Things to Know About the Middle Ages

The early Middle Ages begin in 600 CE and last until 1050 CE.

The period from 1050 to 1300 is generally considered the High Middle Ages. Western Europe rises as a great power with only China equaling it in political, economic and cultural flourishing. It also witnesses profound religious and intellectual change, including the organization of the papal monarchy.

The Late Middle Ages begins in 1300 CE and ends around 1500 CE.

KWL Chart

Introduce to the children the topic of The Middle Ages. Print out the KWL Chart on the Index.

Ask them what they think they know about the Middle Ages. Record under K. Many kids will probably think the Middle Ages are people that are in their middle ages - like 30-50 years old!

So the vocabulary is important in making clear to the students what time period The Middle Ages occurred (approx. 450-1450). Go over the vocabulary words on the index page,  and what will be discussed in this 1 week period covering this thematic unit. 

Ask what they would like to learn about the Middle Ages. Record this under W.

Finally at the end of the week, do L. Have them record what they learned.

Bulletin Board Ideas

Let's Not Drag'on Our Feet When It Comes To Reading


Let the children help decorate a bulletin board with themes from this unit such as dragons, castles, knights and any other main topics that the children would be interested in (like the food from the time/jousting and swords/damsels in distress). Have cut outs of these ready for the children to arrange one day, leaving enough space for them to add to the collage for the remainder of the week. The next few days they can go home and find pictures in magazines/items relating to knights/dragons/castles and bring to display on the board.


          Make a book jacket out of a cereal box.

Make dragon puppets out of socks or paper bags. 

Have the children draw their own version of a castle, named after them.

Design your own shield

Read "Heraldry" from Knights Treasure Chest and explain that the shields identified the knights in battle. The lion was the first symbol to appear on a shield. Discuss the Coat of Arms. Also, point out the chart of the designs of shields from the.

Have the students design their own shield.


Reading Area

Have displayed books for kids to read on their level.  

Add a large cardboard box (like the size a large appliance was shipped in) and it can be decorated like a castle, and a flag put on top with windows cut out and a mat inside to be used for either pretend play or a quiet place to read in the castle. Add books about the Middle Ages inside this area.

Group Time

Have children recite "The Knight's Code":

* Be always ready with your armor on, except when you are taking your rest at night.
* Defend the poor and help them that cannot defend themselves.
* Do nothing to hurt or offend anyone else. * Be prepared to fight in the defense of your country.
* At whatever you are working, try to win honor and a name for honesty.
* Never break your promise.
* Maintain the honor of your country with your life. Rather die honestly then live shamelessly.
* Chivalry requireth that youth should be trained to perform the most laborious and humble offices with cheerfulness and grace; and do good unto others.



Adventures to Experience



Stories to Read and Poetry

 The Littlest Knight

An illustrated fairy tale written and illustrated by Carol Moore.
The Littlest Knight color page.

Knights in Shining Armour ~ Gail Gibbons

The Dragons Are Singing Tonight

Castles ~ A First Discovery Book ~ Scholastic

Sir Dana: A Knight ~ As told by his trusty armor ~ Dana Fradon




Build your own Medieval Castle

Download at Owl & Mouse Software site.

Build a Medieval Castle requires Windows 3.1 or Windows 95/98, and a printer, Free, 300k.

Print out patterns for the castle. Color, cut-out, and assemble a unique paper castle.

Shields, Knights and Heraldry

Download at Owl & Mouse Software site.

Shields, Knights and Heraldry requires PC running Windows 3.1, 95 or 98 and a printer, Free, 285k.

Free software to print out shields and the elements of heraldry to create your own coat of arms. Learn the terminology and history of coats of arms.