- Pick an interesting text to be your spine. For this grade/age range, we have used The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, and A Child’s History of the World by V.M. Hillyer.
- Make notes of key words as you read on a whiteboard.
- Have your student write a few sentences about what he has learned in his history notebook. If desired, add an illustration to the page, either sketched or copied from the internet. Another option is to use the Medieval History Portfolio, Homeschool Journey, which gives specific directions on what to write about and illustrations to add to the notebook pages.
- Have your student read or you can read aloud additional fictional books of the time-period. (Examples below.)
- Help your child identify and label major bodies of water (such as Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean), and label areas that pertain to your study for that week (such as Spain, Greece, and Italy).
- Begin a timeline that covers the period you will be covering. After each notebook entry, mark significant dates on your timeline.
- Optional: Create a hands-on project that relates to the topic studied. (Examples below.)
- Feel free to further explore topics that come up during the study.
Week 1 - Overview of the Medieval World
Week 2 - The Byzantines
- Make a mosaic.
Week 3 - The Barbarian Kingdoms and the Return to Christianity
Week 4 - Islam
- Read Mosque by David Macaulay. What is a mosque?
- Why do Muslims try to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime?
- Map: Label Mecca on your map and draw dotted lines from the Islamic Empire to Mecca to show Muslims going on pilgrimages to their holy city.
Week 5 - Arabs
- Read a book about Aladdin and other tales from the Arabian Nights.
Week 6 - Vikings
- Read Eric the Red, Leif the Lucky by Ingri D’Aulaire
- Have a Viking Meal. While their homeland was cold and did not grow things well, they were traders and would trade for food wherever they went. They ate a lot of fish, beef, pork, chicken, duck because that was what they had the most of. They often dried, smoked, salted, or pickled their meat to make it last longer. The Vikings also ate plums, apples, berries, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery, spinach, peas, beets, onions, leeks, and mushrooms. They also sometimes ate edible seaweeds. Vikings primarily used cow's milk, although they also sometimes used goat's milk, however, the Vikings did not use milk to drink but rather to make sauces, cheese, and butter. For grains, they ate rye, barley, and oats. They were used to make flat breads and porridge. Barley was often used to make ale.
Week 7 - The Anglo Saxons (Danes)
Week 8 - Charlemagne
- Read an appropriate story about the Knights of the Round Table.
Week 9 - Holy Roman Empire
Week 10 - Normans
- Copy a scene from the Bayeux Tapestry onto some cotton cloth and embroider the cloth.
Week 11: 100 Years’ War and Robin Hood
- Read about Joan of Arc.
- Read about Robin Hood and make a Robin Hood costume to reenact the stories.
Week 12: The Feudal System
- Make an illustration to show the hierarchy of the feudal system.
Week 13: Knights
- Make a coat of arms.
- Make a sandcastle model of Restormel Castle where Edward the Black Prince held court in 1360.
- Research weapons, armor and the code of chivalry.
Week 14: Castles
- Read and/or watch Macaulay's Castle .
- Read The Door in the Wall , Marguerite De Angeli.
- Learn the parts to a castle and make sandcastle walls and towers.
Week 15: Medieval Villages and Towns
Weeks 16-19: The Christian Church
- Read Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson, Bibles and Bestiaries: A Guide to Illuminated Manuscripts by Elizabeth B. Wilson, Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie DePaola, The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica by Kathleen Norris, The Sailor Who Captured the Sea: A Story of the Book of Kells by Deborah Nourse Lattimore, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer.
- Make an Illuminated letter.
- Make a stained glass project.
- Make a gargoyle project.
- Read about Medieval architecture.
Week 20: The Black Death
- Play the plague game.
Week 21: Celts
Week 22: Burgundians, Habsburgs and The Wars of the Roses
Week 23: Eastern Europe
- Discuss the differences between the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox.
- Research about Good King Wenceslas.
Week 24: The Rise of the Russians
Week 25: The Struggle for Spain
Week 26: Medieval Africa
- Make an African dish.
- Play the Fast Tax game.
Week 27: People of the Pacific
- Make some Aborigine style art work.
Week 28: The Americas
Complete the Aztec unit from the History Pockets Ancient Civilizations book.
- Explore a base 6 or a base 20 math system.
- Make some Aztec cocoa.
Week 29: The Travels of Marco Polo (1271-1295) Part I: Venice
- Make a collage of a water road in Venice.
Week 31: The Travels of Marco Polo (1271-1295) Part III: The Mongols
Week 32: The Travels of Marco Polo, Part IV: China: In The Realm of Kublai Khan (1271-1295)
- Read about the silk road and the spice trade.
- Learn about the life cycle of a silk worm.
- Learn about spices and make a recipe using spices.
- Learn about Buddhist monks.
- Make a mandala or a Tibetan palace door.
- Learn about Samurai. How are like like and how are they different from knights in Europe?
- Learn about the Hindu religion.
- Make a Rangoli.
- Make an Indian dish.