Middle Ages – Feudalism Unit Update!!
Our Middle Ages – Feudalism Packet has grown to more than 50 pages!! I added in a number of new activities including Middle Ages event cards (for the Early, High and Late Middle Ages) with extensive teacher notes and a new cut-and-paste feudalism activity. You will also find an awesome feudalism simulation, art analysis, and lots of different notebook pages (with answers provided, of course!).
I created an entire set of Middle Ages Chronology Cards. This material covers the significant events of the Early, High and Late Middle Ages. There is an overview page, about 25 Middle Ages cards, teachers’ notes and blank student note-taking pages.
Don’t forget that this packet includes an awesome Feudalism Simulation that I did with my kids several years ago. It was a hands-on activity that they still talk about! It really helped them understand (and remember) what feudalism is and how it worked. It helped the kids understand the roles and responsibilities of the various members of society.
We evaluated some medieval art:
We started by looking at some medieval paintings and comparing peasant life and the life of the nobility expressed in these paintings. I chose 10 paintings/illustrations for the kids to examine. (They are all in the packet, though I only show a few below.) Some questions we discussed:
Look over all of the paintings. In most of the paintings, what is in the background?
List the jobs you see being carried out by serfs.
Describe the serfs’ clothing. What colors are used in the paintings for their clothing? Does this surprise you? Explain.
I wanted the kids to understand the disparity between those peasants who worked the land and the nobility, so I designed a simulation for them to see if they would survive as peasants.
I created about 20 different cards with different scenarios. They had to work hard in their fields (running). For this hard work, they earned some tokens (or M&Ms).
Then they had to see what fate had in store for them as they drew one of the cards. Would the get to celebrate up at the castle with a feast day? Would they have to pay taxes to the king? Would they have to provide service to the king? Or, would they catch the plague?
After three rounds, they counted how many tokens they had left. Would they have enough to support their family and survive the Middle Ages?! You can find out more about the Feudalism Simulation here (though all the instructions, cards and so forth are included in the Middle Ages/Feudalism Packet).
I also included the Middle Ages notebook pages that I’ve made for the kids, so you don’t have to do a huge scavenger hunt for them here on the blog. You’ll find these on pages 58 to 102 of the Middle Ages-Feudalism Packet. Some of those topics include:
- Early Middle Ages Map Work: England and France during the Early Middle Ages
- The Medieval Christian Church
- The Silk Road, Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan
- Marco Polo
- The Crusades
- Medieval Scholars
- The Hundred Years’ War
- The Black Death
- Black Plague Simulation Activity
We enjoyed this unit. I hope you do too! ~Liesl
Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!
You might also be interested in our Age of Exploration Packet and our European History (Renaissance/Reformation) Packets. See more details below!
Recommended Books and Movies for the Middle Ages:
The Middle Ages/Feudalism Packet is not tied to any particular book or textbook, but I thought I would share some resources our family enjoyed! These are affiliate links.
Middle Ages Text Book
One of the books I recommend if you are studying the Middle Ages is Early Times: The Story of the Middle Ages, by Suzanne Strauss Art. We used it as our spine. It is not necessary to purchase it, but it sure adds a lot of depth to the topic! We really loved this book (and the entire series!)! It’s written for middle school students, but we used it when just my oldest was in middle school and my younger two were still in elementary.
Fun Middle Ages Books: We enjoyed It’s a Feudal, Feudal World, A Different Medieval History by Stephen Shapiro. It’s humorous and well done and a fun way for the kids to learn about feudal society. We also enjoyed Archers, Alchemists: and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed.
Another book series that has a lot of information in bite-size chunks is the Destination: Middle Ages. There are six books in this series:
- Your Guide to Castles and Medieval Warfare
- Your Guide to Knights and the Age of Chivalry
- Your Guide to Medieval Society
- Your Guide to Arts in the Middle Ages
- Your Guide to the Islamic Golden Age
- Your Guide to Trade in the Middle Ages
Of course, your local library will surely be filled with wonderful books about the Middle Ages and you can use those instead! The material here is not tied to any particular book or textbook.
Movies: There are a couple of films that you might want to watch. The Lion in Winter (affiliate link) with Katherine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole is about Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II. The other film is called Becket (affiliate link) and is about the tumultuous relationship between Henry II and his best friend Thomas Becket, who he appoints Archbishop of Canterbury.
We also read the entire novel, The Adventures of Robin Hood (affiliate link), which we all loved. We talked a lot about King John (Robin Hood’s nemesis)… and the fact that he was Henry II’s son (as was Richard the Lion-heart, who was off fighting in the Crusades when this novel took place.)
Middle Ages Novels:
When we first studied the Middle Ages, we read Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi. It’s wonderful! Here’s what I wrote a few years ago about it:
Yesterday, we got to such an exciting part of our current Middle Ages novel, that we couldn’t stop! We read aloud for nearly an hour and a half and finished Crispin: The Cross of Lead ! It was wonderful! I think I’ve talked about it before, but we all loved it so much I definitely recommend it if you are studying the Middle Ages. This book really helped the kids understand feudalism and the hierarchy that existed in the Middle Ages… in a way that just talking about serfs being tied to the land didn’t do (from our history book). It breathed life and drama into that period, for sure!
There are two other novels, we highly recommend: The Inquisitor’s Tale. (affiliate link) This book will help you discuss so many things about the Middle Ages… the three major religions, the Crusades, monasteries, Saints & pilgrimages and so many other topics! It’s really well done! Newbery Honor book!
The Book of Boy (affiliate link) This is another recent Newbery Honor book. It is set just after the Black Plague ended and is about a peasant boy and a shadowy pilgrim as they head across Europe looking for the relics of St. Peter.
When we did our Middle Ages Unit a few years ago, we had a lot of fun making these building projects!! We did the Easy-to-Make Castle (Dover Children’s Activity Books) and the Make This Medieval Village (by Usbourne). (affiliate links) The kids have loved these projects SO much!
You can read more about these Middle Ages Projects here.
You might be interested in these history units too:
From here we went on to cover the Age of Exploration
$4.50 Age of Exploration Packet Quick Preview
European History 1500-1750: Renaissance and Reformation and other European History topics
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Happy Homeschooling! ~Liesl
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 🙂