A Unit Study Starter on Castles and Medieval Life

This is the first of what I hope will be a monthly series of lists of resources you can use to plan your own unit studies. You can use this list alone to just do a mini-unit or you can use this list and add your own resources for a complete curriculum. If there is a theme you would like to see, drop me a note! I’d love to hear from you!

Literature to Read and Discuss
Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern
Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Jane Gray
The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli
Days of Knights and Damsels by Laurie Carlson
Fabulous Feasts by Madeleine Pelner Cosman
Medieval Feasts by Aliki
Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
The Knights, The Living Past by Michael Gibso
Cross Sections: Castle by Richard Platt. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 1994
Castle by David Macaulay
Castle by Christopher Gavett
Medieval Siege Warfare by Christopher Gravett and Richard and Christa Hook

Secrets of Lost Empires Family Activity Book by WGBH Boston’s Educational Print and Outreach Department.
Kids ages 9-12 and their families can explore the once-mighty civilizations featured in the Secrets of Lost Empires series with this fully illustrated, 32-page book. Just $4.95 to cover shipping and handling. Call 1-800-949-8670 or write to: WGBH Boston Video, P.O. Box 2284, South Burlington, VT 05407-2284.

Internet Sites
All of these sites have great information and most of them are interactive with activities that your kids can do.

Castle of Learning A lot of information about what daily life was like in a castle and in medieval Europe.

Paper Toys Among tons of other famous buildings, this site has templates you can print to make paper replicas of a few castles.

Dragon Claw Castle Take a virtual tour of Dragon Claw Castle.

Kid’s Castle has a great interactive map that kids can explore and learn about different parts of the castle.

Here is another kid-friendly website published by a group of 4th and 5th grade students on medieval life.

Castle Builder This is a unit lesson about building castles could stand alone as a unit study. But I had to include it for its great links, and teacher’s notes at the end.

Take a Journey Through the Middle Ages.


Look up your coat of arms. If you don’t have one, create one!

Listen to some Gregorian Chants!

Make your own paper. (Paper was introduced in Europe around the 10th century.)

Live a day in Medieval Europe! Look here for customs and etiquette.

Cook a medieval feast. A Boke of Goode Cookery will help get you started.

Find out what type of job you would’ve been most suited for in the kingdom.

If you happen to live near a Medieval Times Restaurant why not take in a show?

I would love to hear from you if you use any ideas from this list.