medieval life

Life in Medieval Times Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn how different people dressed for their different roles in medieval society.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

The term "medieval" comes from the Latin medium aevum which means "the middle ages." But when were the Middle Ages? Before them came MORE

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Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Do you think the caption "Worker Bees" is a good one for the peasant photo? Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Ask students if they can think of other roles that existed in medieval society. (Answers might include: noblemen, knights...even king or queen.) Ask students to describe what role they think they might've had if they would've lived during that time.
  2. Write about it: Tell students to pretend they lived back in medieval society and have them pick a role to play (e.g., monk, peasant, guild master, etc.). Ask them to write a paragraph explaining why they chose that role.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on medieval life.


Life in Medieval Times Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to medieval society by using each defined word in a sentence.



Medieval Towns Activity Pack
Grade: 6 - 8
Students learn about life in medieval towns as they read and complete the activities in this packet.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Medieval Life

Eyewitness: Medieval Life gives the reader an in-depth look at life in both the town and country for the peasants as well as the aristocracy, from the end of the Dark Ages to the Renaissance in the 15th century.

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