Elementary Middle Ages Unit Study

Studying the Middle Ages is so much fun!  And, it really keeps the attention of my children with all the excitement of knights and castles and such.  To keep our unit to six weeks, I pulled the best-of-the best hands-on ideas from the two reference books below.  After adding in some living literature and a great end-of-unit project, we ended up with a very in-depth tour of medieval life.

Our elementary medieval unit study was packed full of fun and learning. Literature, resources and great project ideas included.

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Middle Ages Unit Study Lesson Ideas

Knights & Castles: 50 Hands-On Activities to Experience the Middle Ages (Kaleidoscope Kids)Days of Knights and Damsels: An Activity Guide


Are you wondering how I organize a unit study using so many materials?  This post should help explain my method.

Middle Ages Unit Study Living Books

If you know me at all, you know living literature was a huge part of our middle ages unit. I use informational books to teach about particular topics. The historical fiction books become family read-alouds, books to enjoy on CD in the car, or assigned books for independent reading time. Those with a Bible/character twist become part of our Bible lesson time once a week or so.

Middle Ages Bonus Books: The Sir Cumference series by Cindy Neuschwander is a wonderful series of math literature set in the middle ages that filled in some of our math lessons during the unit

Informational Middle Ages Literature

Each of these are appropriate for 3rd grade and older. Depending on the maturity of your child, some may be used with younger children.

By David Macaulay - CastleYou Wouldn't Want to Work on a Medieval Cathedral! (You Wouldn't Want to…: History of the World)A Medieval Feast (Reading Rainbow Books)Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Medieval CastleYou Wouldn't Want to Be in a Medieval Dungeon! (Revised Edition) (You Wouldn't Want to…: History of the World)You Wouldn't Want to Live in the Middle Ages. Fiona MacDonald, Jacqueline MorleyHow Would You Survive in the Middle Ages (How Would You Survive Ser)Knight's Handbook (History)The Making of a KnightMarguerite Makes a BookMystery Histry:Viking Longboat (Mystery History)The Best Book of Knights and Castles


Middle Ages Historical Fiction

Of this group, The Door in the Wall and Crispin: The Cross of Lead are the two I would recommend reading with elementary students. The others are most appropriate for 5th grade and older.

Kingdom's Dawn (Kingdom, Book 1)The Door in the WallThe Trumpeter of KrakowCrispin: The Cross of LeadCatherine, Called BirdyAnna of Byzantium (Laurel-Leaf Books)


Medieval Books with a Christian Theme

Each of these is truly near and dear to my heart. I love them all SO very much!

The Squire and the ScrollWith You All the WayComing HomeA Parable about the King


The Projects

Wouldn’t you know my camera pooped out right in the middle of our unit?  I did manage to get a lonely little picture of one of our projects.  After studying knights, armor and heraldry, we created poster board shields.

Middle Ages Unit Study

You can see a full list of the other projects we completed listed in the newsletter below.

Writing Newsletters

Preparing newsletters for grandparents is a real-life reason for writing that seamlessly incorporates technology and makes a GREAT end-of-unit project for any unit study.  In this edition of the “Westward Gazette” my children worked together to write stories, share about some of the things they learned and tell about a few of their favorite activities.

Middle Ages Unit Study

As you can tell, our study was jam-packed – and oh, so fun!  I hope you find a few treasures to use in your own study of the Middle Ages.

Need Middle School Medieval Unit Study Ideas?

Get even more ideas for medieval studies specific for older children in this post.

Plans for a fun medieval unit study for middle school homeschool students!

Other posts you might enjoy:

 Slavery and Civil War Unit Study How To Build a Hands-On Homeschool 100+ Living Math Activities


  1. Do you have a list of recommended medieval books with a Christian theme? And what ages are they good for? I just came across Kingdom’s Dawn by Chuck Black and I’m reading it to see if it’s OK for my 5th grade son. But I’d love other recommendations!

  2. Elaine,
    Here is my middle school post about studying the middle ages. Not every book has a specific Christian theme like the Chuck Black books do, but we always find a way to tie in Christian discussion in all of our readings. 😉 https://ourjourneywestward.com/middle-ages-study/

  3. Question for you: if this unit is for six weeks and that is the history focus for the year on the four year cycle- is this six weeks for the whole year of history? Can you tell me how you fill the other weeks of school, for e.i. Do you switch to science, or other topics? This looks great- I am trying to plan out the coming year:). Thank you

  4. Jessica,
    Great question. I usually do one unit study at a time. So, if we’re doing a history study for six-weeks, a science study for 6-10 weeks will follow. Usually, one of my studies doesn’t cover everything I want to teach about one subject from the year’s cycle. For example, during this middle ages cycle year, we may also have done other unit studies covering specific events in more depth, art/artists of the period, etc. Some people may put all that together in one unit study, but it would likely last a full semester. In that case, I would probably teach history for one semester and science the next. I sure hope that makes sense. 🙂

  5. Is there a particular order in which you read these books? I’m trying to pull together a medieval history study for my 4th/5th grader. Ideally I would like to just read to him, have him read some, do a project or two, and some note booking pages.

  6. Kelly, I just realized that the activity books I use for this unit were missing from the post. I’ve added them back in, so the post should make a little more sense. 🙂 I read the literature books in the order that works with the activities we choose from the activity books.

  7. Shelley Miller says:

    I love The Door in the Wall. I teach 6th grade in public school and have used it as a read aloud for years. I’ve also used it between 5th and 8th grades.

  8. Cindy, I love this post! Especially, the books with a Christian theme. We are studying Medieval history this year with SOTW and I have made a book list for us, but I hadn’t seen these books before. I’m excited to check into these. Thanks for the great ideas, Heidi

  9. You’re very welcome, Heidi! 🙂 Enjoy your studies. We’re wrapping up the middle ages and moving into SOTW Vol 3 soon. I love that curriculum!

  10. This is great!

  11. Hello! I don’t know how old the comments are on this, but I wanted to recommend The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop! It is a fantastic story that I loved as a kid! In fact I still love it! I just listened to it on audible with my 5 and 4 year olds. It’s for ages 8 to 12 but my girls seemed to understand it! It gave a whole new interest to their toy castle and knights!
    This is a nice list of books!

  12. Do you have any posts with more specifics around what activities and projects you did for Middle Ages?

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