to line 2 "greens"
- tennis balls
Medieval Games: Hoodman's Blind
9. 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:
10. 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.)
You will need:
- A Medieval Feast by Aliki or other book on medieval food
Book to Read for Activity 10
Mead & Smothered Bread
11. Quickly discuss what people ate during the medieval period.
12. 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:
- 2 pitchers
- 2 mixing spoons
- 2 cups of honey
- 2 lemons or oranges (sliced into rounds)
- disposable cups
13. Make Smothered Bread (today called French Toast). Divide children into groups of 3-4. 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:
- 2 loaves thick bread (French bread, Texas Toast, or something similar)
- 1 dozen eggs
- 6 tablespoons milk
- non-stick cooking spray
- 2 skillets or 1 electric skillet
- whisk or fork
- pancake turners
- small disposable plates
14. Eat smothered bread & drink mead.
15. Review what we learned today.
Materials Needed for This Lesson
-Book: 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
-Book: 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
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.
- Tales of King Arthur: King Arthur and the Round Table (Books of Wonder) by Hudson Talbott is part of our favorite series that includes the King Arthur legends. 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.
- 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.
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.
- Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies - Looking for links to 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.
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
A short rhyme to help memorize British royalty in order: The Story Beast: All the Kings & Queens of England
Horrible Histories: The Monarchs' Song: The English Kings and Queens Song
Would you like to teach this way every day?
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!
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 Shannon
Comments, questions, or ideas? - Please leave a note to let me know you dropped by. I LOVE getting feedback from you!
Shannon (author) from Florida on March 22, 2018:
I'm so happy you were able to find my lesson on pinterest! Yes, I have additional lessons in that unit, and links for them are toward the bottom of the page. I have posted links to almost all my lessons on this page: https://discover.hubpages.com/education/fun-hands-... .
Ruth Patterson on March 22, 2018:
I found Medieval Life Lesson, part 1 on Pinterest. Have you created any further lessons?
Shannon (author) from Florida on April 18, 2013:
@LizMac60: Thank you!
Liz Mackay from United Kingdom on April 15, 2013:
I've recently become fascinated by Perkin Warbeck. Or was he Richard IV? Really enjoyed all the ideas for learning here.
Shannon (author) from Florida on June 23, 2012:
@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!
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on June 23, 2012:
The medieval days were filled with charm, heraldry, and war. There truly are many issues to discuss and learn from these times.
aquarian_insight on April 09, 2012:
I remember as a child these were exactly the kind of lessons I enjoyed best. Great lens.
KonaGirl from New York on February 28, 2012:
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".
Jeff Johnston from Alberta Canada on January 20, 2012:
Nice lens, check out my lens on stoolball https://discover.hubpages.com/education/medieval-s 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.