Saturday, May 24, 2014

Middle Ages Unit - King Arthur, Knights and Ladies

Week 11: We learned about King Arthur and made personal pennants.

King Arthur was the ideal ruler. His knights had equal status at the round table, he pulled the sword from the stone and talked with the lady in the lake. Each knight has his own story filled with conflict, ladies and battles.

When Christianity flourished in Northern Europe, the cultures of the Celtic people blended with the Roman traditions, Vikings and other ancient people giving birth to the legends of King Arthur. Perhaps the legends are based upon a real person. General Arthur united the people of Brittan and led the fight against William the Conqueror of Normandy.

Geoffry of Monmouth, the original author of the King Arthur legends, translated books and read the entire collection of Celtic legends kept in the library. There is a lot in common between King Arthur legends and the Celtic Myths. It was a Celtic custom to discard weapons in water.

Although there are many tales of King Arthur and his Knights, we chose to read only a few.
The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur was a picture book about King Arthur's Knight Sir Gareth of Orkney. My 6 and 9 year olds enjoyed it as a bedtime story one night.

Of Swords and Sorcerers contained several short stories of King Arthur and his knights. A good book for upper elementary.

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights (Sterling Unabridged Classics) was read independently by my 12 year old and I hope to get to it with my younger two in the future.

In the middle ages colors had meaning and so did animals. Colors, animals and other symbols displayed on coats of arms were family symbols of the middle ages. These family symbols were put onto shields and carried into battle, woven into fabric flags used for decoration, and sewn into pennants which were mounted on lances. Sometimes symbols from different families would be joined together into one new coat of arms after marriage or birth of a child.

Red symbolized fierceness
Green symbolized hope and youth
Purple symbolized justice and royalty
Blue symbolized strength and loyalty
Black symbolized sadness and misfortune
Gold symbolized generosity
Silver symbolized sincerity and peace


Lion - courage
Bear - fierce protector
Eagle - noble protector
Fox - wise
Wolf - persistent
Griffin - courage
Dragon - courage
Swan - poetical and musical

Our pennants were constructed from a triangular piece of felt fabric colored with permanent markers. The children enjoyed this very simple project as they were able to use their own creativity.








Our other Middle Ages Unit Study posts can be found on our History Page.



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2 comments:

  1. Their pennants turned out great! What a fun learning activity!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like a fun learning module. Thank you for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party. Hope you are having a great week!

    ReplyDelete

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