The Medieval Castle Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will learn that medieval castles provided both protection and a home for the lords who built them and the community who served them.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

Many of the great fortifications of the Middle Ages are still standing today, often dominating the surrounding countryside. Why were they 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 "Castle Sweet Castle" is a good one for the first 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 to think about some of the movies or TV shows that showed a castle being defended (Robin Hood, Shrek, etc.). Then lead a discussion about why the castle structure provided such good protection.
  2. Write about it: Ask students to imagine they are a small mouse in a castle kitchen. Prompt them to write an imaginary paragraph about the sights, sounds, and smells they might see, hear, and smell.

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 castles.


The Medieval Castle Word Power
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to medieval castles by using each defined word in a sentence they create.



Write a Lead Paragraph for Castle Chatter
Grade: 6 - 8
Students write a paragraph for a newspaper article covering a medieval banquet.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Castle

Eyewitness: Castle provides an in-depth, comprehensive look at the history and structure of castles through a unique integration of words and pictures. Discover the mysteries of the medieval castle and what life was like for those living within.

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