To keep our homeschool history going this summer I’m organizing themed weeks. If you’ve been following my Instagram recently you’ve seen a few pictures of our learning projects for our Middle Ages peasants Unit.
Because most of the activities for this unit are from Time Capsule England I got a few months ago I’m not going to give you in detail information on them, just a here’s what we did. If you want detailed information on how to complete it, I highly recommend picking up the book, it’s well worth the price.
*Side note, one benefit of going to the Renaissance Festival is eventually you can find a halfway decent picture having to do with peasants. This particular picture is of Batman at around 4 years old.
Middle Ages peasants unit: housing
We started off our unit looking at peasant housing. Most houses then were made of waddle and daub, and had dirt floors (dirt floors are cheap and easy). To cut down on dirt and to help give warmth they made rugs to cover the floors.
So, we started off our unit making a rug. The kids loved this activity. Somehow in all our years we hadn’t done a paper weaving activity.
After they completed the activity they went on to make some paper clothes for their toys, a paper version of their toys, and a couple more rugs. Oh and they thoroughly reinforced their rugs with tape.
Then we made waddle and daub walls. This was a bit trickier, and much much messier. Again the kids loved the project, and ended up making several projects using the extra mud we’d made.
Of course then they turned the porch into mud, and I got all sorts of fun pictures of them playing. Mind you, their general level of filthiness is probably rather indicative of how Middle Ages peasants looked generally.
Middles Ages peasants Unit: work
I never got pictures of this, but to prepare for the waddle and daub up above I had the kids gather for me bags of dirt. And to prepare for another project I had them gather bags of rocks. The rocks are relatively easy to get because we’ve got hundreds of them dug up from trying to plant gardens and other things. The dirt was harder because our soil is very rocky and clay-like.
Middles Ages peasants Unit: clothes
In Time Capsule England she’s got some great suggestions for making a peasant costume you can wear, but I just wasn’t up for it right now. So instead we made paper dolls from Middle Ages paper dolls from Practical Pages.
Once I track down the clipboard, we’ll finish these guys up and I’ll add in beautiful pictures of their paper dolls.
Middle Ages peasants unit: medicine
My friend Amanda from over at Low Country Eclectic sent me an herbal salve kit to make. This worked perfectly with our unit, AND let me get a fun hands-on learning project for the kids to try out. I’ll write a more in detail post about this later, but let’s just say it’s a bit messy, but so cool to do.
Middle Ages peasants unit: food
While the Time Capsule England unit had several different recipes I only managed to make one so far, though I’ve got the materials for a couple of others (they’re mostly breakfast food, and I don’t really cook breakfast, I more blink at the computer as my kids make their own breakfast).
So, we were going to do this yesterday, but then I had Thursday, and Thursday was not a good day.
Middle Ages peasants unit: leisure activities
Did I mention the Thursday?
Middle Ages peasants unit: tradesman
During the Middle Ages most people couldn’t read, so signs had to have very clear pictures so people knew what the store was. It’s also why so many inns pre-universal reading were such simple names: Prancing Pony, Red Goat, Red Dragon…. It was simple to draw a picture of it, so I had the kids design their own store sign.
While the Time Capsule England unit had a complete unit on Tradesman, I’m collapsing some of the activities into our peasants week because I’m a bit pressed for time, and want to make sure we get to some of the other units.
But, Thursday and actually this week was one of those weeks where we didn’t get things done in a timely manner. But we went swimming early in the week, so that’s good, and Tuesday turned into the day of meetings, and Wednesday turned into the surprise day of friends over.
More Middle Ages peasants unit books
- Don’t Let the Barber Pull Your Teeth: Could You Survive Medieval Medicine? (Ye Yucky Middle Ages)
- The Miserable Life of Medieval Peasants
- Kids in the Medieval World
- Medieval Life (DK Eyewitness Books)
- Women and Girls in the Middle Ages
- Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed (Jobs in History)