Sunday, March 24, 2019

Medieval Unit Study - A Thousand Years of History

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When my son, my 15 year old, was getting close to his Middle Ages unit in his History book, I started getting really excited. That feeling was short lived as I soon realized, they meant to cram 1,000 years of History into a single week.  A Thousand Years..of the most influential, invention development, political chess, crusading era that gave us the beginning of our modern and civilized society today. Beep Beep, Back the Truck Up... No way are we going to skim over the tippity top of the Middle Ages!! What could he possibly take away from that?!

So began my hunt for all things Medieval & Middle Ages. When the average person thinks about that time frame, what typical things pop up? 

-Knights (in shining armor, duh)
-King Arthur
-Beautiful Gowns

And then there are things that the history lover would think of. 

-The Crusades
-The First Christians
-Castle Music
-Queens of infamy
-Fashion Trends

Now, I'm not a history buff, by any means, but I do LOVE history.  When we lived in England for two years, I simply appreciated the fact that many of those Medieval buildings stood and you could have access to them! I mean, one minute you're traipsing around the dungeon of a castle, and you cross the street to shop in the mall the next minute.. (that's Norwich Castle). Unfortunately for my children, two were tiny things and one wasn't born yet when we lived there, so now they get books and movies. Sorry kids. You might also be thinking...why am I using 'Medieval Times' & 'Middle Ages' together simultaneously. Well, as I myself learned, they are terms meant to gather the years in that 1,000-ish timeframe from c1100 to 1453, the period of history from the fall of the Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople. Although some resources pinpoint that era as 500-1500 roughly.  They mean the same thing basically but some people are more familiar with one term. I hope that clears up the confusion. 

Let me just say, that my intentions were to take the month of March and add the Middle Ages unit in, while they continued their normal work, however, we will be extending this as Spring Break and a Trip to Texas happened. {Homeschool Freedom!} 

Here are the resources I found for a complete Unit Study. They aren't in an order for any topic, but you can certainly filter out what your interests are in. And you may see more in the pictures than listed as I continued to grow our study. 

Middle to High School Level~
The Middle Ages Vol 1-4 Encyclopedia for Students
The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades 
The Templars
The First Crusade: A New History
The Medieval Knight
Story of the Middle Ages 
The Time Travelers Guide to Medieval England 
The Door in the Wall 

Elementary Level~
Draw & Write Through History 
Knight's & Castles: 50 Hands On Activities 
The Medieval Cookbook
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!
Good Queen Bess
Joan of Arc
Saint George and the Dragon
Knight's & Armor Coloring Book
The Midwife's Apprentice
A Medieval Feast
Much Ado About Nothing
The Two Gentlemen of Verona 
MTH: The Knight At Dawn
The Middle Ages 
MTH: Knights & Castles 
A Year in a Castle 
Marguerite Makes a Book
Sir Cumference Math Books 

DVD's & CD's ~
The Renaissance by Just the Facts

Keys to the Castle 
Medieval Go Fish (from The Classical Historian)

Projects & Crafts~ 
Project Bricks 
Catapult (Pathfinders)
Seige Tower (Pathfinders)
da Vinci Aerial Model (Pathfinders)
3D Castle Set  6+
Felt Toys from Willow & Owl 

You can also check out my Shakespeare post for other resources like quill pens, old paper, and poetry! 

Alright, now instead of leaving you here, I'll share some of the things we have done already. If you're like me, you seek visual inspiration, so this is for you! 
Playing Dreaming Dragon! 
Using Project Bricks, my son designed and built his own castle!

I know it isn't much yet, but we will be diving in soon. This week we are doing a Living History Presentation where they each had to choose one historical icon from anytime before 1900. Something like this would also be a great addition to your unit study! 

That's it for now! Please comment if you have questions or suggestions! 



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