Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Engaging History: Middle Ages

History books, children's books, Carole P. Roman, Blog Hop

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For Day Three of the 5 Days of....Homeschool Blog Hop, I will share activities, journal-writing opportunities and questions, ways to include geography, music, and literature in your lessons, and projects for your children to complete to help bring the Middle Ages alive. I urge parents to preview books, movies, and other resources and references prior to sharing with your children. Only you, as the parent, know what your children are ready to read or view in a movie.

For many years, historians referred to the Middle Ages as "the Dark Ages" because they only saw it as a period of time between the wonders of the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Romans and those of the Renaissance. It was seen as a period when people were superstitious and were making no advancements in technology, art, or literature. This is far from the truth!

Carole P. Roman, Middle Ages, History Books, Children's books

Middle Ages, Carole P. Roman, Children's books, history booksThere are several resources I want to share with you to bring the Middle Ages to life for your children. One resource which provides lots of information is If You Were Me and Lived in...the Middle Ages written by Carole P. Roman and illustrated by Mateya Arkova. This children's book, perfect for an elementary-aged child, details life for a young girl living in the year 1072 in England. There is so much interesting information that even parents might learn a few new facts about the Middle Ages!

Middle Ages Activities 

  • Vocabulary – Fiefdoms, Knights, Vassals! What do these words mean? 
  • Build or draw a castle based upon the Motte and Bailey design. Be sure to label the different parts! 
  • Talk about family trees. During the Middle Ages families often had a very complicated family tree as death was a frequent companion. Use the family described in If You Were Me and Lived in...The Middle Ages to create a family tree or draw your own family tree. 
  • Do your children like music? Why not take a listen to music created during the Middle Ages? Listen to Gregorian chants or the music of troubadours as they share famous stories of the time. 
  • Research the battles of the era. Draw maps, create dioramas, etc. Have fun! 

Battles of the Medieval World, History Books, Homeschool

  • Research some of the famous individuals who lived during the Middle Ages and create your own Middle Ages 'Baseball' Cards collection. Who was Hildegard of Bingen, Clovis, William the Conqueror or Joan of Arc? Do you and your children know who Bede, Eleanor of Aquitaine, or Christine de Pizan were? What about Charlemagne or Charles the Great? So many interesting characters to study. 
  • For teens and adults you can read Einhard's biography of Charlemagne (The Life of Charlemagne). Einhard was a contemporary of Charlemagne. Or one can read The Letters of Abelard and Heloise – Letters between a scholarly French monk and his pupil (who eventually becomes a nun) from twelfth-century France. 

  • Design and create your own tapestry. (I have made the Tapestry Directions and Rubric that I used when teaching World History available for you.) 
  • Plan and cook a traditional meal of the Middle Ages. 
  • Design, plan, and sew period-piece clothing. 
  • Design and create your own coat of arms. (I have made the Coat of Arms Directions and Rubric that I used when teaching World History available for you.) 
  • Write a "Day in the Life" report for one of the following individuals: nobleman, member of the clergy, a peasant, or a merchant. 
  • Visit an art museum to see some works from the Middle Ages. 
  • For older teens and adults, you can view Blackadder Season One which is set in the time of Richard III of England. There is some crude humor so please use your own discretion as to whether or not you wish to view and share with your older teens. 

Resources and References 

Please visit the links below to read more posts from the Homeschool Review Crew as we come together for the 5 Days of...Homeschool Blog Hop during the week of April 23, 2018. And make sure to stop back here each day this week for more great ways to bring history to life with books, movies, and more! 


  1. you.... you gave me some ideas of things to add to my studies for the world wars with my lad next year. Music, food, and more! :) Thanks a ton eh! :)

    1. Great! I always enjoyed teaching this time period. Our textbook had two chapters on the Middle Ages. So much great info.

  2. Great options! We have always enjoyed living books about history.

    1. Yes! I can't wait till my little ones are older so they can read all the great books for themselves.

  3. When my kids were young we had such a great time studying the Middle Ages! We used the Design Your Own Coat of Arms book too!

    1. I love that book - found it to be so useful when teaching high school. Helped my regular and special education World History classes really get interested in something.

  4. Some great resources, thanks for recommending!