Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our Middle Ages Unit Study

We had a great time learning about the Middle Ages as our first unit study of this school year. I continue to be amazed at how much I learn right along with the boys. I know for a fact that I did not study the Middle Ages in grade school.
We kicked off our study during our end of summer trip to Myrtle Beach.
Medieval Mini-Golf

 Yes, I know these weren't the most "authentic" medieval experiences, but they definitely got the boys' attention and enthusiasm.

When we got home from the beach and got serious about school, we did lots of reading.

 We designed our own coat of arms and illuminated letters.


The boys really enjoyed this castle-themed mapping activity.

 We made our own stained glass windows.
We played fun medieval-themed games.

We (well, mostly Daddy) even constructed a catapult! It has become our newest cat-teasing toy.
They love to chase the bean bags we shoot with the catapult.

We're still working on painting this wooden castle, but we've had fun playing with the knights, dragons, and royal figures.

To celebrate the culmination of our study, we prepared and enjoyed a medieval "feast."

First, we designed custom goblets and costumes.

How do you like the knight's custom "Crocs?"
The rubber mat stapled to his tunic is "chainmail."

Do I have the most awesome husband or what? Not only did he "procure" the main course and dessert for our "feast" but he also agreed to don this magnificent ridiculous hat and cape and take on the quirky and dramatic character of a visiting king AND eat with no utensils. AND he allowed me to post these pictures here! Three cheers for the King!

For dinner we enjoyed potage (potato soup), roasted chicken (which our visiting "King" - aka "Daddy" - procured for us on the way home from work from a wild-sounding place called "Kroger"), green beans, homemade applesauce, and cherry pie (also procured by the King). The meal was served on trenchers (thick slices of toasted bread) as was tradition in the Middle Ages. Adam and I prepared a delicious mock mead for our beverage. And of course there were no utensils for eating.

 Though we lacked jesters, poets, and musicians to entertain us, we did enjoy recitations of the boys' summaries of the Middle Ages.

And after the meal, there was, of course, sword-fighting!

I'm sure my neighbors get a real kick out of evenings like this in our yard!
We really enjoyed the Middle Ages unit. The boys are beginning to get a sense of "the order of history" and they enjoy placing people and events we study in our Book of Centuries and along our timeline in the schoolroom.

Here are some close-ups of the resources we used for our study:

Our first book club selection of the year was "Robin Hood" and we had a blast with it.

My favorite resource is called Great Medieval Projects You Can Build Yourself by Kris Bordessa.
We completed several projects from the book and learned a lot of information.
The medieval feast ideas came from this book as well.

It was fun to learn some Church history in this unit.
Cathedrals. Monks. Saints. Woo hoo!!!

Fun stuff!
I bought this super-cool castle-themed stacking blocks set years ago at a thrift store.
We had fun studying the different castle rooms.
 Obviously, we could have spent much longer on this unit. We will continue to learn more and enjoy our projects and activities. But time marches on.... we're studying a bit about Islam this week and then moving on to a fun Chemistry unit!

1 comment:

  1. Very cool! We are edging out of the Middle Ages. History tends to drag here. So much reading. But we hope to end it with a bang as well this month.