Exploring Life in a Medieval Castle Project-Based Learning Unit

Exploring Life in a Medieval Castle Project-Based Learning Unit from TeacherVision
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A Comprehensive Lesson on Life in a Medieval Castle

Build background knowledge of the people and parts of a medieval castle, design a personal coat of arms and insignia, use what you learn to plan, design, and build a 3D model of a Great Hall, write a "day in the life" script about medieval life, and perform a group skit based on life in a medieval castle!

Your students will combine, writing, design thinking, research, collaboration, and creativity in this project-based learning unit for grades 5-7 social studies. They'll learn about the people and parts of a medieval castle, use their design skills and creativity to design and build a 3D model of a Great Hall, work together to write a "day in the life" script about daily activities, and work together to perform a short skit on life in a medieval castle.

What's Inside

Packed with hands-on inquiry-based activities, extensions and enhancements, cross-curricular independent and group work, and engaging and interactive challenges, this 52-page project-based unit comes complete with:

  • For the Teacher: A complete Life in a Medieval Castle Lesson Plan with step-by-step instructions for all activities, teaching tips, assessment guidance, and inquiry questions.
  • For Students: A full-color Student Pack complete with all of the printables, slides, photos, and instructions students need for the research, experiments and activities - just print (or share) and teach!

A complete, ready-to-teach Teacher Pack that includes:

  1. Teacher versions of all the student printables with step-by-step annotations and notes for teaching medieval castles;
  2. Formative and summative assessments, answer keys, and a full project rubric;
  3. Instructions and guidance for the extension activities and project enhancements;
  4. Materials and resources lists, links to articles, videos, and research, plus additional resources for lecture and presentation.

What's Included

Lesson Plan - Step-by-Step Project Guide

  • Milestone 1: Parts of a Medieval Castle
  • Milestone 2: Great Hall Model
  • Milestone 3: Designing a Coat of Arms
  • Milestone 4: People in a Castle
  • Milestone 5: Writing and Performing a Medieval Skit 

Teacher and Student Resources

  • Materials List for the Projects in this Unit
  • Books About Castles (optional)
  • How to Do Good Research Student Handout
  • The Age of Castles Reading Passage
  • 3-2-1 Castles KWL Chart Handout
  • Things in a Castle Drawing and Labeling Activity
  • Parts of a Medieval Castle Activity and Answer Key
  • Great Hall Research and Writing Activity
  • Design a Great Hall Planning and Drawing Sheet
  • Milestone #1 Inquiry Question Writing Prompt
  • Mouse in the Castle Kitchen Writing Activity
  • Medieval Castles Activity and Answer Key
  • Milestone #2 Inquiry Question Writing Prompt
  • Heraldry for Battle Reading Passage
  • Shields and Heralds Activity and Answer Key
  • Create Your Own Coat of Arms Activity
  • Milestone #3 Inquiry Question Writing Prompt
  • Castle Chatter Newspaper Article Writing Activity
  • Medieval Castle Quick Quiz and Answer Key
  • People in a Castle Research Activity Handout
  •  Tips for Performing a Skit Handout
  • Skit Writing Script Activity and Planning Sheet
  • Milestone #4 Inquiry Question Writing Prompt
  • Milestone #5 Inquiry Question Writing Prompt
  • Medieval Castle Summative Assessment and Answer Key
  • Medieval Castle Project Rubric
Lesson Plan - Exploring Life in a Medieval Castle Project-Based Learning Lesson
Teacher Pack - Exploring Life in a Medieval Castle Project-Based Learning Lesson
Student Pack - Exploring Life in a Medieval Castle Project-Based Learning Lesson

OVERVIEW:

This project-based learning lesson is designed to support and reinforce the concepts taught as part of a social studies lesson or unit on medieval history. It is built around 5 inquiry-based milestones that incorporate cross-curricular hands-on projects, formative and summative assessments, independent and group activities, and extensions.

STUDENT/GROUP OUTPUT:

In the course of this project-based learning unit, students will:

  • Build background knowledge about life in a medieval castle, including the parts of the castle and the people in it;
  • Explore manor life by creating a personalized coat of arms and insignia;
  • Work collaboratively in groups to write a script about a "day in the life" inside a medieval castle;
  • Plan, design, and build a 3D model of the Great Hall of a medieval castle;
  • "Show what they know" by performing a skit about life in a medieval castle based on the scripts they wrote.

SUGGESTED SUBJECT PREREQUISITES:

Students will acquire necessary background knowledge of medieval castles as part of this project, and instructional materials for providing that background are included in the Teacher Pack. 

SEQUENCE AND PACING

This project-based unit is divided into 5 milestones. The minimum suggested duration for completing this project-based unit is 5 class periods. However, the unit is completely flexible can be lengthened or shortened as necessary or desired, based on available class time and interest level.

TECHNOLOGY RESOURCES (suggested):

  • Internet access
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