The Medieval Castle Mini-Lesson

Use this slideshow to introduce students to the purpose of medieval castles and to give them a glimpse of some of the activities going on inside their walls.
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Teaching Strategies

Excerpted from

Eyewitness: Castle
Eyewitness: Castle
Christopher Gravett

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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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
The Medieval Castle Mini-Lesson

Teacher Background

Many of the great fortifications of the Middle Ages are still standing today, often dominating the surrounding countryside. Why were they
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  • 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.)
  • 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?)
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.
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.

Lesson Contents


Extension Activities





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.


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