Medieval History for Middle Schoolers

This year my 5th and 7th-grade boys were adamant that they wanted to study Medieval History. They were eager to learn about knights, castles, and all things Middle Ages.

So I began searching and what I found has been perfect in our home. We have combined a literature-rich core with art and documentaries to create a year of fun and memories.

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When my boys asked to study Medieval History, my first goal was finding a core middle school history curriculum to guide our year. We hadn’t used a literature-based curriculum in a few years and I wanted to return it.

Medieval History: Core Curriculum

The first discovery I made was the Medieval History pack from Beautiful Feet Books. This pack is designated for Junior High and Advanced Intermediate grades so it was perfect for my boys this year.

The variety of titles are a great fit for our year and after over a decade of homeschooling, not one of the books is a repeat read for me! I can wait to dig in:

  • The European World 400-1450 by Barbara Hanawalt
  • Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • One Thousand and One Arabian Knights by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Queen Elenor: Independent Spirit of the Medieval World by Polly Brooks
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green
  • The Magna Charta by James Daugherty
  • Cathedral by David Macaulay
  • Castle by David Macaulay
  • The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Gray
  • Morning Star of the Reformation by Andy Thompson (*eliminated for charter school purchases due to religious content)
  • Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi
  • Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Adapted by Barbara Cohen
  • Fine Print: A Story About Johann Gutenberg by Joann Johansen Burch
  • The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly
  • The World of Columbus by Genevieve Foster

This is my first experience with Beautiful Feet books and I love the weekly setup of the Teacher’s Guide. Instead of a daily agenda that makes me feel a bit stressed, I have weekly goals that I can accomplish at our own pace.

The Medieval History from Beautiful Feet books will act as our core curriculum and I will sprinkle other activities throughout the year to enhance our experience.

Medieval History: Art Activities

I found three perfect art additions to our Medieval History year:

Chalk Pastels Medieval History

Chalk Pastels has a video course of Knights and Crusaders as well as a general Medieval History course. They are both included in the Middle Ages Art History Monthly Subscription so we can pick and choose which projects we would like to complete.

We started by drawing, “Excalibur,” which coordinated well with our reading of King Arthur’s Tales in our Beautiful Feet curriculum.

There are plenty of great options for us to add this draw this year including a castle, stain glass, a cathedral, and a crown.

Take Time for Art

Take Time for Art is a homeschool art curriculum tells the story of history through art projects. We signed up for the Middle Ages and it is a fantastic addition to our year.

The videos coordinate perfectly with our lessons. They add to our understanding of the time period while the projects add to the fun.

Our first project, the Anglo-Saxon Jewelry Project, was a hit!

We just finished reading about Emporer Justinian so tomorrow we will watch the video: Attila the Hun, Constantinople, and Justinian. Afterward, we’ll complete the coordinating mosaic project.

Medieval History: Additional Videos

Curiosity Stream

Our family enjoys our annual membership to Curiosity Stream so I explored the titles related to Medieval History.

I discovered several good options to add to our year on rainy days, sick days, or lazy afternoons. (That’s when we like to add in a few documentaries)

We began this week with the three-episode series: Knights. We enjoyed the first episode (Men in Iron) and will continue this week.

For $20 a year, Curiosity Stream has been a fantastic addition to several subjects in our homeschool, including history.

Crash Course History

We absolutely love John Green’s Crash Course World History Videos.

Our Medieval time period means that we didn’t really begin with the first video. We jumped in around episode #10 and we’ll follow along as they apply during the year.

These videos are a fun way to review content.

Medieval History: Field Trips

Anytime we can enhance a topic with learning outside our home, we love to go. I’ve had a few ideas for this history topic.

Medieval Times Dinner Theater

If there is one in your area, this is a fun trip for the kids. It isn’t something I would want to do more than one time, but we did have a great time when we visited.

Renaissance Fair

A RennFest is a perfect addition to a Medieval History study in your home. We enjoyed our visit when the girls and David were little. It was so much fun to dress up, even a little bit, and enjoy the atmosphere of the Middle Ages for a bit.

Unfortunately, the timing for our local Renaissance Fair doesn’t look like it will work out for us this year, but it is on my radar for next fall.

History Museums

Check out the current and upcoming exhibits at your local history museum. There might be something related to the middle ages.

It’s going to be a great year to dive into Medieval History and experience it through books, videos, and trips.

Related Posts:

Our Homeschool Curriculum Choices for 5th and 7th Grades
Book Choices for my 7th Grader
A Homeschool Mom Teaches WWI History
Hands-On World Geography with Pin It Maps
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Mary Wilson

Mary is a writer and mother to four kids ranging from elementary to high school.

She believes that creativity, laughter, and fun are the backbone for engaging and inspiring homeschools. You can find her encouragement and tips on this blog, Mary Hanna Wilson.

She is an enneagram 7 and an extrovert. She enjoys traveling, tea (iced or hot), good conversations, and books. You can connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.
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3 thoughts on “Medieval History for Middle Schoolers”

  1. The Middle Ages are so much fun! We studied it all last year and are studying it this year as well. We’ve used Layers of Learning year 2 for it’s studies because my kids are much younger. Good luck!

  2. We are studying Medieval history this year too! Grades 4/5, 6/7, and 9. Thank you for sharing your plans and for all of the helpful links to resources. We have used Beautiful Feet literature packs through the years and we love them. I had not heard of the art lessons websites, curiosity streaming (to which I just subscribed), not had I heard of John Green’s videos. We have tickets for Ren Fest in October and we are going with a group of friends. This morning the boys practiced taming dragons, in honor of Michaelmas. This is going to be a fun year!

    PS. If you want to try any Medieval themed field trips together let me know! We are still in Morrisville. 🙂

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