I love medieval art and architecture. I also love to teach about medieval art and architecture. Since my first year as an educator, I have taught some version of a castle-building project. About three years ago, I started doing a STEAM version that involved aerial perspective, engineering, building catapults, and a siege tournament. I posted about it, and I still get lots of questions on it. I taught the same unit last year (when I was a new teacher at a new school), and it wasn’t as successful as in years past. Personally, I feel the success (or lack thereof) of the castle unit from last year was due to my lack of structure. I’ve reconfigured the entire unit, and am sharing with you. Please enjoy!
This unit is designed to build connections between science, math, history, and art. Students will learn about aerial perspective, simple machines, medieval war machines, and medieval architecture. In groups, students will synthesize what they learn to design, sketch, and build their own medieval castles using recycled materials. The culmination of the unit is a medieval siege tournament wherein students use their “Quick Build” catapults to attack other castles. In order to survive the siege, students must build a strong castle, and a working medieval war machine.
1. Quick Build: Catapult
2. Aerial Perspective
3. Medieval Architecture & Castle Design
4. Design Your Own Castle
5. Assemblage Castle Sculpture
6. Medieval Siege Tournament
TEACHER GUIDE & PPT
Everything you need to complete the unit is contained in these two documents (include links to videos, handouts, and aerial perspective lesson plan). PPT is download-able. Once downloaded, you can edit it to add/delete as it suits you and your teaching style/needs.
These are contained on the guides above. . .But, in case you want to have another version of links, here ya go!