We are loving reading and creating ideas and activities around the books in the Magic Tree House Series. The second book in the series is one of the areas of history that I really wish was covered more in schools so it's been great fun exploring this topic with the kids. We've put together here a fantastic set of activities you can use to extend upon the reading or if you are studying the Middle Ages with your kids. So here we go our Middle Ages Unit Study for Kids inspired by reading The Knight at Dawn by Mary Pope Osborne.
The Knight at Dawn Unit Study for Kids
The Middle Ages span about 1000 years. It covers from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Rise of the Ottoman Empire.
Starting around 500AD it progresses to 1500AD. In that time a LOT happened so you have lots of choices on where to focus on in the unit study.
We've chosen to be broad.
However, if you would like to study some of the individual periods we are working on sourcing them. Keep an eye on Rainy Day Mum as there is more to come.
In the meantime, if the Vikings interest you (around 800AD) then check out this fantastic resource for a Viking Unit Study from STEAM Powered Family.
Recommended Reading About The Middle Ages
Although there are lots of non-fiction books about the Middle Ages we love connecting fiction with our topics and have put together a list of Fiction Books about the Middle Ages for school kids to read alongside this unit.
We made the full dragon bookmark from Red Ted Art - although technically there were no dragons after reading St George and the Dragon one of the books on the list above it seemed an ideal one to use with our reading books this time.
Language Arts Activities and Resources for A Middle Ages Unit Study
For our activity here on Rainy Day Mum, we focused on looking at language in the early middle ages. The Runic Alphabet.
We made our own set and then used it to write secret messages in code to one another. If you'd like to make your own and find out more about this form of language then head over to Create your Own Wooden Runes with Kids.
With your younger kids reviewing your Diagraphs and Blends is useful this Medieval Diagraph Pack from 3 Dinosaurs is great for helping to learn to spell and read.
Another great resource from 3 Dinosaurs is the Medieval writing paper. We used this for copy work from The Knight at Dawn book working on improving our cursive and print handwriting.
During the middle ages, manuscripts and books all had an Illuminated Letter at the front of the chapter or book. Over on My Kids Adventures, you can find a full activity inspired by this with How to Make Illuminated Letters with Kids.
Learning the sight words or high-frequency words is challenging for some so we loved giving this Sight Word Castle Game from Inspiration Laboratories a go whilst focusing on the Middle Ages.
Whilst looking at Grammar we focused on Nouns and Verbs with the youngest and did this Noun and Verb Castle Themed Sorting Activity from 3 Dinosaurs.
Mathematics in the Middle Ages
In the 12th Century AD, John of Seville wrote a Math book. In this book Liber mahameleth he outlined some math problems.
We had fun doing the mathematics from this with the kids. I picked and chose depending on their ability some that were relevant from this page Medieval Math Problems over on Medievalist.net.
With our youngest we are working on multiplication so we created number lines with battlements and used these to work on skip counting, counting in 2's, 5's and 10's as a way to check understanding.
Area and perimeters are a topic that I know from my teaching days were difficult for some children to grasp. But we loved doing this Castle and Moat Area and Perimeter Activity from Still Playing School.
Science Activities for a Middle Ages Unit Study
We had so much fun with Science and STEM around the middle ages. In fact, we could have just done this for the whole time!
One of the favourites was making a working drawbridge with this activity from Our Family Code. We loved getting it to rise and fall.
We also made a catapult with this Craft Stick Catapult from Science Sparks. The kids had a lot of fun knocking over their Playmobil with this.
Arts and Crafts
Although the illuminated letter above was also part of our art activities our favourite to try out was making a Salt Dough Castle following instructions from Teaching without Chairs.
Although we did use our favourite Classic Salt Dough Recipe as I know this one works best in our home environment and then left it to air dry.
After reading about the feasts in the book The Knight at Dawn we decided to research medieval recipes and found one that the kids knew how to make and was common at the time.
It was Bread and Butter Pudding - it's been around since the middle ages and although sometimes it was called Italian Pudding it's pretty much the same. So we made our Traditional Bread and Butter Pudding with the kids and enjoyed it for dessert.
Magic Tree House Books Activities and Unit Studies
Are your kids reading the Magic Tree House Books?
If so why not join our newsletter and get updates on the activities we are creating as we too read them with our kids.
As you wait for the first activity and unit to arrive in your inbox check out some of the other Unit Studies we have put together for the books so far.
For the first book in the series for our, Magic Treehouse Book Club was Dinosaurs before Dark check out our Unit Study for Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne.