Homeschool History Lesson Plan: Medieval Unit #1 - Castles

Monday, October 14, 2013

Homeschool History Lesson Plan: Medieval Unit #1 - Castles

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Our next homeschool history for kids  unit focuses on Medieval Times. We will be studying castles, knights, chivalry, coats of arms, food, and other elements from the middle ages.
free hands on homeschool history medieval unit
I love planning and preparing huge history units for our homeschool! Our family likes to really immerse our self in the time period and do lots of hands on history projects. By doing so we are able to learn as a family (from toddler and preschool through kindergarten and elementary school), really explore a topic, and the content really sticks!

Building Our Castle from Cardboard Boxes

The first thing we did in our Medieval Unit was to build our own castle. This helped set the time period, create interest, and was a LOT of fun! We have had countless hours of fun playtime in it and have even enjoyed reading our stories in it too!
making a castle out of boxes  Making our Medieval Caslte
We have been saving Amazon, Honest Company, and a filing cabinet for a while now. You can of course make yours bigger or smaller depending on how many boxes you have. The kids helped me stack the boxes to look like a castle – a great math game that helps kids with logic skills! Then I taped the boxes together slightly with packing tape to give them a little support. I cut out our draw bridge & window from guard tower.
Huge DIY Caslte for pretend plan and homeschool medieval unit
Next I spray painted the front only. Ideally I would have done this outside, but it was winter! I had drop clothes down and windows open to help with the fumes. Of course you can always have a brown ‘sponsored by Amazon’ *grin* castle.    insie our cardboard box castle
The inside of the castle had a large Great Hall, Guard tower, and dungeon. We’ve had so much fun with this project!
August 2012 885 And of course we needed to guard our castle – so we made a catapult. The one we made was included in a Kiwi Crate, but you could easily make one with rubber bands & craft sticks like this one from Science Sparks.

Medieval Costumes

Toddler and Preschool Castle Creative PlayWe couldn’t be in the Medieval time period without dressing the part now could we! We happen to have some costumes that worked perfectly {I stock up after Halloween when Target costumes go 75% off or more}, but if you don’t have costumes there are lots of great suggestions in Days of Knights and Damsels: And Activity Guide.
Dying silk with kool-aid   Medieval Unit costumes
We also dyed silk to make Minnie a princess hat. This clever idea using Kool-Aid and Vinegar was from Kiwi Crate

Medieval Food:

We learned that eating in Medieval times was a lot different than we do today. For starters, you didn’t have a fork – you used a knife and your fingers. In the castle there were many cooks who cooked over fire and served many in the great hall. What you ate depended a lot on how much money you had as fruits and vegetables were a sign of wealth. Read more in A Medieval Feast recommended below.
Medieval Unit Peasant Bread
We made Peasant bread. Lucky for us we have clean water and refrigerated milk to have with ours. In Medieval times even children drank beer with their meal. 

Medieval Unit Literature Based Study Guide & Lapbook

Middle Ages Literature Based Study Guide for Homeschool Language Arts
We started reading a wonderful historical fiction for the middle ages. The Door in the Wall really helps the time period come alive to kids K-6th grade as a read aloud or 4th –6th graders to read independently. As we read this 100 page book we will fill in the different elements from the lapbook that help explain more about the Middle Ages and help my kids understand this Newberry Medal Winning book better. Don't miss the Door in the Wall Study Guide & Lapbook.

Other Fun Activities to expand the Medieval Theme:

Book Recommendations:

Books are a HUGE part of our learning. These are books that we own and LOVE! These books, except as noted below, are great for kids K-6th grade. (click on the book to see more)
Note: Medieval World is geared at ages 9 and up, but is a wonderful way to see what is going on around the world during this period. I highly recommend it for those teaching this time period.

homeschool history lesson plan middle ages unit4 Week Homeschool Medieval Unit

  1. Medieval Castles
  2. Medieval Knights
  3. Medieval Church
  4. Medieval Art & Music

Additional Resources


  1. I'm very excited to follow along on this one.

  2. Visiting from KBN and loving your history unit! You recommend some great books too!

  3. I can't find the unit study/lapbook download button. Am I totally missing something here? This looks like fun!